Montrose festival goes on as costs, fees increase
MONTROSE — It is costing organizers 10 times more to put on the weekly event, and vendors will pay higher fees to be part of the festivities, but Main in Motion begins its 10th season in downtown Montrose this evening.
Despite the rising costs, the popular summer festival continues, organizers said, because it is a critical investment for the city and its local businesses. The festival is scheduled each Thursday through Aug. 25, according to Montrose Downtown Development Authority President Bob Brown.
Last year, the city closed three Main Street blocks for the event at a cost of $600 for the entire season, according to acting Montrose City Manager Scott Sellers. This year, Main in Motion organizers secured two additional blocks for closure, which organizers say will provide greater safety for festival patrons. The cost this year for the city: about $11,700.
Sellers said the city’s costs are nearly $900 for each Main in Motion event, but it will charge only $500 per week, or $6,500 total for 13 weeks.
Sellers said the $6,500, which is $500 for each date, covers everything from garbage pickup to additional law enforcement needed for the added street closures.
Brown, a downtown business owner, said the DDA paid the $6,500 because the event is an important economic driver for the downtown district.
“This is a signature event. This is a way they could draw people from local, regional and further away,” he said.
Main in Motion also secured thousands of dollars in sponsorship funding, including a $13,000 donation from Flower Motor Co.
In recent weeks, Main in Motion organizers and city officials minced no words over fee increases. And Montrose County imposed new fees on food vendors that were not charged at previous Main in Motion events.
Organizers said new and increased fees threaten to hurt the festival, but city officials said the event has grown and has resulted in higher costs for the city.
Main in Motion board member and food vendor organizer Krista Montalvo said the new county fees have food vendors apprehensive, and as a result the number of vendor applications dropped from 28 in 2010 to just eight this year.
A food vendor must pay Main in Motion $255 for a license to operate during the event. New vendors must pay an additional $125 to the county. An additional $75 health inspector fee is being negotiated, Montalvo said.
“You don’t make money. It’s about being down there and being involved,” Montalvo said.