Jill Beathard

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January 22, 2013
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Will volleyball tourney give summer a bump?

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - A Colorado operator of volleyball tournaments has teamed up with Snowmass Tourism to bring a competitive tournament to the Village this summer. Part of a new approach to summer marketing by the department, Snowmass Doubles Volleyball is expected to bring in about 150 teams, or 400 guests, including friends and family, according to a statement. Games will be played on the grass fields and sand courts adjacent to the Recreation Center as well as on the beach court in Base Village from July 25 to 28. The town department is partnering with Volleyball of the Rockies to bring the event to Snowmass. The Denver-based business, which primarily focuses on adult volleyball programming, also operates two other summer tournaments in the mountains, in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge. The Colorado series of tournaments also will have stops in Denver and Broomfield, but having events in the mountains gives Front Range participants a good excuse to visit, owner Tom Davenport said. Davenport said the Breckenridge tourney has grown to include 500 teams. There's only court space in Snowmass to support 200 teams in a three-day competition. It can't ever be as big as the others, so Davenport hopes to make it special by "just really taking care of the customers." A statement from Snowmass Tourism said the players will have a VIP area at the Thursday night concert, a pool party and a night of dancing at Base Camp Bar & Grill over the weekend. Recruiting the volleyball tourney is part of Snowmass Tourism's new emphasis on marketing to Denver-based social and recreational groups. A national kickball tournament and Ferrari expo are also coming to Snowmass this summer. "One thing I've been trying to push in the Snowmass Tourism department ... is these groups that can also double as events," said Dave Elkan, special events contractor. They not only fill hotel rooms, but they also create vibrancy in the Village, Elkan said. "It brings a fair amount of people, and we're also going to market to those people" by making them stay longer, said Fred Brodsky, group sales director. Brodsky said the department expects most of the volleyball players to stay in the Village. "It brings a great quality of guest," Brodsky added. Elkan described the group coming to play kickball as people mostly in their late 20s to late 30s, with dual as well as disposable income, and who might have kids. The events are produced by businesses such as Volleyball of the Rockies that see value in them for their members. "(These events) don't take an enormous investment, like some of the other events that we have to start from scratch," Elkan said. Kick My Snowmass will be produced by the World Adult Kickball Association, which has leagues in more than 35 states. "All they do is just have a blast and play kickball," Elkan said. The Rocky Mountain Ferrari Club event will overlap the wine and balloon festivals in September, which would allow the department to create "a really neat event" without too much extra cost, Elkan said."And the Ferrari club will buy Rotary (wine festival) tickets," Elkan added. The Ragnar Relay, whose 1,500 runners finished a 188-mile race in Snowmass Village last year, is on the calendar again for this summer, too. jbeathard@snowmasssun.com

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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 22, 2013 05:47PM Published Jan 22, 2013 05:44PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.