Outdoor entertainment on Aspen’s pedestrian malls? | AspenTimes.com

Outdoor entertainment on Aspen’s pedestrian malls?

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” This summer Aspen’s pedestrian malls could be teeming with live entertainment that appeals to the musical senses and kids’ imaginations.

That’s what $22,500 could buy if the Aspen City Council on Tuesday agrees to dole out cash to fund a 10-week entertainment program that includes live musicians and entertainment geared toward kids on the Hyman and Cooper avenue malls.

“Our goal is to have four locations on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” said Andrew Kole, a member of the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, or CCLC, which is asking the council for $15,000 to fund the program.

Each day from 5 to 8 p.m., two musical acts, and two family acts would be booked on the mall. Musical acts would be located at the clock tower and at the end of the Hyman Avenue mall on the Galena Street corner. The family acts would be located at the water fountain off the Hyman Avenue mall, and at the visitors information booth on the Cooper Avenue mall. The CCLC’s plan is to spend $500 a day for all of the acts, which amounts to $2,000 a week, or a projected $20,000 or so for 10 weeks.

Kole said the CCLC 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 approached the council earlier this month to gauge interest in funding the program. Council members told him to find outside funding sources and they would consider additional financial support.

Given the current economic conditions that are resulting in store closures in the downtown core, live entertainment might help the mood, Kole said.

“The goal is to provide some vibrancy to the mall so when people walk away, they say, ‘That was fun, we had a good time,'” Kole said. “We want a walk-away, feel-good vitality.”

The program would run from June 24 to Labor Day. Kole said family acts could include 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.

Musicians are estimated to be paid $150 for each gig and family entertainment will cost $100 per performance. Local talent would be hired through the CCLC.