Some Mt. CB staples, some reimagined events, and a couple biggies
By Kendra Walker
Mark your calendars – Mt. Crested Butte will soon be bustling with activities and events this winter season.
During their six-hour meeting on October 3, the Mt. Crested Butte town council awarded a total of $327,987.75 to nine community organizations for marketing initiatives and events taking place this upcoming winter season.
Twice a year, the town provides grant funding through its Admissions Tax to organizations bringing events to Mt. Crested Butte. Prior to the winter grant application cycle, the town had a balance of $1,108,086 in its Admissions Tax Grant Marketing Fund.
For the Winter 2023/24 Admissions Tax Grant cycle, the town council agreed to provide funding to A Bar Above, Adaptive Sports Center, Blister, Crested Butte Nordic, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation, the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce and Tough Enough to Wear Pink.
The council awarded grant funding for the following initiatives and events:
A Bar Above: $25,165
A Bar Above plans to include additional entertainment offerings from local musicians with live music seven days a week. The council awarded A Bar Above $21,165 for its winter music marketing.
Additionally, A Bar Above plans to bring more locals and visitors to the mountain during the winter months through a winter awareness marketing campaign. The council allotted $4,000 toward A Bar Above’s winter awareness marketing.
Adaptive Sports Center: $20,000
The Adaptive Sports Center is utilizing the grant funding to market its winter programming. The funds will also help the organization market its Access for All initiative to reach new participants from diverse and underserved populations and meet their annual goal of increasing programming by 24%.
Blister is holding is annual Blister Summit on February 4–9 and will utilize the town’s funding for marketing the event. The event is a five-day consumer-focused gear test and demo event that brings skiers and riders to CBMR to test gear, ride with brand founders and designers and attend nightly panel discussions. This winter’s event will have more focus on snowboarding gear than in previous years.
Crested Butte Nordic: $8,650
The council granted CB Nordic funding toward marketing its 2024 Winter Grand Traverse being held on March 29–30. The goal for this year’s event is to get a full roster of 500 racers/250 teams.
On February 4–11, CBMR is hosting the Natural Selection Tour snowboarding competition, which showcases some of the world’s top big mountain riders and Olympians in competition. The grant funds are going toward marketing the Natural Selection Live free concert on Wednesday, February 7. The entertainment has not been decided yet, but the hope is to attract guests from the Blister Summit, locals, and visitors to the base area.
The council discussed the difficulty in tracking successful return on investment (ROI) for this event; because it falls during the Blister Summit, it will be hard to differentiate visitors for Natural Selection versus the Blister Summit. However, they agreed it will be a huge draw in traffic to Mt. Crested Butte.
“It’s a great marketing piece for CBMR,” said Mt. CB marketing and communications officer Marisa Maudsley of the Natural Selection Tour. “It’s super cool, it will certainly put CBMR on a different level.”
“This shows we’re a partner with Vail and at some point, Vail will reciprocate,” said councilmember Michael Bacani.
Crested Butte Mountain
The Mountain Theatre will be holding two improv nights featuring the improv troupe Subject to Change at A Bar Above in November. The funds will go toward marketing the event. Councilmember Alec Lindeman is the CBMT executive director and recused himself from the council to speak as an applicant. Mayor Nicholas Kempin sits on the CBMT board and recused himself from the discussion as well. Dates have not been confirmed yet.
Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation: $21,000
The funds will be utilized for the Snowsports Foundation’s annual Snow Glow Dance Party on February 17. The event will support the organization’s scholarship programming. Based on feedback from last year’s event, the 2024 party will include a local DJ, will be geared toward families and take place earlier in the evening.
Chamber of Commerce: $20,000
The Chamber is bringing back its Crafted event, this time taking place on December 9–10 and reimagined as a holiday marketplace with gift options from Colorado-based crafters and makers for locals and visitors to purchase. It will be held at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square and overlap with the Mt. CB Light Up the Night event. The council granted the Chamber $10,000 toward Crafted.
Additionally, the Chamber plans to revamp its Mardi Gras celebrations by hosting an all-day, carnival celebration in Mt. Crested Butte on February 13 with a New Orleans-style band, parade and après. The council granted the Chamber $10,000 toward the Mardi Gras celebration.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink: $134,750
TETWP is holding its Songwriter Shuffle Winter Concert Series throughout the winter season to bring in well-known awarded winning Nashville singer-songwriters. The event is similar to the Mountain High Music Festival held in years past. There will be four different concert events being held in December, January, February and March.
“Of all the events I hear about, people want to see this event come back the most,” said Mt. CB events coordinator Rebecca Gagne.
Mountain Roots also applied for grant funding for a Food & Film event taking place in January or February, but did not answer staff or council questions or attend the meeting, so the council voted to deny the organization’s funding request for $6,600.
“This is free money, all you have to do is show up,” noted councilmember Steve Morris.