Aspen council finds $15K for live mall entertainment |

Aspen council finds $15K for live mall entertainment

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Aspen City Council on Tuesday approved giving $15,000 to pay for live entertainment along the city’s pedestrian malls this summer.

The money will fund a 10-week entertainment program that includes live musicians and entertainment geared toward kids, on the Hyman and Cooper avenue malls.

The performers will be working the crowds from Wednesday through Saturday from roughly 5 to 8 p.m. The program will begin June 24 and run through Labor Day.

The request came from Andrew Kole, a member of the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, or CCLC.

Mayor Mick Ireland and other council members stressed that whatever acts Kole books with the help of city staff not be in competition with Aspen Music Festival students, who rely on tips gathered from their street performances throughout the summer.

Kole said he had already considered that and will make sure new acts will be positioned away from music students in the downtown core.

Musical acts will be located at the clock tower and at the end of the Hyman Avenue mall on the Galena Street corner. The family acts will be located at the water fountain off the Hyman Avenue mall, and at the visitor’s information booth on the Cooper Avenue mall.

Council members Jackie Kasabach and Jack Johnson questioned whether live entertainment would actually generate more shoppers and commerce downtown since many retail stores close at 5 p.m.

Kole said he would reach out to retailers and ask them to stay open longer. If the program doesn’t appear to be working or invigorating the evening vitality of the downtown core, the program can be reworked, he said.

Johnson said he would like Kole to do some analysis at the end of the summer to see if the expenditure of public moneys translated into increased business for local shops.

The CCLC also has a $5,000 commitment from area landlords to help offset the costs. Another $5,000 will come from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, of which CCLC will pay $2,500 toward a Fourth of July event featuring dancing in the street.

Kole said family acts will include balloon artists, jugglers and mimes, and the musical entertainment is envisioned to be solo or small acts that are similar to what is booked at the local farmers’ market.