WinterWonderGrass leaving valley, will stay in Colorado | VailDaily.com

WinterWonderGrass leaving valley, will stay in Colorado

After starting in Edwards and moving to Avon, the popular WinterWonderGrass music festival will relocate out of the valley next season.
Jim Dimitroff | Special to the Daily |

FULL STATEMENT

Here’s the full statement from WinterWonderGrass producers.

In light of the information the town of Avon has released to the press highlighting that WinterWonderGrass will not return to Avon, we are responding with a statement.

The full story, our new location and the many new features, events and plans for 2017 and beyond will be released to our email list next Monday, Aug. 29. We will follow up with a press release and full information to all major media outlets at that time.

Clearly this was a difficult decision and as with each WinterWonderGrass move, we take into consideration the most important element of our gathering, the fans, our family. The fans that have supported WinterWonderGrass and the many gatherings our founder Scotty Stoughton has brought to the Vail Valley for over 20 years have always been the reason we do what we do. We dreamed in Edwards, moved into Avon, expanded to Squaw Valley and now have found the location that supports our vision in Colorado. That vision is grounded in the commitment to delivering the best authentic and grassroots bluegrass and Colorado craft beer festival imaginable. Paramount to the vision is producing in a setting that incorporates on mountain activities, an assortment of affordable lodging within walking distance to the event and the ski mountain while allowing us to raise the bar each and every year.

The challenges pointed out by the town of Avon are very real and began to chip away at our opportunity to maintain the highest level of entertainment and experience we are known to deliver.

As we move through life, we only regret the things we did not do, the risks we did not take and by following our hearts, remaining true and authentic, we will succeed at the most important level.

AVON — The popular WinterWonderGrass music festival is leaving town.

Event producer Scotty Stoughton said Friday that the decision to leave was not an easy one.

“We have nothing but respect and gratitude for Avon and Edwards and the people who have been supporting our events for years,” Stoughton said. “Certainly the decision wasn’t about money, or anything like that, it was about finding a place where I can realize the true vision of WinterWonderGrass, and unfortunately there are too many obstacles here to ever truly realize that.”

Stoughton said the event will be returning to Colorado Feb. 23-26, 2017, just not in Eagle County.

“We deeply thank all the fans and businesses that have supported, nurtured and helped to grow the festival and look forward to sharing many more magical experiences for many years to come,” Stoughton said.

‘LODGING IS TOUGH’

Stoughton said the sheer success of the area as a whole has made it difficult to run an event during the ski season.

“It used to be that there was a little dip in lodging during that week, but that’s gone away,” he said. “Lodging is tough.”

Avon Mayor Jennie Fancher said lodging rates tend to peak during the February time slot when WinterWonderGrass is in town.

“February is a very busy time for ski visitors in our valley,” she said. “It is clear that we need to focus on shoulder seasons for events as these are times when hotel rooms are available and more affordable.

“I am saddened to see the event leave town,” Fancher added. It was a great fit for our community.”

ON-MOUNTAIN ACCESS

Additionally, the lack of access to on-mountain venues didn’t forward the vision Stoughton has for the event.

“I want to do pop-ups with bluegrass bands playing on the mountain last minute, and knowing that we’ll never be able to do that here was a concern,” he said. “We’re producing at a grassroots level. That’s the vision; that’s the mission; that’s the intention; and that remains.”

Stoughton said WinterWonderGrass fans can expect to have the remainder of their questions — like “to where will the event move?” — answered in the coming weeks.

“The full story, our new location and the many new features, events and plans for 2017 and beyond will be released to our email list next Monday, Aug. 29,” organizers said in a statement.

Fans can visit http://www.winter wondergrass.com and subscribe to the event’s newsletter for the latest information.