Challenge moved to June; Rotary seeks new venue |

Challenge moved to June; Rotary seeks new venue

FRISCO – The Frisco Town Council narrowly voted to move the date of the Colorado Barbecue Challenge from August to the last weekend in June Tuesday night, a decision that prompted the Rotary Club of Summit County to seek a new location for the event.

The annual Rotary Club fundraiser has been held in Frisco since 1996 and has raised thousands of dollars to support Rotary Club programs and services. As the Barbecue Challenge has grown, so has the heat from restaurants and other businesses on Main Street that contend the event robs them of vital business during a short peak season.

A statement prepared by Rotarian and Head Hog for the Barbecue Challenge, Brenda Cameron, in response to Tuesday’s decision said: “We have offered to partner with Frisco in August 2004 in producing a modified Colorado Barbecue Challenge, minimizing the negative impact on businesses, but this does not appear to be an acceptable alternative.”

After studying the possibility of holding the event in June, the Rotary Club concluded that it would not raise sufficient funds for it to be worthwhile.

“We will continue to undertake a major barbecue fundraising event annually in August, as we believe this provides us the greatest opportunity to fill our commitments. We have therefore decided to seek a new partner with whom to host a new contest in 2004,” Cameron said.

Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli did not want to see the event leave the town, but felt the Council’s allegiance to Main Street businesses was a greater priority.

“I’m a little disappointed in the Rotary’s inflexibility. To me it all boils down to one thing: loyalty. My loyalty is to the businesses on Main Street and not to the Rotary.”

“Restaurants lose thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars during the Barbecue Challenge,” said Jim Rodkey, owner of Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters. “We can’t lose this weekend in August. We just die on these weekends.”

Councilmember Dede Dighero-Tuso, who voted for the date change, had similar sentiments. “Every single one of our restaurants is struggling. They are lined up like dominoes waiting to fall, and they need every single dime.”

– Julie Sutor/Special to the Daily

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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