Breckenridge to pursue bigger business
Town considers options for Riverwalk Center, other amenities
June 5, 2011
Breckenridge — The town of Breckenridge has begun to explore a broader business model for the Riverwalk Center, as well as the Breckenridge Recreation Center and the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.
If promoted or made available to new events, groups and users, the facilities, in which the town has invested millions, could become important economic drivers for the community, some council members said.
"We've got great town assets," Councilman Mike Dudick said. "We just want to figure out how to leverage them into more and higher-dollar tourism."
The Riverwalk Center, a 19-year-old performance center that recently became a year-round venue with the addition of a permanent roof, is the home of the National Repertory Orchestra and the Breckenridge Music Festival and hosts the occasional wedding or conference.
But the hype around the Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt concert, a high-profile show set for later this month, is casting the once quaint local music venue in a whole new light.
"I think there's a lot of excitement about this concert," Dudick said. "I think that the concept of Breck being more of a concert destination has a lot of traction."
Dudick noted that people coming in for a concert might also eat in town before the show and even stay overnight, benefiting local businesses.
Town officials also are looking at boosting wedding, conference and special event business at the Riverwalk Center. Dudick suggested the town might begin booking hockey tournaments at the ice arena.
"(There is) a green light for staff to think about booking our facilities in a different way," Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said.
The consistent challenges to accepting or actively seeking new business for town facilities are a lack of staff time and scheduling conflicts, as the limited number of prime summer dates are in high demand. Breckenridge officials said they hope to begin booking more and a wider variety of events, particularly at the Riverwalk Center, without displacing the facility's anchor tenants: the NRO and the Breckenridge Music Festival.
The two offer primarily classical music concerts on key dates throughout the summer, usually drawing crowds of about 500 to the nearly 800-seat venue.