WINTER PARK - The SnowBall Music Festival has announced its 2013 event will be held in the Fraser Valley at Grand Park on March 8, 9, and 10, 2013.
Known for bringing big names in the music world to small mountain towns in Colorado, SnowBall took place in Avon the past two years and is now making the move to Winter Park.
Catherine Ross, executive director of the Winter Park-Fraser Chamber of Commerce, which is acting as liaison between the event organizers and businesses in the county, expressed her excitement about the event.
"[The Chamber's] purpose is to provide business opportunities to the businesses in the community and we feel [SnowBall] will drive business," she said.
Last year the event brought more than 8,000 people to Avon, and this year's SnowBall is expected to bring 8,000 to 10,000 people. Winter park has not hosted an event of this size since Widespread Panic played a live show at Winter Park Resort in 2006, according to Ross.
"I'm sure there are some people who have concerns," Ross said. "But most of the people I have talked to are excited."
Clark Lipscomb, president of Grand Park, also expressed his excitement about the coming three-day festival.
Lipscomb stated that he has generally found that people are respectful of property and that using that property to benefit the valley will be a good thing.
"[SnowBall] will be a great opportunity for the valley to expose themselves to the younger generation," Lipscomb said.
Ross also stated that this event will be a good way for Winter Park to be exposed to the younger demographic group that accompanies the event to show them "how great Winter Park is," she said. The event attracts people primarily in the 18-35 age group.
"It's a fun group and a fun event," Ross said. "We know we have challenges, but we can handle it."
The large influx of people for that weekend should be a welcome boost to the local economy, and Ross said she has started to work with a number of businesses to create business models that will complement the event.
Ross has been working with restaurants to see if they want to create late night menus and she has also been in contact with lodging companies to start to create three-day packages for the event.
Ross said she believes people will be seeking lodging as far away as Granby and therefore hopes that the event will have a positive impact on more towns than just Winter Park and Fraser.
Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin said the town has already worked some funds into their budget for equipment costs and other expenses the town plans to incur in relation to the event.
Ross is preparing for the first meeting with the event's organizers, which will begin to broach some of the issues surrounding such a large event such as the need for security.
Last year in Avon, 40 people were arrested during the concert on felony charges, while 100 people were ticketed for lesser charges, according to an article published in the Vail Daily on March 6.
Officers in Winter Park have already begun establishing contact with Avon police to discuss the previous year's shows and the enforcement issues that arose.
Ross commented that local law enforcement agencies have the proper experience to handle an event like this and that it was important to make sure the agencies had the proper resources they need to keep everybody safe.
"I have extreme confidence in our law enforcement teams in the county," Ross said.
"It's a little nerve racking at the moment and there is a lot of work to be done," Ross said. "But I think it will be fun."
Event organizers have yet to release the lineup of artists for the show. However, they plan on releasing the names of the artists over the next few months.
Those interested can check the updates on the lineup by visiting the event's website at snowballmusicfestival.com or by checking out the Winter Park-Fraser Chamber of Commerce's website at playwinterpark.com.