Prowers Lodging Panel Approves Funds for Summer Music Festival

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The “Hotter than Hell Music & Art Festival” set for July 18 in Lamar, received $5,240 to pay for advertising and contract fees from the Prowers Lodging Tax Panel this past Tuesday, May 19.  Shawna Hodge, Executive Director for Lamar Partnerships Incorporated, presented an overview of the second annual daylong festival, set for downtown Lamar.

“We plan to have four musical acts lined up for that Saturday, including the headliners, Catfish Kray Blues Band from Denver and the Jeffrey Allan Band out of Colorado Springs,” she explained, adding that the two other bands have yet to be announced.  The music will concentrate this year on Classic Rock and Blues and the organizers are working to secure more street acts such as mimes, as well as to showcase art exhibits such as sculptures, jewelry, chalk fine art portraits, food and other vendors.  “We also want to showcase our local artists with their displays,” she added.

Using lessons learned from the first venture, the performances will start later and hopefully in cooler weather that day.  “It was just too hot for anyone to come out early and we didn’t have anyone in the beer tent until around 4 or 5pm last year.  This year, we won’t begin to have any performances until 4pm and that will carry through until midnight this time,” she explained.  Rose Ann Yates from the Festival and Denise Carder from LPI told the Panel that at least 10 motel rooms have been rented to accommodate the music performers and they hope that more will be rented, due in part, to the music portion of the evening running later that it did last year.  “We think this way, we may have more people stay over for the night instead of heading back to another city once the performances have ended at midnight,” stated Yates.  Hodge said she intends to use television advertising for the Festival, “Although it’s more costly, we’ve found we get more coverage over a greater area with the tv ads,” she explained.

The Festival’s funding request was granted following an executive session by the Panel, but it was not for the full amount of $6,550 that had been asked for, while still about $3,000 more than last year’s advertising request for the original Festival.

The amount of and the timing of funding requests for advertising and contract fees were discussed by the Panel at the conclusion of their monthly meeting.  The Panel returned to their ongoing discussion on the best means to assess a return on investment through booked motel rooms that these events bring before the Prowers County retailers.  While the funding is generated on the revenue from the rooms, it was generally acknowledged that other retailers benefit from the events through sales of meals, gas or visits to local stores.  The Panel is reviewing options of non local advertising to attract visitors from areas far enough away that a visitor would usually opt for an overnight stay instead of just a one day visit.  The size of contract fees is also under consideration.  “We don’t plan to eliminate them entirely,” stated Carla Scranton, Panel office manager, “but we will consider limiting how much we can contribute to them.”  Panel President, Pat Palmer, asked about the request from Fred Sherwood, representing the LCC Antelope Festival, about $9,200, “Do we want to table it for another month until our finances improve,” he said.  The Panel decided to delay funding for the September event.  Scranton said Sherwood had spoken to her about it and his event would not be impacted by a postponement of funding.  Palmer said his request would be kept at the top of the list.

The Panel delayed a decision on the Granada Kiosk Poster as some members felt that a portion of the design needed revamping as the graphics depicting a train were too small to be recognized and some of the script needed to be made more legible in a block letter format.  The posters will be placed to the rear of the kiosks set up at the Granada Amache Museum.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedFestivalGranadaLamarProwers CountyRecreationTourismTransportation


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