It’s time to unite county promotion |

It’s time to unite county promotion

The summertime music scene in Summit County is reaching a crescendo. There is so much music in so many places. On the whole, this is a good thing.

Music is a proven cultural attraction enjoyed by locals, visitors and second homeowners alike. Aspen learned long ago that a vibrant summertime cultural scene is a proven economic generator.

The question to sort out for Summit County is how to shape our summertime music scene into a coherent attraction understood by the outside world. Don’t forget to toss a dynamic community theater and history into the mix.

Currently, Copper, Keystone, the Breckenridge Music Festival – encompassing the Blue River Series, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Breckenridge Music Institute Orchestra – the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre and the Silverthorne Town Pavilion vie for the same people, most of whom are already here, or just down the road in the Denver metro area.

In some instances, ticket sales are suffering because of what might be called the in-house competition.

In the last century, similar problems were perceived with the county’s four ski resorts. The solution was the Ski the Summit promotional organization. That good idea ended with the consolidation of ski resort ownership in the late 1990s and the cutthroat competition between Intrawest and Vail Resorts.

In the last two years, the Summit County Chamber of Commerce has tried to resurrect the idea of promoting the county as a whole with its Experience the Summit campaign, a grassroots effort lacking significant funding and buy-in.

The summertime music scene has Experience the Summit written all over it.

Meanwhile, Summit County’s sales tax collectors and merchants continue to sing the blues about business being down. At what point will the smart people in this county figure out how to talk about the whole county, not just parts of it?

Don’t look for that leadership from Vail Resorts or Intrawest, for obvious reasons. It has to come from the general business and arts communities.

Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Jason Starr, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Aidan Leonard and Martha Lunsky.

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