Brooke Jones and Tim Huff, of Grand Junction, enjoy their beers during the inaugural OktoberWest in 2009 at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. OktoberWest received $10,000 from the city for 2010’s event.

File Photo

Brooke Jones and Tim Huff, of Grand Junction, enjoy their beers during the inaugural OktoberWest in 2009 at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. OktoberWest received $10,000 from the city for 2010’s event.

Funding allocated for summer events in Steamboat

$75,000 divided among local seasonal events

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Summer events

A partial list of the events that received special event funding for 2010:

Steamboat Wine Festival: Aug. 4 to 8, $7,000

Rocky Mountain Bull Bash: Sept. 5, $2,500

Steamboat Running Series: $3,000

Free Summer Concert Series: $6,000

Wild West Air Fest: $4,000

Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series: $5,000

Stock Dog Challenge: Sept. 4 to 6, $1,500

Cow Town Ranch Tours: $1,500

Some events that were not funded:

Strings Free Jazz/Classical: Aug. 1

Sisters in Steamboat: Oct. 15 to 17

Artists in the Mountain

Picnic Theater Festival: July 9 to 25

Kitball Klassic: Sept. 24 to 25

Strings Commemorative Concert Series

— For promoters of new events who were hoping to get a chunk of the $75,000 supplied by the city of Steamboat Springs to increase tourism this summer, the word “bicycling” was a door opener.

The new Ride4Yellow mountain biking event affiliated with the Lance Armstrong Foun­dation will receive $2,000 of the $3,000 it requested for its inaugural year.

And Strings Music Festival cleverly added a bicycle route map to the homes in its long-standing High Country Kitchen and Garden Tour, earning it $1,250 of the $1,344 it requested. It didn’t hurt that the July 17 date of the tour coincides with the Tour de Steamboat bicycle race, which was awarded $5,250 of the $7,500 its organizers requested.

Kara Givnish, Steamboat Springs Cham­ber Resort Asso­ci­ation special event coordinator, said most event organizers asked for increased funding this winter and all but a few that received funding got less than they asked for.

“I think some people didn’t anticipate losing other sponsorships,” Givnish said.

The $75,000 allocated in the city’s 2010 budget to support events that attract tourists and thus prime the pump for sales tax revenues was down $24,400 from the amount allocated in summer 2009, but Givnish said those figures were misleading.

The city appropriated $100,000 in 2008 with the specific intent that $25,000 of the total be directed to two new events that had the potential to drive an increase in tax revenues.

None of the events proposed in 2008 rose to that level, Givnish explained, and the extra $25,000 was carried forward to 2009, when it was used to establish the All Arts Festival and OktoberWest, with combined funding of $40,000. The All Arts Fest requested $15,000 and received the full amount this year. Similarly, Ok­­toberWest re­­ceived the $10,000 it asked for.

Although many people would have liked to see funding remain at $100,000, Givnish said the city’s revenue shortfalls dictated otherwise and that the 2008 funding was seen as a one-time event.

Chamber Ex­­ecutive Vice President Sandy Evans Hall told the City Council in February that the Special Events Funding Com­mittee tries to place proposed events in one of two categories, satisfiers and motivators.

Satisfiers are events that serve to enhance visitors’ experiences on vacation in Steamboat but don’t necessarily play a major role in the decision to come to the Yampa Valley.

Motivators, on the other hand, attract tourists and thus receive greater emphasis in the allocation of summer event funding.

Givnish said some events did not receive event funding because they were deemed more suitably supported by the Arts Coalition.

Members of the Special Events Funding Committee are Cari Hermacinski, Evans Hall, Jim Schneider, Barbara Robinson, Stacy Huffman and Jeff Steinke.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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