First-year costs keep BBQ profits low |

First-year costs keep BBQ profits low

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Despite some big appetites in attendance, profits from the inaugural BBQ at the Summit in Dillon were much lower than expected. organizers say they're confidenct the event will be more of a financial success this summer.

DILLON – A venue change for the BBQ at the Summit may have been the reason the Summit County Rotary Club raised $10,000 less than members expected.The BBQ at the Summit, the Rotary’s signature event, is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and was held in Dillon for the first time last summer. The Rotary Club had held the event in Frisco for eight years, but moved to Dillon when the town of Frisco opted to hold the event in June instead of August.”This is like starting over from the beginning for us,” Rotarian Judi LaPoint said. “It’s a growth year … People will get used to finding Dillon.”LaPoint said the Rotary Club expected to take in anywhere from $12,000 to $13,000 from last August’s event. Instead, it walked away with almost $3,000. The event’s first year in Frisco netted $7,000.

“Did we make as much money as we wanted to make? No. Did we build for the future? Yes,” LaPoint explained.The Summit County Rotary Club doles out $65,000 a year to fund local scholarships and the Summit Community Care Clinic.The club relies heavily on its many fundraisers to fulfill those monetary promises and, in the past, it has taken in as much as $37,000 at its annual barbecue event.The total proceeds from BBQ at the Summit were nearly $7,000, but the club incurred a number of one-time capital costs that it won’t have to pay again.For instance, organizers purchased fire hydrant caps that allow the hydrants to act more like a garden spigot. The caps made is possible for every barbecue team to have water readily available. They also bought extension cord covers for the sidewalks to prevent event-goers from tripping. The town agrees that its first year hosting the barbecue could have been more successful.

“(The numbers) weren’t as high as we’d hoped, but better than we expected,” said Sally Croker, event and marketing manager for the town of Dillon.The town contributed $58,000 to the event – $10,000 in cash and $48,000 toward in-kind services, such as employee work hours.The town doesn’t make any profit off the food festivities. Instead it relies on the indirect benefits of hosting a popular event, Croker said.Dillon took over the fundraiser after Frisco Main Street business owners complained that the August date negatively impacted their summertime income.The Frisco Town Council voted to move the event to June, but the Rotary decided it was too risky to bring in the barbecues that early because of the possibility of bad weather.Instead, it moved its fundraiser to Dillon, which was willing to host the barbecue in August.

Frisco still hosts its own event in June.”I think Summit County is definitely big enough to have two barbecue’s,” LaPoint said.LaPoint is confident that its more established events, such as the ice melt and the ice ball, will help to make up for the money that wasn’t made at the barbecue.The Rotary is also starting up two new fundraisers this year, a poker tournament and a ski ball at Arapahoe Basin, that should be successful, LaPoint said.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or at

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