Festival food for thought......

Came across this, based on festivals in Manitou Springs, but expanded to include Colorado Springs..


Causes one to think...


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  • edited March 2015

    Thank you Marshall. This does cause one to think. But hopefully everyone also reads the comments section of this article for a little more perspective.

    As the owner of a restaurant located, basically, right across the highway from the festival, I'm extremely excited but also quite a bit freaked out about the festival. I think it's going to be a great thing for Salida and the exposure it will bring will last for years. I have made a couple of trips to Denver since the announcement and I have many many more people ask me about Salida and what it's like and walk away talking about how they need to visit. But I'm concerned about how we are going to feed that many people. I don't want to speak for all restaurant owners, but they have to be feeling a little bit the same. And for a town this size, we have a LOT of restaurants. But we will all still be completely swamped. How are we going to stock up and staff up enough to handle 3 times the crowds we see during Fibark? This might be a great opportunity for the people in town to pull together and help one another out? I know I will sure be looking for some temporary staff during that weekend and a little before to help get prepped up. If some of the other businesses in town will be slower maybe they have staff that can volunteer to help the restaurants and bars? At the end of the day, this is a service industry town and the money that people make in tips and that restaurants and bars make when busy gets spent at other places in town. So even though it's mostly the bars and restaurants that benefit during the actual event, it does branch out. I would love to see some of the energy that people are spending in a negative way about the event shift to a question of, if this is going to happen, how can I help my friends and neighbors. Because, in the end, that helps all of us.

  • Well said Julie. Banding together is the only way this is going to work. Certainly there will be food on the camping grounds for guests and locally provided, we hope. For the restaurants on the highway and downtown, seems like logistics are the key. Most are places with small kitchens and limited storage space. Some "pop-up" venues would help spread out the people, supplied from a central kitchen and storage area. I imagine Kalamapit will have their food truck out and others may come in from other towns.

    How about connecting with Madison House for ideas? They need to get everyone fed and happy and should be reaching out to all service providers like you to supplement the on site offerings. Collaborate with ALL the caterers and event planners in the area. They're use to high/peak volumes and prepping ahead. Seems like if several places scouted out a suitable place to cook in (even rent a mobile or field kitchen, maybe from Red Cross or National Guard?) and found common storage, then all could double their capacity AND spread out the distribution points beyond their four walls. Colorado Restaurant Association and the major distributors could team up to work out resupply and other questions. Recruiting temp staffers? Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation, SBA and Chamber of Commerce should be able to connect us with college kids, interns, etc. would love to work this "party" before school starts up again. Even the Governor's Office should be tapped for ideas on how to coordinate - they gave us a boost to win this plum.

    All easy for me to say, sitting on the outside and looking in while you all have day to day businesses to run. Chaffee County Commissioners, Salida City Council and our own City Events Coordinator Beatrice Price all need to help pull in these resources on behalf of the whole area. Else local businesses will max out the first hour and leave people hungering for more. Literally.

  • Yep, really easy for you to say, and easy for me to say too, as I plan on getting as far away from this "Plum" as you put it as I can get.

    It is good to hear from local businesses such as Julie_K owns, there should be a real concern here, on just how the local businesses affected will deal with this many folk all at once, demanding food, liquor and pot, which I predict will make up the bulk of the sales to the party goers. I can't think of one business in town, that can truthfully say they can handle a crowd of this magnitude, even if it's only for 2 days.

    Think about how long, under ideal conditions, it takes a restaurant to serve a meal, have it eaten and seat another guest at the table. Guessing here, but from my experience at Patio Pancake, it's at best 45 minutes, and again guessing they can seat and feed 150 folks. So say, optimistically, 200 meals an hour, to take advantage of this "Plum" they would open 24 hours, that's 4800 plates of food, prepped, cooked and served, and instead of one shift of 25 folks, they magically conjure up 2 other shifts of 25 that are trained to cook, serve and clean for 2 days only.. Not seeing it, even with the National Guard stepping in.

    Now, extrapolate that, with a lot of room for error, to 8 other restaurants, handling 4800 meals a day for 2 days. Yep, we can handle that, it's 38400 meals in 2 days. Of course every restaurant can handle this, 450 extra fully trained food service employees will magically descend on the area, refrigerated storage for approximately 30 semi trucks of food will magically appear, and everything will go off like clockwork. Or not. This is only one meal per day, per person attending the shindig.

    I think the hardest hit will be the local pot shops, followed closely by the liquor stores. If every ticket purchaser bought only a 6 pack over the 2 days, that's 35000 six packs, A 52' truck trailer has a capacity of about 3800 ft³.Typical U.S. beer case dimensions are 16 x 16 x 24 inches - that's 6,144 in³ or 3.5556 ft³ in capacity. Beer cases of this size usually hold 24 bottles or cans of beer.

    So dividing 3,800 by 3.5556, we get approximately 1,069 cases of beer. If each case holds 24 bottles or cans of beer, there will be about 25,656 bottles/cans of beer in that trailer., and the revelers will want cold beer, so there's more refrigerated storage for 33 semi truck loads of 846,648 bottles of beer.

    If demographics play any part in this, at least 35% of them are going to want to buy "Legal Pot" and of course want some to take home with them, that's a LOT of pot. Not gonna talk about the 33 semi loads of empty beer bottles / cans, that's 15 semi loads of recyclables a day not counting the trash from the meals !!

    Now, bear with me on this. Supposing that the restaurants pot shops and liquor stores can't keep up the 24 hour a day pace with temporary workers, Safeway, Wal Mart and the local convenience stores are all out of "munchies", where will the drunken stoned revelers go, what will they do ? Perhaps have a "sit in" to protest the lack of beer / pot / food ? Or start a riot ? "Crowd mentality" is a very real thing. Here is where the Red Cross and National Guard will come in to play..

    Just saying. I'm sure there will be a lot of folk that disagree with me, and I hope I'm wrong, but the numbers can't lie that much, and things such as this festival have gone wrong before. Even if you halve the numbers above, that's still a lot of food, beer and pot.

    But everyone's gonna get rich, right ? So it's all OK..

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