What if Nederland events went away?
The Nederland area is known for its events. Ranging from Frozen Dead
Guy Days and famous fireworks displays to the High Peaks Art Festival
and the Enchanted Forest, these events attract visitors to the area
from all over the Front Range and beyond. Former residents, tourists
and interested folks plan a year ahead to come from all over the world
to attend these attractions. Many of these events have received
support from the Town of Nederland through Boulder County Economic
Development grants in the past. This year the town has decided not to
participate in any events and has disappointed hundreds, if not
thousands of people that plan their vacations to be here, in our
Last week, a Board-directed proposal was presented and accepted by the
Nederland Board of Trustees that eliminates the funding of these
events and replaces it with a Winter Economic Boost program called
NEDWEB. The program is designed to boost revenue for businesses during
the slow time of the year. This program would directly support my
business financially and I do NOT support the program.
According to a proposal presented to the Board at its Oct. 2 meeting
by Town Clerk Teresa Myers, Nederland’s Economic Development Grant has
been $6,000 for the last several years and is projected to be $6,000
again next year. Meyers proposed taking $1,000 of that toward
administrative costs of the NEDWEB program and $5,000 toward actual
Under this proposal, during the months of January through May, a
limited number of residents that present to the Clerk’s office $100 in
receipts from Nederland businesses or service providers on the
Nederland “Good Neighbor Business” list would each receive a $15
voucher good as cash at any Nederland “Good Neighbor Business.” The
business could redeem the voucher for its full $15 value, plus an
extra $1 handling fee at Town Hall. Myers said this project in
conjunction with the Nederland Chamber of Commerce would encourage
residents to shop local twice.
While this plan has some interesting ideas, it would not generate any
revenue for the Town, instead the Town would lose the income from the
many events supported by the grant funds. If these events no longer
continue, Nederland businesses would lose revenue from the many
tourists and visitors. The events impacted by loss of funds include
Wild Bear Enchanted Forest, High Peaks Art Festival, Miners’ and Old
Timers’ Day Festivals (since 1952), NederNederland 5K&10K, Nederland
Fireworks and Parade, Nederland Community Champions Awards and Taste
of the Peaks Competition, Frozen Dead Guy Days and the Holiday
For the High Peaks Art Festival, the Town received a $200 event
permit, a $75 noise variance permit and $382.50 for Public Works for
cleaning the Visitors’ Center parking lot. Sales tax that the Town
received from High Peaks Art Festival artists totals $1,382. Local
restaurants had booths and they paid sales tax too.
For Miners’ and Old Timers’ Days festivals the town received $475 in
fees for event permits. Teens Inc. received $200.00 in rental fees,
LOCAL vendors displayed their wares and local restaurants contributed
food. Residents of town as well as competitors from other parts of
Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and New Mexico participated in these
events. Over $7000.00 was paid out to competitors. These out of town
folks stayed in local hotels, frequented local restaurants and
participated in late night music at area venues. This event costs over
$12,000.00 to run.
Community Champions spent over $1000.00 in the community to provide a
meal to 136 people. The event is a celebration of what a great place
Nederland is and why we choose to live here. The event costs over
$1300.00 to run.
Numbers are still coming in from other events, but given adequate time
to respond, I believe each event that received economic development
grant money would respond in kind with facts and figures of why these
events are so important to our community.
If each event raises almost $2,000 for the Town, that soon makes up
for the $6,000 spent. That does not count money made by all of the
businesses in the area. What revenue will NEDWEB generate? Sales tax
from 66 residents? Does that outweigh the sales tax from the thousands
of visitors who flood businesses during these attractions?
This is not the kind of progress Nederland needs.