Dean Ward on his blog Crowsnest Pass Home voiced his opinion by way of comment on Rum Runner Days/Thunder in the Valley and did such a good job that I'm posting it here because I believe it deserves a broader audience...
Reading the comments on my blog and from what I have heard around town this community must decide what it wants.
If it's the family orientated, quite, laid back weekend then has a lot of the people have said give each community $5-10,000. (When I was on Council Bellcrest and Coleman received $5,000 from the municipality.) Let each committee put on the weekend events that they see fit and make it has family orientated as they want.
Just realize that we don't have to bring in every available enforcement officer in Southern Alberta, run shuttle buses, have hundreds of camping spots available and bring in bands that nobody as ever heard of.
If the people here want to "brand" and market this community as Councilor Mitchell spoke about in this week's paper. Then what are we going to brand it as? Will we spend big dollars on consultants to determine that for us?
The Mayor gave a speech about a convention he went to early last year. Where he stated that when people spoke to him about the Crowsnest Pass, it was not about the mountains, the historical heritage. The one thing that came up again and again was "Thunder in the Valley" we have a brand already.
Could Thunder in the Valley have been done better? of course everything can be done better. It was getting better, biggest complaints I heard over the years was moving the traffic after the event and controlling the drunken idiots. Well for those that don't know those things were happening.
The time to get out of Blairmore had dropped by a significant amount over the last three years. Also the number of arrests dropped by a considerable amount in that same time frame. The RCMP were doing a better and better job of being visible and keeping the crowds under control.
I do not doubt for a second that some of the crap that people have talked about down around the field as happened, but how much of it as been exaggeration? I hear every year from people about the folks that had people having sex on their front yard, nobody can ever seem to name the place where it happened but everybody as heard about it.
We all know people that live by the field, one lady I know who's house is one block from the field hates the event. Another couple I know their yard backs right on to the field have never had a problem. Even the lady that hates the event says as long as the police have been visible around her area she as not really had any problems she just does not like it.
Do we want to market this community do we want to bring a lot of people here? Some people say to me we need more events like Sinister 7, I agree but how many of those are you going to do in a year?
I heard yesterday I wish we could have Thunder in the Valley, but not attracting the type of crowd it does. Well what type of crowd is that? 99% of the people that came to Thunder in the Valley never caused a problem they were good people just looking to have a bit of fun. The 1% that's why we had the RCMP, arrest them charge them with every thing you can and make them not want to come back to the Pass.
This community needs help, it needs to attract people here. Is our business sector thriving? what is our price of real estate doing? God help us if the coal market ever goes in to the toilet.
Over the years I had my issues with Thunder in the Valley and some of the problems that it brought with it. But all problems have solutions What I never questioned was the facts that Thunder put this community on the map, that it brought a lot of people here to see our community, some of them even purchased homes here. And yes it brought a lot of money in to this community. Do I think every business in this town is going to open its books to the public to prove that? No. Go talk to the business owners.
Should we do Thunder in the Valley? I believe so, find ways to do it better, safer, maximize revenues to off set costs. I don't think we are going to attract people here for a parade and a few family orientated events every community has one of them.
Comment: I find Dean annoying at times in that it is a rarity for him to actually voice an opinion on his blog. Usually he lays out an issue with facts and figures but then becomes cagey and non-committal as to where he actually stands, leaving it to others to voice their opinions before jumping in himself with his... if at all. Unlike moi, who most people have no problem knowing where I stand on any given subject or issue right from the get-go. :-) But this time he not only comes out taking a position but taking the time to explain his reasoning as well. I like that! And as it happens, I totally agree with most of what he says above, as well.
Good work, Dean! Job well done!!
For those who wish to voice their opinion about this past Rum Runner Days weekend here is your chance to do so. The Promoter has a poll available at the following address where you can tell the world, including Mayor and Council, what you think about what has recently transpired here in your community this past weekend.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.