Skiers and snowboarders will ride again at the Dew Downtown Flagstaff, Urban Ski & Snowboard Festival on Feb. 9 and 10. Festivities are expanded this year to include Heritage Square and night festivities. Many Northern Arizona businesses are involved, including the main sponsors, the City of Flagstaff, Suddenlink and Mountain Dew.
Last year, the family-friendly, free event earned the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association’s “2012 Community/Neighborhood Special Event Award for Populations 25,000-100,000” in its inaugural year. In its second year, supporters are planning even more ways to get people to visit historic downtown Flagstaff.
“The event management plan is designed to generate economic activity downtown during the slowest month of the year,” said Steve Saville, manager of enhanced service districts, City of Flagstaff. He pointed to a significant bump in sales tax last February indicative of increased sales generated by three February events, Dew Downtown Flagstaff, Flagstaff Winterfest and Presidents Day.
In February 2012, $159,403 downtown tax was collected, as compared to $147,394 in the same month the previous year, which is an 8.15 percent increase.
“Dew Downtown 2012 was a great example of how numerous public and private interests all worked together to create a unique, family-oriented event for locals and visitors alike,” said Patrick Nackard, president, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Flagstaff, a major sponsor of the event. “The Mountain Dew Brand Team and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Flagstaff are excited to see the support and enthusiasm grow to enable Dew Downtown to expand and offer even more family activities this year.
“Even if you’re not a snowboarder or skier, you’ll enjoy the added entertainment proposed at Heritage Square. This is how we Dew Flagstaff! We’re looking forward to another great year,” added Nackard.
Lori Pappas of sponsor Suddenlink said, “Suddenlink is proud to be a presenting sponsor of such a unique event that embraces and showcases our community. Last year’s event attracted so many locals and was truly a community gathering place. This year’s event will be streamed online, and Suddenlink will provide a blazing fast Wi-Fi lounge for the public to enjoy.”
Spectators are welcome along the snowy course set up on San Francisco Street between Dale and Birch Avenues in historic downtown Flagstaff.
“The attraction is that it is downtown – it’s urban; it’s edgy’ it’s what these young people want to do,” said Saville. “What is most important, we are demonstrating how to effectively manage an event downtown. Last year, 45 ambassadors directed traffic and did trash recycling. We had absolutely no parking issues with 13,000 people last year [combined attendees for both days]. We had more toilets at the event last year than all other [street closure] events combined – Fourth of July Parade, Route 66 Days, Armed Forces Parade and the Holiday Lights Parade. This year, we are expanding the ability to manage private parking lots with liability and clean-up taken over by city.”
Brian Dierker, owner of Humphrey Summit Ski, which had a team in the event last year, commented, “People were pretty jazzed about the whole thing. It brought an energy to downtown that we haven’t seen. Kevin the city manager did a great job – it took many elements to make it work.
“Dew Downtown exposes people to the sport. People can get closer to it and see what it is all about. First-timers have a chance to get out and try it,” said Dierker. Anyone can sign up to participate for $10 in advance or $15 on the day of event.
“The course was a little flat and conditions a little rough. We learned a lot last year and that will telegraph this year to modifications and improvements,” added Dierker.
“I thought it was an amazing event,” said Robbie Kerr, owner of First Chair Rentals, who brought a team outfitted in new Icelandic skis that are handmade in Colorado. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It just gave me chills every time I looked up and saw a Rail Jam on San Francisco Street.” Kerr plans to uniform his team again this year in yellow hoodies.
“Dew Downtown is such a great event for our community. The city did such a great job last year. We’re honored to be part of it,” said Lynda Joerger, program director for the Flagstaff Ski Team, which provides many volunteers for Dew Downtown. Joerger is also owner of Altitudes Bar and Grill and staff from her establishment will be pouring beer at two beer gardens. One beer garden will be located on Heritage Square during Saturday’s festival. The second beer garden will be located at the base of the slope on San Francisco Street during the Saturday and Sunday event. Altitudes Bar and Grill will also host the Dew Downtown VIP party from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. VIP tickets are available online. The city will be celebrating snow sports that evening as Snowbowl commemorates its 75th anniversary at 75th Anniversary SnowDown at the High Country starting at 7 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m. FBN
Dew Downtown Flagstaff