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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions April 29, 2016

5/21/2013 1:07:00 PM
Editorial: Saving Pecan & Wine Fest will take commitment of entire Verde Valley
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At an economic development forum in February, Grady Gammage Jr. said he would like to see Verde Valley communities have a discussion about cooperative funding for local events.

With news about the demise of Camp Verde’s popular Pecan and Wine Festival, now is the perfect time to have that discussion.

Verde Entertainments has pulled the plug on what would have been the 14th annual Pecan and Wine Festival. The reason involves the classic case of 10 percent of the people doing 90 percent of the work. “We’ve sacrificed a lot of time and money for this event. All we were looking for was a little support,” said Steve Goetting of Verde Entertainments.

Support for the festival from the Town of Camp Verde is limited because of its emphasis on alcohol and the required entrance fee. The town will help with the festival, but it wants to distance itself from the alcohol sales, and town officials also would like to see it be a free event, consistent with the other events under town hall sponsorship.

Granted, the folks in Camp Verde could stand to have a meeting of the minds to keep this popular tradition alive. But at the same time, the rest of the Verde Valley should reflect on the regional benefit of this event. Pecans, yeah, Camp Verde seems to have the market cornered on that commodity, but when it comes to wine that is something the entire Verde Valley likes to toot its horn about.

Especially when you consider the number of wineries and tasting rooms that have taken up residence in the Upper Verde and Old Town Cottonwood in particular, the Pecan and Wine Festival is really a Verde Valley event. Its venue is Camp Verde, but its benefit is Valley-wide.

The funding, and manpower, to make this event happen, also should be Valley-wide.

So, it only makes sense to ask organizations such as the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, the Upper Verde chambers of commerce, Upper Verde municipalities and even groups such as the Cornville Community Association if they would be willing to pony up some money for this event.

Yes, this is a new way of thinking for us. We’re provincial in the Verde Valley. Politically, we know where jurisdictional lines begin and end and we like to keep our money in those pots. But such thinking is selling the Verde Valley as a whole short. What’s good for Camp Verde can be equally good for Cottonwood and vice-versa. A shared benefit should also be a shared expense.

One thing is for sure, the Pecan and Wine Festival has been a positive economic driver for the entire Verde Valley. The entire Verde Valley needs to return the favor and keep this tradition alive.

Related Stories:
• For now, Camp Verde's Pecan & Wine Fest 'is dead'

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: wine pecan festival

This festival brings money and tourists to town. What does our town economic director think on this issue?

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: verde voter

My thoughts are why is pecans and wine together? Why not have separate events. Everything pecan and then the wine industry and their event. I don't believe that booze should be offered at every type of event. We do not need to encourage drinking in the valley. I think encouraging health and pecans is a better approach. Wine does have health benefits too. But it does not need to be included with nuts. Maybe the nuts can come to the upper verde valley at events to sale their products. More people are in the Sedona-Cottonwood, Jerome-Flagstaff area to buy and attend.

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Article comment by: I disagree also

As I said last year, this is a vendors market, and the idea that any consumer should pay for the privelage of buying your goods is absurd. You scoffed last year, as I recall.

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Article comment by: I Disagree

If this event is such an economic driver, it should at least pay for itself. As you state, there are several wine tasting rooms and business in existence already. These are businesses. If they need yet another venue to make money, they need to host it.
Just how much wine tasting can possibly go on?
As to the Pecan Festival, go back to the way it was. Pecans, small vendors and free admit.

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