No Breckenridge Dew Tour?
Last month it was announced that Breckenridge would again host the Winter Dew Tour, or as I like to call it the newest rendition of the overly stagnated media frenzied X-Games. Fast forward to today and there’s a little piece in The Summit Daily about issues of money with having the event happen.
BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge Town Council has been asked to fork over $50,000 to help secure the town as a stop on the 2009-10 Winter Dew Tour, despite the event organizers’ announcement more than a month ago confirming the location.
“This money doesn’t exist in our budget,” Mayor John Warner said at last week’s council meeting, adding that putting up the Dew Tour money amid salary freezes could be sending a “mixed message.”
As the town sustains its third round of cuts to expenditures over the past year, council is considering a dip into reserves to ensure the national event’s broadcast from Breckenridge Ski Resort on Dec. 18-20.
The financial request is the result of the Alliance of Action Sports’ Winter Dew Tour organizers asking for double the complimentary lodging provided for last season’s event. Last year Beaver Run, ResortQuest and Breckenridge Hospitality provided nearly 500 gratis rooms valued at $64,000.
The town contributed $5,000 for marketing and more than $15,000 of in-kind support including police, public works and other services.
This year the Breckenridge organizing committee — comprised of marketing arms of the town, resort and Beaver Run — asks the town for $45,000 to be split among three lodging companies to help offset the cost of the additional free rooms. Another $5,000 is to help support two concerts planned as part of the event.
Adding further frustration, the Dew Tour organizers plan to have the event village at the base of Peak 8 rather than downtown.
A marquee event
Regardless, the town stands to reap some coveted benefits of market share and local business revenue from the large event. The Dew Tour includes top snowboarding and free-skiing talent that’s simulcast on network television to 50 countries.
TV ratings for last year’s Dew Tour, broadcast live on NBC, were higher than the ESPN X-Games — with the highest ranking among a key 25-45 year-old male demographic.
“It’s the marquee event,” Breckenridge Resort Chamber executive director John McMahon said last week. “It’s something we can really sink our teeth into.”
According to a memo the BRC provided to council, the Dew Tour brought more than $760,000 to Breckenridge.
But if the event indeed returns to Breckenridge, council members want more specific data — such as lift ticket sales.
“It feels like we’re going off pixie dust here. I’m not seeing any hard data,” Councilman Dave Rossi said at the meeting.
The Winter Dew Tour made its debut last year, and Breckenridge had hosted the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in the years before.
Last year “there was a buzz not here with the Grand Prix,” Councilwoman Jen McAtamney said of the town’s atmosphere, adding that she’d like the event to “become part of our brand.”
Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said the event could offer a financial boost to help “keep local businesses alive.”
The council is asked to decide on the issue by the end of this month.
Now this is a high profile event and since the Grand Prix has moved down the road to Copper there’s definitely a certain void left in its place. Will shelling out this much cash help the resorts image and marketing? It definitely can’t hurt it, but why should the cost be put back on the town when they’re already feeling the issues of this economy. Then again do we really need more parking lots and a wider road coming in to town? Guess we’ll find out what’s going on in the two weeks.