Viva Volvo for Vail |

Viva Volvo for Vail

Ted AlvarezVail, CO Colorado
AE Streetbeat 1 DT 4-11-07

The eight finalists in the running for a new 2007 Volvo V50 at the final Budweiser Street Beat concert seemed reserved, almost subdued onstage. Even after the pack was trimmed to four, they only betrayed a few smiles. But when Tracy Escobedo’s key opened the door to his new vehicle, he yelled ‘yeaaaah’ and threw his hands in the air. The crowd yelled in unison with him.”I had no idea it would be me,” Escobedo said after winning. “I only missed one (concert), but once you get up there, it’s a big surprise.”Since contestants in the local drawing could enter once per Street Beat event, Escobedo had ten chances for his name to be drawn. But the key to open the door of the Volvo, which contestants had to pluck from a behind a hidden paper door inside a flower cutout, came down to pure luck.

“My boss was down in the crowd, and he said I should drive the car to Vegas,” Escobedo said. “I live right here in the village, so it’s nice to just walk out one day and come back with a car.”Escobedo works as a superintendent for a general contractor in the valley. After his victory, Escobedo was ambushed by a flurry of papers to sign and congratulations from friends in the audience. At one point in the contest, when several called names in a row didn’t appear, announcer and Vail Valley Foundation Vice President of Communications John Dakin lamented that “summer will be here soon.””I’ve never had that much trouble giving away a car,” Dakin joked. “I was about to announce that I’ll take it.”

Dakin counts this year’s Street Beat concert series as a success, and looks forward to next year’s festivities.”I think it gets better and better each year,” he said. “It’s a great deal for locals and a real amenity for people who just happen to be in town, walk down the street and end up in the middle of a fantastic party.”All the contestants received a custom gift bag from Vail – not much consolation after losing a car, perhaps, but finalist Patrick Benway, of Vail, took it in stride.”Hey, it doesn’t matter, it was fun – it’s nice to have a local event that creates camaraderie,” Benway said. “I’m happy for the guy – although I would look good in Volvo.”

Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or

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