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Good problem to have

The news last week that promoters were pulling the plug on a proposed three-day festival in Vail in August of 2017 was sudden, but, in retrospect, not much of a surprise.

After it was first mentioned in a public meeting in late April, the proposed Kaaboo festival quickly raised the attention of Vail residents. And despite a relatively quick trip to a recommendation from the Vail Commission on Special Events, it soon became obvious that the town wouldn’t issue a special use permit for Ford Park in June, as first requested. After a bit more discussion — and many emails to town council members and other officials — it quickly became apparent that there was no way the Vail Town Council would vote on the permit, even by the board’s second meeting in July, as promoters had requested.

There’s been a lot of conjecture about why promoters — and their Vail Valley Foundation partners — pulled the plug on Kaaboo. There’s no point getting into that speculation here.



But one likely reason for putting the kibosh on Kaaboo is the reality of the calendar. A July 19 vote on a permit to use Ford Park would have left just 13 months to pull together a three-day event that promoters vowed would be up to Vail’s high standards. That would have been a very tight schedule.

Moving the vote into August or September would have made putting on the festival even more difficult.



There’s obviously no way to tell whether Kaaboo in Vail would have been a long-running hit or a short-term fizzle. And, if the festival finds another Colorado home for 2017, success or failure of the event won’t be any indication of how Kaaboo would have done in Vail.

What’s clear, though, is that Vail’s town leaders, while intrigued by the idea, seemed willing to take whatever time was needed to make the best decision for the town. While the council didn’t have to make a decision on this event, it was clear that council members were unwilling to be rushed.

That’s a good situation for any community.


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