Brec Ronis, a member of the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads, takes drink orders Saturday from a concession stand during the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in Craig City Park. Organizers changed the alcohol policy at this year’s event by not allowing event visitors to bring their own beverages.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Brec Ronis, a member of the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads, takes drink orders Saturday from a concession stand during the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in Craig City Park. Organizers changed the alcohol policy at this year’s event by not allowing event visitors to bring their own beverages.

Whittle organizers: New alcohol policy had little impact

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A sign outside the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in Craig City Park warns visitors they cannot bring their own alcohol to the event. This year, for the first time, alcoholic beverages were instead sold at concessions stands within the park.

Reader poll

How did you feel alcohol sales — instead of bringing your own — went at this year’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous?

  • It was a good change and helped regulate alcohol consumption. 38%
  • It was a bad change and interrupted my fun. 18%
  • I don’t care either way. 9%
  • I did not attend Whittle the Wood. 35%

301 total votes.

Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation director, said the policy to limit alcohol at this year’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous was inevitable.

“The BYOB thing was too good to be true,” he said. “We were probably the last venue in the state that allowed that.”

Pike was referring to a tradition as old as the Rendezvous itself: visitors being allowed to bring their own alcohol to the event.

This year, outside alcoholic beverages were not permitted into Craig City Park. Instead, concession stands were set up within the park to sell draft beer and pre-mixed cocktails.

Pike said he expected an outpouring of complaints. Those complaints never materialized, he said.

“I was really impressed that we had little to no complaints,” he said. “Everybody was so cool about it. It’s almost like I want to thank everybody for being as understanding as they were.”

Bill Ronis, a member of the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads, said his organization partnered with the Craig Chamber of Commerce to provide concessions. He served as co-chairperson for the vending partnership.

Asked if he’d encountered anyone upset about the alcohol policy change, Ronis had a quick answer.

“Not a one,” he said.

Parrothead volunteers also provided check-in services at the entrance gates throughout the day Saturday. Ronis said no one tried to get around the new rules.

“We haven’t had anybody try to sneak anything in,” he said.

The revenue from the concessions will be split three ways. One-third goes to the Parrotheads, one-third goes to the Chamber and one-third goes to the city.

Ronis said the Parrotheads’ share will help fund scholarships for local students.

Christina Oxley, Chamber executive director, said she wasn’t yet sure how her organization would spend money it made from the concessions.

“We’ve got a lot of different projects that we’d like to turn it toward,” she said.

Oxley added that it was difficult to forecast how much money the concessions would bring in.

“It could be a really fantastic event or nothing at all,” she said.

Pike said the city would use its share to defray the cost of the two bands at this year’s event – The Outlaws and Filthy Children.

“Overall, the biggest expense for the event is the entertainment. So, that’s what it’s going to go toward,” he said.

As of Sunday afternoon, Pike said the earnings from the concessions hadn’t been tallied.

Oxley said this year’s event was less attended than previous years, and the new policy may have played a factor. She’d heard rumors that some people might boycott the retooled event.

“It might take a year or two for people to get used to a new standard,” she said. “Turnout has been a little low this year, but it will recover.”

Pike agreed attendance was lower than usual, but for different reasons, he contends.

“I would say the crowd was a wee bit smaller than usual, but I think that was probably (due to) weather,” he said. “Weather was a little bit sketchy during the warm-up band. … I saw quite a few people running for cover.”

Ronis said if there’s a reason reaction to the new policy was limited, it might have had something to do with pricing.

“We’re selling the beer kind of cheap — three bucks,” he said. “It’s more like $5 at the concerts in Steamboat. So, I don’t think anyone has any room to complain.”

Click here to visit the Whittle the Wood website.

Comments

kp81625 3 years, 6 months ago

It would have been nice to see someone regulate or at least oversee how much people were drinking. I had one woman who was sitting in front of me for the live music, who had obviously drank too much and was falling down drunk. Bars are not allowed to overserve and I dont' see why it should be any different at a public venue.

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colorado_22 3 years, 6 months ago

I refused to go to Whittle the Woods. I think it's funny, on the Craig Daily Press website they have a poll right now about how people thought that the alcohol changes affected the event. A good percentage have already reported that they thought the change was positive... and an almost equal number stated that they didn't go. Yep, I didn't go etiher. Yeah let's fill the city park with all of the obnoxios residents of Craig, a B-rate (at best) band, and sit there all day SOBER? Haha I don't think so. The only reason this event USED to be mildly entertaining is because you could be totally wasted all day; and then, only then can one handle thy residents o' Craig all in one place, and in the sunlight. I maybe would have attended if the vendors sold regular, actual beer, however I refuse to shell out money all day for overpriced 3.2 beer.

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truthhurts 3 years, 6 months ago

I am sure you were missed terribly colorado_22. Sure you enjoyed the day holed up in your apartment wasted on 6.0 beer watching reality TV!

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