Music promoter has night(life) vision for Glenwood | AspenTimes.com

Music promoter has night(life) vision for Glenwood

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

John Stroud/Post IndependentEric Smith of Rifle, a longtime local musician and live music producer, has designs on bringing some more nightlife to Glenwood Springs by opening a new nightclub at Glenwood Meadows called Occam's Razor.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Musician friends of Eric Smith sometimes ask, “Is there anything you don’t like?”

And, to be honest, Smith admits his tastes, especially when it comes to music, are pretty wide-ranging.

“I can find something I like about almost every piece of music I’ve ever heard,” said Smith, a 31-year-old musician and concert promoter from Rifle.

It’s that philosophy which Smith and his business partner, Matt Bugielski, hope to bring to the Glenwood Springs entertainment scene soon.

They’re currently in the design phase for a new nightclub, called Occam’s Razor, to be located at Glenwood Meadows in the mixed-use zone on Wulfsohn Road near Market Street.

“We want to be open to everything … country, rock, pop, punk, metal, hip-hop, jazz … if it’s art, we want to promote it,” Smith said.

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Once financing is in place, he and Bugielski plan to submit a formal application to the city of Glenwood Springs for a major development permit to build a one-story, 4,962 square-foot venue for live music, theater and dance performances, with occupancy for up to 360 people.

At a conceptual review hearing in October, City Council members had the usual questions about parking, noise, crowd control and the like, but were generally supportive of the plan.

“We hear it a lot that there’s not much nightlife in Glenwood,” said Smith, who has promoted a variety of concerts and other events at various venues around the valley for several years.

“A lot of locals and people who are visiting are looking for something to do after dinner hours,” he said. “We’re not interested in opening another bar. There will be a bar, but we’re looking for more of the nightclub feel.”

The name, Occam’s Razor, comes from the principle attributed to 14th century English philosopher Father William of Ockham, where, in Smith’s words, “when presented with a series of questions, the simplest answer is probably the correct one.”

In his case, Smith, who grew up in Rifle, has been wanting to bring live music to the area for the last seven years. Initially, he and his like-minded musician friends looked at buying the old Rifle Creek movie theater before the city of Rifle beat them to the punch.

They went ahead and bought all the sound equipment and have been promoting shows at venues all along the Interstate 70 corridor. However, many of the venues are expensive to rent, and the shows typically break even at best.

“So, this is what we should have done seven, eight years ago … the simplest solution,” Smith said. “What we really need is to create one, localized venue where we can put on all these great shows.”

Smith has played drums in a variety of punk and metal bands since he was in middle school, and has a particular affinity for spoken word and rap. He started his own record label, Prophecy Records, in 2001, and has been working to promote local, regional and national touring artists since.

“Colorado is a huge music mecca,” he said. “I talk to a lot of bands who would love to play here in Glenwood, but there’s no place to go.”

He said he likes the vibe the Belly Up in Aspen has created, which is the kind of vibe he’d like to see in Glenwood Springs.

Smith also wants to cater to an all-ages audience. Occam’s Razor is proposed to have a main floor performance hall, with a bar on the mezzanine level where only those over age 21 would be allowed.

“It’s a way to give kids another thing to do here in town,” he said. “And, it ties in with the tourism goals of the city.”

Smith said he anticipates weeknight concerts with smaller audiences, and larger weekend shows that would attract more than 200 people.

“Large events will occur around 14 times per year which would anticipate full occupancy of the facility,” according to a memo provided to the city explaining the proposal.

jstroud@postindependent.com