Snowmass returns some summer events to core
The Aspen Times
More of Snowmass’ summer events will be held in the mall and Base Village in 2016, a change in approach on the part of the tourism office’s events team that addresses a concern of some merchants and is expected to better accommodate those programs.
The land around Town Park, the area that includes the town’s recreation center, playing fields, rodeo grounds and a parking lot, is the largest swath of flat, town-owned open space in the village, making it ideal historically for such events as the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience. Two years ago, Snowmass Rotary decided to move its annual Wine Festival fundraiser there so that the event could grow, and the Mammoth Festival was held there the past three years.
But earlier this fall, Snowmass Tourism officials canceled Mammoth Fest, and on Thursday, they told the Marketing, Group Sales and Special Events Board they are partnering with the Colorado Brewers Guild for a craft beer event in Base Village and the mall on that mid-June weekend.
“We’ve heard what the people want,” said Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism. “People wanted Mammoth Fest in the core. This is in the core.”
The one-day event will feature a grand tasting, workshops, a 5K run and a free concert to start the village’s free summer music series. The Brewers Guild conducts these events, called the Craft Brew Rendezvous, in other cities, and they are some of its most well-attended programs, Abello said.
When it started, Mammoth Fest was a variation on the Chili Pepper & Brew Fest that took place on the mall and kicked off the summer events season in Snowmass for about 10 years. Many Snowmass merchants decried the move to Town Park, as it took foot traffic away from the village’s shops and restaurants.
Fred Brodsky, group sales director, noted the new event carries on the theme of a craft brew event in mid-June.
“One of the lessons we learned with Mammoth was we tried to force something that wasn’t a proper fit for Snowmass Village,” Brodsky said. “This is an opportunity to really grow something organically, and it’s not a big expense for us.”
The Colorado Scottish Festival, which after 50 years on the Front Range held its event in Snowmass Town Park last summer, will make the move to the core, as well, and will likely integrate the mountain into some of its activities, pending Forest Service approval.
Events in the core can now utilize flat space at the bottom of Fanny Hill thanks to a grading and landscaping project completed last year. That space accommodated about 500 people for Heritage Fire, a successful event that coincided with the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in the summer.
Special events have become the driving force behind summer tourism in Snowmass, which for the past two years has broken sales and lodging records for the season. While the calendar is not finalized, Snowmass Tourism already has announced many events for summer 2016, including the return of Heritage Fire and Grand Cochon over Food & Wine weekend, the AREDay Summit, Wanderlust yoga festival and Tough Mudder.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.