Dillon already working on its Festival of Lights celebration
DILLON – It may still be July, but apparently it’s never too soon to start planning winter festivals in Dillon.The Dillon Business Association (DBA) met with town officials Tuesday to brainstorm its inaugural Festival of Lights, where all Dillon businesses and building owners will be asked to light up their storefronts from approximately Dec. 2 through Jan. 16. Evening events – like caroling and a Santa booth -may also be available to visitors throughout that time period.Dillon council members, town officials, and members of the DBA are hopeful such an event will not only attract more foot traffic, but also possibly bring in more overnight visitors who usually stay in Frisco or Keystone.”We’re seeking partners to make it a destination event during the winter season,” said DBA leader Bill Falcone. “We’re talking with Vail Resorts about future participation.”Currently, the Town of Dillon is better known for its summertime events, farmers markets and weekend concerts.Concerns voiced by council members included parking – there’s not enough to sustain a large influx of people – and getting all Dillon businesses to participate, whether they’re members of DBA or not.”If everyone lights up, it will make it more successful,” Falcone said.The DBA has already purchased $1,000 worth of lights to be shared with participating businesses on a first-come, first-served basis.For Dillon to participate by putting up extra lights on town property, town manager Devin Granbery said officials could expect to see an impact to the budget.Even so, Falcone said it would be worth it as he anticipates the holiday-themed event to increase sales tax collection throughout the town. “I don’t think anyone one else is doing (a lights festival),” he said.
Town officials also pondered other ways to get visitors into Dillon’s old town core. One method supported strongly by DBA members was installing a banner over all or a portion of Highway 6 to give Dillon more visibility. Breckenridge and Frisco already use banners as a way to advertise town events.”It’s worth the cost to get bodies into the town,” Falcone said. While there may be issues associated with getting the banner over Highway 6 permitted through the Colorado Department of Transportation, Granbery said he thought it could be doable.Council members generally supported the concept, with reservations about whether it would be costly.”We need to get people to make that turn,” said councilwoman Lucinda Burns.Councilman Doug Roessel even said the Festival of Lights could be a good time to debut a banner.However, Granbery questioned whether such a project would be doable in the 2010 budget cycle.”The capital budget has taken some hits,” he said.SDN reporter Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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