TELLURIDE – Seeking to add another festival to Telluride’s lengthy list, Ray Cody went before the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday to discuss his idea for a 2015 Festival of Cars and Colors encompassing the communities of Telluride, Mountain Village and the Telluride Airport Authority.
Council seemed to be in support overall of newcomer Cody’s ideas, ranging from exhibits of high-end collector cars to prostate exams for men of a certain age, as long as he is able to successfully navigate the approvals processes and keeps council apprised of his progress.
A World-Class Event
An admitted newbie to the world of festival planning, Cody envisions the Festival of Cars and Colors “as a world-class event, showcasing some of the finest cars on the planet.”
“We have Babe Ruth’s car, the ambulance and the hearse used to transport JFK, and a Formula One race car that people can sit in and have their picture taken,” he said.
Cody believes the festival would appeal to the fast-growing culture of collectors of high-end cars, and that his festival would draw wealthy and worldly people to Telluride.
“We even want to arrange to have private choppers bringing people in,” he told council.
The festival would feature “cars and coffee,” a morning gathering for festival-goers with information about the day’s events, an auction at the Hanley Ice Rink and high-end automobiles staged and displayed in both towns, with a big display in the Mountain Village Center.
Cody also plans to hire creators of the infamous Michael Jackson hologram from the 2014 Billboard Music Awards to create a hologram of Babe Ruth talking about baseball. Telluride has a connection to Babe Ruth, Cody said, because Ruth’s daughter lives in Telluride, and the hologram will speak to that connection, and complement Ruth’s car, which Cody plans to bring to the festival.
Alternatives for those not immersed in trophy-car culture will include hiking and museum tours.
In an interesting twist, Cody also said that he has been talking to the Telluride Medical Center about offering free prostate tests (“finger tests”) for men, whereupon they would then be informed by a medical professional if they need any further testing for prostate diseases, such as cancer.
“This is a sausage fest, a guy thing” he said, “so why not focus a little bit of attention on men’s health issues while they are here.”
Cody has also received the Telluride Regional Airport Authority’s blessing for an air show to drum up excitement for the festival that would occur at the end of this September, a full year before the festival itself would happen.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements to obtain the necessary permits, Cody proposed to council that his festival be a “walking festival,” which would mean shutting down Colorado Avenue to traffic during the weekend of the festival.
“I believe if this is a walking festival, local businesses and restaurants would see a huge increase in revenue that day,” he explained, “because people will be more likely to stop into more places if they are on foot. I think you’ll see every restaurant full.”
Additionally, Cody also expressed interest in reaching out to restaurants in Telluride and Mountain Village, and asking them to create festival-specific menus or menu items, something he thinks would further increase restaurant business during the festival weekend.
Cody told council that he has already spoken with the Peaks Resort and Hotel Madeline, and they are enthusiastic about being involved.
Members of council expressed few concerns about the proposed festival.
In joking reference to the proposal before the town for the Telluride Fire Festival, Mayor Stu Fraser asked, “Does it include any fire?”
Thom Carnevale, on Fraser’s heels, asked whether the festival also included cannabis, a reference to another recent festival idea presented to council.
On a more serious note, however, Councilor Jenny Patterson inquired how the street closure would affect business in Telluride, and Cody emphasized that in addition to bringing in more money, he plans for the closure to occur only on the weekend, so as not to disturb business deliveries.
Patterson also wondered what measures Cody would take to ensure protection of the huge amounts of assets involved from theft, to which he responded that he is already in talks with a security company.