The big ticket item on the selectboard’s agenda was a $40,000 request from Mount Snow. The money would be used for the upcoming Winter Dew Tour. The Winter Dew Tour is one of the major action sports events of the ski season, featuring the world’s top snowboarders and freestyle skiers. Mount Snow events director Greg Fisher said the event will be broadcast live on NBC, MTV, and USA networks, with approximately 40 million-50 million viewers tuning in to the weekend events.
Fisher said this year’s Winter Dew Tour will attract 25,000 fans and the $40,000 will be spent on lodging and advertising. Mount Snow is marketing the event at five major colleges in western Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut, Boston University, and Boston College. Funds will also be used to purchase billboard space at several Long Island Railroad commuter stations in New York. Approximately $15,000 of the total amount will be spent on local inns and lodges. Fisher said Mount Snow is investing $100,000 in complimentary rooms for media production crews. The $15,000 will offset Mount Snow’s lodging costs.
Fisher recognized that Mount Snow was asking for a lot of money. He assured the selectboard the money invested will positively impact the Dover business community. “The event is associated with the town of Dover. A major media event like this could transcend into something bigger for the area,” said Fisher.
Selectboard member Adam Levine supported the Winter Dew Tour and Mount Snow’s marketing efforts. However, Levine expressed concern over the amount. Levine questioned whether the Dover Economic Development Committee events budget would be depleted too quickly. DEDC chair Lisa Coneeny assured Levine there would be enough money for future events. “Most event requests we receive are between $7,000 to $8,000. Anyone requesting large sums of money already has or ought to come now,” said Conney.
Selectboard member Jim Martin also expressed reservations. Martin claimed the selectboard approved a total of $100,000 for Mount Snow events in less than a year. He thought the resort asked for too much money in such a short span of time. Martin asked Fisher, if they approve more money, how much more will they ask for. He thought the resort should eventually fund their own events and look elsewhere for possible funding. “I only wish you could use the same argument you made tonight for other sources, like the state,” said Martin.
Linda Anelli, former co-owner of Two Tannery and the Deerhill Inn, spoke in favor of Mount Snow’s funding request. Anelli said the Deerfield Valley has seen many events come to the area, only to leave for other venues due to a lack of support. Anelli cited the Volvo Tennis Tournament and a local horse show as two major examples. “We’ve blown a lot of big events over the years. If you want to put Dover on the map you’ve got to think big. Sometimes you’ve got to trust your gut,” said Anelli.
The selectboard was split on granting Mount Snow $40,000. Martin abstained because Mount Snow did not provide enough information. Selectboard vice chair Becky Snow opposed the request, while Levine and selectboard member Colby Dix supported it. Selectboard chair Linda Holland was undecided. Like Martin, Holland claimed she did not have enough time to review the funding request.
Levine made a final effort to convince Holland, but it was Mike Jacobs who may have influenced Holland’s final vote. Jacobs exclaimed “We have one elephant in the valley. Please support it, Linda,” and walked out. Laughter ensued and Holland eventually approved the funding request. Applause followed the approval.
The selectboard also approved $11,750 for the Mothers for Daughters motorcycling event and $1,940 for the Deerfield Rotary snowmobile rally.