MontBleu will have outdoor concert series
April 20, 2012
The chairman of the Douglas County Commission didn’t use the same words as those screamed in an AC/DC song, but his message on Thursday was the same: “Let there be rock.”
Stateline’s summer music scene has exponentially expanded, spanning both sides of the casino corridor. A music venue will be built at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, the site of a six- to 10-show 2012 Summer Concert Series, Director of Marketing Mike Donovan said Friday.
A summer concert series across the street at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys already has 10 concerts confirmed. Douglas Commissioner Lee Bonner enthusiastically endorsed the events, approving the permits and encouraging Harveys to book as many as 15 shows, said John Packer, Harrah’s-Harveys director of entertainment.
The MontBleu Amphitheater will feature a lawn for a general admission crowd with a fire marshal-approved capacity of 4,218 – a day on the green at Bleu, if you will. Donovan said he expects to announce the bands in the next two weeks, but he has tentative dates set: June 30, July 7, 14, 26, Aug. 4 and Sept. 2. None of the shows will be on the same night of the Harveys events. Each venue will present different kinds of music.
“We’re looking to do more rock ‘n’ roll, reggae acts, electronica DJs,” Donovan said. “Definitely a younger crowd and different genre than Harrah’s-Harveys does.”
Harveys scheduled classic rock groups such as Journey, the Beach Boys and Chicago, along with country bands Brad Paisley, Sugarland and Toby Keith.
“The shows will complement each other rather than conflict,” Packer said.
Heavy bass that resonated from New Year’s SnowGlobe Festival at Lake Tahoe Community College caused a controversy, but Donovan does not expect noise complaints. He said the music will stop by 11 p.m.
The stage will face north toward MontBleu.
“I think our building is going to block the majority of the sound from going anywhere,” Donovan said. “So unless you’re staying at MontBleu, you’re probably not going to hear a whole lot. And if you are staying at MontBleu, you’re probably going to get a free show from your hotel room.”
The outside area was used for a Caesars Tahoe venue for boxing matches featuring Evandar Holyfield and Tony Lopez. The last time it was used was 2006, the year the casino was renamed MontBleu. Juan and Manuel Marquez fought world title matches in August 2006 and pro beach volleyball was featured in September.
“The commissioners actually wanted us and Harveys to do as many as we wanted, so I think they might push us up to 10 and Harveys up a couple of more,” Donovan said. “It’s kind of late in this stage of the game to book more, but if there’s an opportunity to book more, we might. As of now we’re confirmed for six outdoor concerts.”
A late arriving and somewhat sluggish winter ski season at South Shore will be followed by a summer filled with major attractions for visitors with the American Century Championship, Fourth of July, Labor Day and now at least 16 outdoor concerts.
“We know that those events drive overnight stays,” Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority’s Executive Director Carol Chaplin said. “So to have another venue like that is incredible, and the other thing is it’s in a part of town that we know can tolerate, if you will, that type of event. The only unfortunate thing that I would say is that it really begs that we could use an indoor venue that allows seating to that capacity, and good on both of our partners for being creative in finding a way to execute those events without that infrastructure.”
Early this winter, Harveys secured the pop band Maroon 5 for July 21 during the celebrity golf weekend. The momentum from that show led to more bands being booked earlier than usual, Packer said. The modern era of the Harveys outdoor series began in 2002 after it was acquired by Harrah’s. It typically has about 10 shows.
Nine Harveys shows have been announced and a 10th show Sept. 1 has been confirmed but the band has not been named.
Because Tahoe always has potential for late spring and early autumn snowstorms, there is a very small window to present outdoor events. In addition, most national touring bands have by now set schedules. But Harveys is leaving its window open, Packer said, recalling summer 2007.
Stevie Wonder, who went on tour for the first time in 15 years, was booked three weeks before he played. It was a sellout.
“The Douglas County Commissioners are really supportive of what we’ve been doing over these last years for concerts, and they see it as a great attraction and great for tourism,” Packer said. “It’s been proved that it’s a great economic boost for the entire area, not just Douglas County but for the whole South Lake Tahoe area.”
“We want to have every weekend this summer have huge acts up here,” he said. “So If Harrah’s-Harveys hasn’t filled a hole, we’d like to try.”
Sacre bleu! MontBleu will fill a hole at Stateline.