DENVER-- The Overland Park Golf Course is back open for business, weather permitting. During a soggy press conference and unveiling Monday, city officials talked about repairs and improvements to the course after it played host to a three-day music festival in September.
It was the first time the Grandoozy music festival came to Denver, drawing in a crowd of more than 55,000 people over the course of three days.
Officials said the damage to the golf course was minimal and they were happy with the turnout.
“We’re really happy, relieved and pleased that the course is looking great and tracking fine. There was obviously a lot of consternation about that but we think it worked out really well,” said David Ehrlich of Superfly, which organized the festival.
Superfly paid the city $840,000 based on the ticket sales. About $240,000 went directly to the golf course as reimbursement for revenue lost during the weeks it was shut down and to cover the cost of repairs.
Of the remainder, more than $300,000 will go to golf programs around the city, $140,000 will go to the neighborhood around the golf course for improvements and $140,000 will go to the city’s overall parks and recreation programs.
“There was actually no damage to the neighborhood from the festival so this is for improvements, and those improvements will be determined from community input,” said Fred Weiss from Denver’s Parks and Rec. Department.
About one acre of the 135 acres used needed to be re-sodded. The city took special precautions to minimize the damage to the course, including laying down mats and temporary road, which helped distribute the weight of the vehicles, and strategically placing stages in certain parts of the course.
“I would definitely do it again. The damage afterwards was minimal,” said Scott Rethlake, the director of golf at Overland Park.
City officials said they did receive some complaints about parking and noise from residents in nearby neighborhoods but stressed that it was no more than any other festival the city hosts.
One area the organizers are looking to improve on is transportation. This was the first major music festival that focused on public transit options.
There were some complaints about RTD trains being overcrowded but Ehrlich says the first year exceeded all expectations.
“I do feel that in actuality we did have challenges on the transportation side again. In a similar way it was a very strong base to work off of because we said from the beginning this wasn’t going to be perfect ... so I think we went into it with open eyes and fair expectations and we exceeded them but we absolutely can improve on all of it,” Ehrlich said.
Over the next couple of months, Superfly will begin to sit down with the city to talk about what went right and what could be improved. The two groups will then decide whether they want the Grandoozy to return to Denver and, if it does, whether it should be hosted at that golf course once again or at another venue.