Carbondale’s PAC3 looks to boost marketing

CARBONDALE, Colorado — A nonprofit performing arts center that’s been in existence here for a little more than a year now is looking to expand its marketing reach and help promote Carbondale as a live music destination.

Recent concerts at the PAC3, located in Carbondale’s Third Street Center, have included legendary acts such as Hot Tuna, David Grisman, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and New Riders of the Purple Sage.

This Friday brings folk/bluegrass artist Tim O’Brien, followed by more top musicians, comedy acts and cultural presentations scattered throughout August.

In fact, the PAC3 rivals some of the bigger-name resort venues in Aspen and Vail for its concert and event lineup.

But as PAC3 is still a fledgling nonprofit organization, concert promoter Josh Behrman has been limited in his ability to get the word out beyond a core group of local regulars.

“There is a big driving force now to boost sales tax revenues in the community,” Behrman pointed out during a recent request before the Garfield County commissioners for a $15,000 marketing grant.

Ticket buyers for PAC3 shows do come from all over Colorado but are mostly concentrated in the middle and upper Roaring Fork Valley, Behrman said.

With a stepped-up marketing effort, that reach could expand to the rest of Garfield County and throughout the region, he said.

“The PAC3 is the only venue of its kind in Garfield County presenting acts year-round,” Behrman wrote in his request to the commissioners.

“Almost all of our national acts have attracted fans from afar that have stayed in either Carbondale or Glenwood Springs lodging,” he said. “If given the opportunity to increase marketing and touch more out-of-town visitors, we could help put more heads in beds and bring more tax dollars to the county.”

Commissioners approved the $15,000 request, noting that the county has provided similar marketing sponsorships for events such as the Five Point Film Festival, Glenwood Springs Summer of Music and Rifle Rendezvous.

But the PAC3 must also raise an equal amount of matching dollars from other organizations, including private donations and in-kind support, before the county money will be handed over.

“I am amazed by the number of live entertainment venues there are in Carbondale, for a town without a large bed base,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky noted. Carbondale only has two local hotels and some smaller bed and breakfasts.

“We do like to see an equal matching amount for these types of grants,” Jankovsky said.

In addition to bringing in national and regional touring acts, the PAC3 also serves as a venue for rent to other local nonprofit organizations for fundraisers and other programs.

This summer’s Music Academy for area youth that was held at the PAC3 is one example, Third Street Center Executive Director Jody Ensign pointed out in a letter of support for the county grant.

“To the best of my knowledge, an academy such as this has not been available to young people in the mid-valley before,” she said.

Support letters also came from Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities Executive Director Amy Kimberly, Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot and Carbondale Chamber director Andrea Stewart.

“PAC3 really strives to work with other nonprofits on affordable solutions for rental space,” Bernot wrote. “I have received numerous positive comments from visitors on what a tremendous venue we have in PAC3.”

For more information on PAC3 and the upcoming schedule of events, visit www.pac3carbondale.com.

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