Pro Promotions to run 2010 Territory Days

       The new Territory Days organizer will have less planning time than he might have liked, but Jim Wear of Pro Promotions foresees no major issues for this year's Memorial Day weekend festival and predicts it will be as much fun as ever.

Jim Wear, his wife Pam, son Wyatt and dog Budger are shown. Pro Promotions, the family's business, was hired for Territory Days.
Courtesy of Jim Wear

       “I really don't anticipate any noticeable changes,” Wear said in an interview last week. “It should be a good old Territory Days event.”
       Wear's quiet confidence stems from 23 years in the promotion business. He and his wife Pam run the Monument-based business with three full-time employees and temporary staff as needed. In 2009 alone, his company put on four good-sized events. The largest was the Tejon Street Bikefest, which has even more closed-off streets than Territory Days. “The final tally: 50,000 people - 20,000 bikes - 50 kegs of beer - 10 city blocks - 3 bands - one day - and not ONE single police or fire issue of any note,” Wear notes on the Pro Promotions website.
       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) commercial group, which puts on Territory Days, announced the hiring of Pro Promotions last week. OCCA President Charlie Irwin described the agency as well qualified, “with exciting opportunities for greater growth.”
       The OCCA traditionally looks to the three-day festival as a funding source for marketing as well as for putting on smaller events with little or no profit, such as Scarecrow Days or the Easter Egg Hunt.
       The Pro Promotions contract is just for one year, although Wear said he's interested in keeping it going over time.
       For now, his main concern is getting caught up on 2010. Ideally, he explained, the planning for an annual event “begins the next day”; in this case, he's only got about five months. But he doesn't see that as a big problem with Territory Days. Going into its 35th year, the event is well established, with crowds that easily exceed 100,000 when the weather is kind. “It's probably the oldest and biggest event in the Springs,” he said. Taking on the festival in Old Colorado City “is like a dream compared to some tasks we've had.”
       He's also happy about working with the OCCA board. “What a great bunch of people,” he said. “They're all on the same page on their goals and extremely easy to deal with.”
       If there's any special push for this year's festival, it will be to retain past business sponsors and/or to find new ones. Sponsors contributing thousands of dollars are paramount in an event that costs close to $200,000 to put on. “It doesn't take a genius to know that in this economy that's going to be challenging,” Wear said. “But we have deals in the works with several major sponsors.”
       Another possible challenge, he said, based on past experience, will be getting synched up with people involved in the event who have grown accustomed to the way the previous organizer handled things. That was Lynda Dunne, who had built up Territory Days for OCCA over the previous 18 years. She resigned in November - her multi-year contract was to expire after 2010 - following a disagreement with the OCCA board.
       Asked about Wear, Dunne said she thought he was a capable event organizer who would do a good job.
       Wear's own goals for Territory Days are, in order of importance: to be sure that it's safe, to have it work well for merchants and residents, and to bring in “additional revenue” for the OCCA.
       “I'm looking forward to getting involved with a real cool event and working through it,” he said.

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