Oktoberfest brings in big crowds to Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

Oktoberfest brings in big crowds to Breckenridge

Kathryn Turner
summit daily news

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

The town of Breckenridge is reporting that Oktoberfest was a major success, with preliminary estimates showing that event occupancy was the biggest of the summer season, possibly even larger than the Fourth of July.

The Breckenridge Resort Chamber knows of at least four lodging properties that were sold out on Saturday, and in terms of dollars spent on the street, Saturday was up 13 percent over last year. Overall, the event was up 27.5 percent from 2011, according to BRC spokeswoman Rachel Zerowin.

Occupancy overall was very strong over the weekend; it helps that it was a three-day event this year as opposed to two, which drove people to want to stay longer, according to Toby Babich, president of Breckenridge Resort Managers.

Over the years, it’s been exciting to see the event become something that’s a driver of both occupancy and revenue for the town, he said.

Anecdotally, the BRC has been hearing a lot of it’s due to word-of-mouth, Zerowin said. Promotions on the Front Range also helped to drive traffic, as did some of the new enhancements this year, like the Family Fun Zone on the Barney Ford House Museum lawn, Zerowin said.

“It’s an event that’s continuing to grow,” she said. “Every year we look at it, we recap it, and we try to figure out how to make it better.”

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Of course, this past weekend’s warm weather, coupled with the fall colors, didn’t hurt, Zerowin said.

The event always helps business at Ollie’s Pub and Grub on Main Street in Breckenridge.

“We look forward to that weekend,” said owner Alan Bullock. “It definitely benefits our business significantly … it’s easy to say that we tripled our business on Saturday, versus a normal Saturday.”

And despite the fact that it’s a drinking-oriented holiday, the pub doesn’t seem to run into alcohol-related problems, like bar fights.

“It seems like everyone’s respectful,” Bullock said.