Dillon officials are looking to invest in one of the town’s crown jewels — the Dillon Amphitheatre, a venue with a stunning view of the lake and surrounding mountains. The town is working with Denver-based contractor Sink Combs Dethlefs to put together a master plan for the venue.
“We know that the amphitheater is a pillar of our community and integral to our comprehensive plan,” said Kerstin Anderson, spokeswoman for the town. “We need to invest in our asset to maintain the reputation it currently has.”
Anderson added that with 5,000 people attending the free concerts at the amphitheater throughout the summer, improvements to the 25-year-old venue would make a big impact. Improvements to the stage, handicap access and the concessions are three large goals the town hopes to see come to fruition within the next decade.
“We can’t really decide what we want to do until we can put a price tag on it,” Breslin said. “Stage reconstruction is something we would look to do first … We’ll decide where we want to go over an extended period of time.”
The initial plan would cost a minimum of $92,000, including the cost of the plan itself and research by mechanical, electrical and structural engineers, landscape architects and acoustic and audio-visual consultants. An initial estimate places construction value at $2.25 million.
“We can look at a master plan and apply for grant money to make that possible,” Anderson said. “The master plan serves to create a best-case vision. From there, town council can look at that, see what fits into our budget, fits the needs of the community and helps us to continue to put on great events.”
Some of the suggestions include a new entrance, a new ticket booth, a new concessions and restrooms facility at the top of the hill, a backstage facility with green room, dressing rooms, storage, restrooms and loading areas, acoustic upgrades, lighting upgrades and ADA accessibility improvements.
Phase one would potentially include a new, expanded stage area with backstage amenities, modifications to the seating area and the incorporation of fixed seating near the stage. It would also include the installation of a new soundboard facility.
Part of the funding would consist of funds the town had set aside a year ago to help the Lake Dillon Theater Company move to a larger location.
“With them moving to Silverthorne, we have some funds we could appropriate to the community asset that Dillon Amphitheatre is,” Anderson said. “We think it’s something that is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”
According to a timeline presented by Sink Combs Dethlefs, the contractor will start preliminary planning work on Aug. 15, with the town reviewing initial design options in a month. Renderings and cost estimates should be available in November, with Dillon giving the contractor notice to proceed in December. At this rate, bidding would start in May, and five months of construction would be slated for June of 2016.
“It’s exciting. Something to look forward to,” Breslin said.