Breckenridge doles out cash to market Lyle Lovett-John Hiatt concert |

Breckenridge doles out cash to market Lyle Lovett-John Hiatt concert

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News

BRECKENRIDGE – With eyes on the approaching summer season, the Town of Breckenridge agreed to subsidize the June 16 Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt concert at the Riverwalk Center in the hope of establishing a relationship with the concert’s promoter and drawing in the crowds to kick off the summer season.

“We all felt that it was a pretty simple ask and that there was not a lot of down side for us,” Breckenridge Town Councilwoman Jennifer McAtamney said. “This is a good way that we can get a lot of activity in town on a Thursday night in June.”

Council members agreed to put up $10,000 dollars in subsidies and in-kind expense waivers, eyeing an ongoing relationship with the show’s promoter, AEG Live.

Council members said the national music promoter is interested in “heating up,” or beginning to market the Riverwalk Center as a destination boutique venue for bigger name bands. A show with recognizable names such as Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt is a first step down that road.

“They see this as having that nice synergy,” McAtamney said. “One of the things that was really attractive to us is that this is very inexpensive marketing. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to create … a little more vitality in town.”

Town officials said they hope the event will get Kingdom Days, which begins June 17, and the summer season off to a successful start and will draw crowds into town for a long weekend.

Following a promising winter season, Breckenridge will be looking to events and the weather to keep visitors coming through the summer.

Early forecasts for lodging occupancy rates put this summer slightly behind last summer for visits.

“June needs some help,” Breckenridge Resort Chamber vice president Bill Wishowski stated in a recent email to members. “A hot June on the plains and along the Front Range combined with warm sunny mountain days in May and June are needed to drive volume up.”

Still, numbers coming out of the winter season indicated a return of the tourism industry in Breckenridge, according to data provided by MTRiP, and BRC reps say they’re working to market summer vacations in Breckenridge as a good value heading into what could be a season marked by high gas prices.

“Breckenridge has a lot of intrinsic value,” Breckenridge Resort Chamber spokeswoman Rachel Zerowin said. “Our signature events are free, it costs nothing to hit the trails. These types of messages are ones we’re hoping to spread. I’ve seen a couple recent articles telling folks to head for the hills, because the values in mountain towns are really good in the summer. With the diversity (of activities) we have to offer, those values become even greater.”

The tourism industry in Breckenridge will look to the Quizno’s Pro Challenge, a professional cycling race that will pass through town in August, to help boost summer numbers as well. Occupancy numbers released by the BRC are already showing an increase corresponding with the event.

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