AEG, restaurants laud June’s Lovett, Hiatt concert
August 19, 2011
BRECKENRIDGE – June’s sold-out Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt concert at the Riverwalk Center, an experiment in partnership for the Town of Breckenridge and national concert promoter AEG Live, was a hit for the restaurants in town and for AEG.
The show grossed more than $67,000 before town subsidies and prompted a positive response from AEG Live. The company has already expressed an interest in bringing as many as eight concerts to Breckenridge next year.
“They’ve presented a proposal as to what they would like to do and what they would need from the town,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said. “It’s still sort of a thing we’re working on.”
The town poured $5,000 in cash and more than $5,000 in waived fees into the June show, testing, in conjunction with AEG, the viability of the Riverwalk Center as a big concert destination. The show netted only $1,492 after the steep expenses associated with the big-name performers and would have lost money without the town’s funding.
But some members of the Breckenridge restaurant community say they were happy with the concert and its impact on business.
“What I heard consistently from the restaurant community was that it was a very positive event,” said Dick Carleton, who owns the Hearthstone in Breck. “It filled the restaurants prior to the event and people went out to late-night spots after. I think we’re all very hopeful and excited that the town and AEG will try some more shows throughout the year.”
But concert-goers who headed out for a nightcap after the show weren’t staying in town for long. The five lodging companies that responded to a post-concert survey conducted by the town indicated out-of-towners who attended the concert were not staying overnight. And, many of those who bought concert tickets were locals. Of the 1,106 tickets sold, 694 were purchased by people with Summit County, Alma or Fairplay addresses.
Yet leaders in the lodging community said the show, and the broader strategy of promoting Breckenridge as a concert destination, were promising for future business, if not for filling rooms June 18.
“Although the lodging community may not have seen a dramatic increase in occupancy for the concert, the overall impression was that it was successful as an initial step to create a more defined niche for Breckenridge as a quality concert and show destination,” Toby Babich, of the Breck Lodging Association, stated in an email. “The ability to partner with a large promoter and utilize our Riverwalk Center as a central concert venue is a very important step to a bigger and better Breckenridge. There is an optimistic attitude that bigger and better will come from this.”
But for the town, support – particularly financial support – of future shows will demand a little deeper analysis of the impacts of the concert and a nod from town council.
“For us as a town, we have to look at it two ways,” Dykstra-DiLallo said. “Is it good for the overall community? And, secondly, how much is the Town of Breckenridge, as an organization, able to provide for this as a marketing tool?”
Town officials said time permitting, the town council might review the issue at its next work session or meeting Aug. 23.