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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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5/18/2013 11:23:00 AM
For now, Camp Verde's Pecan & Wine Fest 'is dead'
Steve Goetting's Verde Entertainments organized the Pecan & Wine Festival for four  years.
Steve Goetting's Verde Entertainments organized the Pecan & Wine Festival for four years.

Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE - Steve Goetting of Verde Entertainments recently approached the Town of Camp Verde for help running the annual Pecan & Wine Festival. Feeling that the Town was unwilling to provide assistance, Goetting, and Verde Entertainments, have removed themselves from the festival's operations.

"My wife and I have effectively resigned from Verde Entertainments," said Goetting. "We've been looking for help since November. Some people think we're making lots of money [running the Pecan and Wine Festival]. But we're not. We've sacrificed a lot of time and money for this event. All we were looking for was a little support."

"For now, the Pecan and Wine Festival is dead," said Steve Ayers, Economic Development director for the Town of Camp Verde. "Unless they [Goetting and Verde Entertainments] come back, there is an opening for anyone who wants to operate the wine portion of the Festival."

According to Ayers, though the Festival is a "very popular event," the Town does not want to be in charge of the wine portion of the Festival.

The Pecan & Wine Festival "has some really inherent differences from the other events that we do," Ayers said. "Where we have a beer garden at Fort Verde Days and the Corn Fest, the Pecan & Wine Festival involves bringing in a dozen or more wineries, which is a bit of a logistical challenge. And, just as important, there is a cost. All of our other events are free. You are talking about an event that centers on alcohol and has an entrance fee.

"So when Steve [Goetting] came here with that idea, asking us to take the festival over, I told him that we need to overcome a couple of problems," Ayers said. "One of them is that the Town of Camp Verde does not want to run a liquor-based event. That will have to be done by a third party. And two, we will not participate in an event that has an admission fee.

"The Town does not run any of these festivals," Ayers said. "The Town lends support. The Town is a partner, an equal partner, just like anybody else in these events. The Town does not have the capacity, or the personnel, to run these events."

"If Steve [Goetting] would like to participate, we might be able to work out a program where the Town could put money upfront for the tents and for some of the advertising, and you only charge for people who want to buy a wine glass," Ayers said. "Just like the beer garden, only there's wine tasting."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Article comment by: Alcohol Based Events Should Be Private

I thoroughly agree that alcohol based activities should not be Town funded. I also agree that if the Town financially funds the event and or runs it, admission is free. There are far too many wine tasting events, beer tasting events that exclude our young folks or even our non drinking older folks. Pecans and a flea market were fun. Charging, adding booze, that is what killed it, as is obvious by the lack of other businesses lining up to pay and play.

Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Looks like the town wasn't making any money.Go figure
Business venues might support if enough dollars pour into their pockets.

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