CRESTVIEW—The city’s first Winterfest might also be its last after a poor showing at Spanish Trail Park on Feb. 18. Although the event won’t impact local dollars, low concession sales and sponsorships reportedly meant the event’s investor lost over $22,000 on the festival.
The Crestview Community Redevelopment Agency partnered with event management group RE Development to host the festival, which was to be a fundraiser for the CRA. RE Development was confident that Winterfest would profit but still arranged to compensate the city for any losses incurred by expenses, according to CRA Director Brenda Smith.
The total cost for the event was $30,689.24 which included artificial ice, insurance, marketing, sponsorship banners and public services, according to a final report released on the festival. However, the event only raised $8,397 between concessions and sponsorship deals.
This brings the event’s losses to a grand total of $22,292.24. Of the amount, $1,125 was paid directly from RE Development to service providers and the remaining $21,167.24 will be reimbursed to the CRA.
“There’s no impact on [the CRA] budget,” Smith said. “I’m all for events like this, I think they need to be done.”
However, the CRA has no plans to continue the Winterfest into a second year. Event programming isn’t a traditional role for CRAs, according to Smith. The exception was made since they anticipated generating money from the event and to provide residents with a unique entertainment event.
“It just didn’t happen,” Smith said. “[RE Development] was confident in its ability to make money through concessions but people just didn’t buy anything.”
Concessions generated $897 during the Winterfest.
Still, “I’m glad we did it and I don’t regret it,” Smith added.
The CRA estimated 4,500 attended the all-day event and received positive feedback from those in attendance, according to Smith. Concessions sales, which included alcohol, weren’t enough for the event to chalk up success. The festival’s evening concert also showed little fanfare. Smith believed the style of the event simply didn’t fit the community based on the results.
RE Development will compensate the Crestview CRA for the $21,167.24 that wasn’t generated in revenue but the timeframe could be extensive.
The company’s agreement with the city gives it 14 months to completely reimburse the lost funds. This works out to monthly payments to the city of over $1,500 if the company decides to use the full term of the agreement.