Dillon eyes amphitheatre improvements
summit daily news
The Town of Dillon is starting to look at possible ways to improve its amphitheater and eventually make it a more viable source of income. A Denver architect firm, Sink Combs Dethlefs, has been busy conducting market research and looking into future possibilities for the theater.
At the town’s March 1 work session, the firm presented its first round of research to council. They looked at outdoor amphitheaters of similar sizes – such as the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail – to see what they’ve done with their spaces, and how they’re doing financially.
Dan Burroughs, town engineer, said most of the examples they looked at are still being subsidized financially by the towns they’re in, but bring in some money through avenues like advertising.
Dillon’s amphitheater is also subsidized by the town. Council members and town staff discussed ways to bring in more money – like charging for certain concerts, or even allowing sponsorships so events would be free to the public. Burroughs said it might be hard to charge for concerts since there are already so many free events in Eagle County.
“It’s hard to compete with that and get people to go to a paid concert if they’re used to going to free events,” he said.
Burroughs said the firm is now looking into parking accessibility and the restroom issue. Currently, there are no restrooms available in the green room for performers, and there are not enough stalls in the ladies room. Burroughs said the concession stand is also in need of an update.
At work session, council also discussed the possibility of fencing. A fence would allow for better liquor control and allow the town to regulate paid concerts.
“We need somewhere event staff can say, ‘Hey you can’t bring your keg in here,'” Granbery said.
Burroughs said the firm is looking into the most pressing issues, and will get back to council within the next couple of months. Town staff can only take action on improvements after council has made a decision.
“Until town council decides what else they want to do with it, we don’t really have any direction to do any improvements,” he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Lucinda Burns said the town needs to take time to prioritize, and zero in on little improvements that need to be done. Town Manager Devin Granbery said whatever council decides to do, they need to make the venue sustainable financially.
“We’re losing money on it right now,” he said.
If the town is able to find a way to draw more business to the amphitheater, Granbery said more small businesses might be willing to set up shop downtown.
“People are going to take notice that it’s jumping in downtown Dillon,” he said.
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