UPDATED: Park City Institute concert series will no longer be held at Deer Valley
March 21, 2018
Park City Institute announced the nonprofit will no longer present the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series at Deer Valley Resort's Snow Park Amphitheater after 14 years.
Deer Valley Resort notified Park City Institute in mid-December that it would not renew the contract to hold the concerts there, said PCI Executive Director Teri Orr.
"It is the end of a chapter," Orr said in a press release. "… We loved the beautiful space, and will miss being there. We immediately began the search for a new location for our 2018 summer series, since our patrons plan their summers around our specific shows."
In a statement, Deer Valley's Director of Marketing Coleen Reardon said the resort conducted a lot of research and determined it was in its best interest to produce its own summer concert series.
"In order to do this we had to make the decision to not renew with Park City Institute for the Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series," the statement read. "Programming our own series will help us to fully maximize the venue potential, and we intend to program it as a 5,000 seat venue and become one of the most premier series and outdoor concert venues in Utah. We have had a long relationship with Park City Institute and wish them well in their new venue."
The announcement to not renew the contract shocked Orr and gave Park City Institute a little less than three months to start looking for venue options.
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"If we had had a heads up last fall when our season ended, there might have been more places available," she said in an interview. "But people had already made plans to fix, refurbish and work on places that we might have been able to schedule."
Still, Orr said, she hopes Park City Institute will be able to find a place in the next two weeks after launching an extensive search for a new home.
The nonprofit even tossed around the idea of creating a new community amphitheater.
"The thing is we just want a place for people to see a concert and hear the music," Orr said.
Furthermore, various artist's agents have held nine show dates this summer for the Park City Institute.
"We are already getting some confirmations," Orr said.
While Park City Institute continues its search for a new venue, Deer Valley has partnered with Salt Lake City-based First Tracks Entertainment to program a new Deer Valley summer concert series.
"We agreed with Deer Valley's idea to internalize the series," said Darin Piccoli, who founded First Tracks Entertainment in 2008 with Chris Mautz, the coordinator for the Red Butte Garden summer concerts. "Deer Valley is such a well-known brand and (they) do such an amazing job with customer experience. I think they wanted to maximize the venue's potential."
First Tracks, which owns O.P. Rockwell, The State Room and The State Room Presents brand, is one of the booking partners that brings artists to the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake City, Piccoli said.
The production company has presented many Deer Valley concerts including ones featuring Jimmy Cliff and Michael Franti, the Steve Miller Band, John Fogerty and Brandi Carlile.
"We are working on a series that we'll announce in May," Piccoli said.
In the meantime, the company will work to complement the Utah Symphony's Deer Valley Music Festival this summer.
"The plan is to work to make each performance at the amphitheater consistent and familiar to the patrons," Piccoli said. "It's more important to have the right place, regardless of who is putting on the shows."
The change does not affect the free Wednesday night Grand Valley Bank community concerts presented by Mountain Town Music, said Emily Summers, Deer Valley senior communications manager.
The change does put some pressure on Park City Institute to continue its mission: "Entertaining, Education and Illuminating," said the nonprofit's board chairwoman Phyllis Robinson in the release.
"Our summer concerts are part of the fabric of our community," Robinson said. "They are also a significant amount of funding, largely through sponsorships and memberships, supporting all of our programs throughout the year, including the Main Stage at the Eccles Center, and, specifically, our Student Outreach programs. Ticket sales (earned income) only account for approximately one-third of our annual revenue."
Orr extended her thanks to the concert series' title sponsor, St. Regis, and donors for the support of this year's soon-to-be-announced performances.
She also said City Hall has helped the Institute identify potential new venues. "They didn't need one more thing on their plate this winter, but as soon as this happened, we started to try to figure things out," Orr said. "They have been a tremendous help in evaluating the possibility of specific venues, and recently identified parcels that could serve as locations for a pop-up summer season."