Denver Parks and Recreation is getting closer to creating its
rules for Admission Based Events in several city parks. (This article
is by Elisa Cohen, published in the North Denver Tribune.)
After a three-year process led by a taskforce and guided by
public input from public meetings, the Denver Parks and Recreation
department is holding one last public meeting on August 12 to hear
more comments from the public before Parks Manager Kevin Patterson
finalizes the rules.
An Admission Based Event is one in which attendees pay for a
ticket to attend. Such events could be school fundraising events,
registered neighborhood organization fundraisers, concerts, or other
City Park, Civic Center Park, Confluence Park, Skyline Park,
Sloan’s Lake park, Central Park – Stapleton, Parkfield Park, and Ruby
Hill Park are the parks that will be open to admission based events if
Denver Parks and Recreation moves forward with this permitting plan.
After hearing many inquiries from a variety of organizations
about using the parks for ticketed usage, Chantal Unfug with Denver
Parks and Recreation, said she contacted over 60 cities around the
nation to determine the feasibility of creating an admission based
permit. After hearing from all of these cities that they did have such
permits, Denver Parks and Recreation launched the taskforce to explore
how this could work in Denver.
Protecting the parks and minimizing impacts on neighbors guided
their thoughts. After analyzing a complex scheduling matrix that gives
priority to open, free events and previously scheduled park usage,
Parks and Recreation will then schedule admission based events in a
manner that does not damage the sod or negatively impact the residents
Unfug shared that Swallow Hill, the non-profit music
organization, had approached Denver Parks with the idea of creating
low-cost Sunday afternoon concerts at Ruby Hill. As a non-profit they
could not afford to stage the concerts for free, but their intention
is to have the tickets be around $3.
All events will comply with the park curfews so no event will
take place later than 11pm. The event organizers will also have to
comply with the Department of Environmental Health’s rules about
decibel levels near residences.
Unlike the major festivals like the People’s Fair or the Taste of
Colorado, these smaller events will take up no more that 20 percent of
any given park and in many cases will take up less than two to three
percent of the park space. This will ensure residents will have access
to the parks despite an event taking place.
Denver Parks and Recreation have created a financial mechanism by
which a percentage of the sales of tickets will be used directly for
the parks in which the events take place. The idea was to ensure
Larry Ambrose, the president of Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood
Association, opposes the idea. Ambrose wrote in an email to his
membership that a specific Festival Park downtown should be designated
as the sole location for events that charge admission.
Cross-posted from northdenvertribune.com