Business owners credit SnowGlobe with economic boost
January 3, 2013
All that remained of the SnowGlobe Music Festival venue Thursday were a few scattered boards and sections of chain link fence, but just because the revelers have departed doesn’t mean the event’s reverberations in the South Shore have stopped.
“We’ve had so much amazing, positive feedback. We feel great about it,” event producer Chad Donnelly said.
SnowGlobe attendees, which Donnelly said numbered around 40,000 for the whole series, brought a large cash influx to the city, according to various business owners.
Executive Director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority Carol Chaplin said the reports she’s heard so far have been mostly anecdotal, but the consensus seems to be that SnowGlobe had a positive economic impact on the community.
Various hotel owners told Chaplin that even though they didn’t discount the four-night minimum stay requirement over the New Year’s Eve weekend, business was still booming.
“I think it was definitely a good event. We were really surprised that the SnowGlobe demographic was willing to spend that additional night. It increased (the hotels’) percentage of single, young people,” Chaplin said.
Gaia Licious, a clothing and gifts boutique on Tallac Ave., also reported a highly profitable holiday weekend. Co-owner Kelly Brosch credits SnowGlobe with most of the traffic.
“After Christmas, people don’t shop but everyone was coming in and buying sprit hoods –the animal hats – gloves, scarves. They were looking for stuff that was warm and looked different. It was pretty obvious that it was for SnowGlobe. It was a great event and it’s great for the community,” Brosch said.
Brosch didn’t have specific numbers, but she estimated that this year brought about the same number of shoppers as the 2011 festival.
For some businesses, those numbers brought money but they also brought more chaos.
Jazz Kat Cafe waitress Mary Somma said that the restaurant was packed to maximum capacity throughout the weekend.
“It would be a lot better if it wasn’t on the same weekend as New Year’s. It was a big mess. We had so many customers in here we couldn’t make them happy,” Somma said.
Jazz Kat raked in about double what they would have on a normal weekend, but tips were down and diners complained of 45-minute waits, Somma said.
The cafe welcomed SnowGlobe customers last year when fewer tourists were in town for the new year because of lack of snow, Somma said. But having both concertgoers and New Year’s Eve revelers in town at the same time stretched the small cafe’s capacity.
Whether or not the music festival comes back for a third year has yet to be determined, but Donnelly said he’s confident the community wants SnowGlobe to return next January. He said they plan to refine the shuttle service and develop ways to shorten the lines that formed at security, but overall the event went as predicted.
“I think based on what we heard from the city, I would be very surprised if we were not welcomed back with open arms,” he said.
Lose something at SnowGlobe?
A lost and found for SnowGlobe attendees has been setup at the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, located at 1352 Johnson Blvd. Anyone who may have lost something can also contact the nonemergency line at 530-542-6100 with questions.