Seven Peaks, Early Iron take over
Labor Day Weekend
KALE Mortensen confesses he isn’t much of a music festival goer, but you’ll find him this weekend among the masses at the Seven Peaks Festival near Villa Grove.
Mortensen is head of tourism for Alamosa, and while he’s not attending Seven Peaks as part of his job per se, he will undoubtedly find a lot of takeaways from the largest event the San Luis Valley has ever hosted.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. I’m not a festival person,” Mortensen said. The draw was the headliners coming in, Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, among others, he said. “Then the fact that it’s right down the road.”
Hard to pass up. Understood. So get ready for the crowds and the crowded roadways.
“It’s going to be a really busy weekend in the San Luis Valley and southwestern Colorado,” David Osborn said to the Valley’s emergency responders during their weekly huddle ahead of the Labor Day Weekend.
Osborn is regional field operations manager in the San Luis Valley for the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. He ticked off Seven Peaks, the annual Early Iron Festival car show in Alamosa, and the Four Corners Motorcycle rally in Durango as all crowding the roadways and bringing crowds into the area.
“This will be a busy, busy weekend,” he said.
So far, it’s been a slower summer for tourists coming through the San Luis Valley, with hotel occupancy at 74.5 percent for the year through July compared to nearly 83 percent occupancy rate for the same period a year ago. Higher fuel costs and travel costs overall are keeping travelers home or closer to home.
Hotel room rates, which are available this weekend in Alamosa, are running a bit lower for the Labor Day Weekend than a year ago as well, which is a bit of good news for the traveler.
Seven Peaks festival goers begin to check in Thursday, with three days of music set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Osborn told emergency managers to expect the last of the crowd to pack out Monday on Labor Day.
“It will definitely have an impact,” Mortensen said. Seven Peaks has been strong in promoting the event as Seven Peaks San Luis Valley. “So it’s definitely putting us on the map,” he said.
Staged by Live Nation, which bills itself as world’s largest concert promoter, Seven Peaks is not only bringing the music but organizers are making sure the campers have everything else they need without having to leave the festival site.
Mortensen, for one, will be watching for how well the event goes off and what challenges it brings to Saguache County itself. He knows that if all goes well, the San Luis Valley could have itself a new annual event every Labor Day Weekend.