Winefest provides big boost to local economy

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

Hotels are booked and tickets sold as close to five thousand wine lovers prepare for Saturday's 21st Annual Colorado Mountain Winefest.

Wineries like St. Kathryn's will be serving up drinks to visitors from across the state and country tomorrow, and for some, this will be one of the biggest weekends for sales. For us in the Valley, it's an event our economy can look forward to every year.

We've all heard of Christmas in July, but in Palisade, it's more like September.

"The next two days will be wall to wall people," Carlson Vineyards sales representative Elisabeth Muse said. "This is our Christmas for the year."

Wineries like Carlson Vineyards are prepping for their largest sales weekend of the entire year.

“A lot of people do it for their vacations, centering their vacations around Winefest," she said.

The Colorado Mountain Winefest is expected to once again bring wine connoisseurs and grape newbies from around the state and country right here to the Valley.

"We draw heavily from the front range, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona as well," CAVE executive director Cassidee Shull said.

Coming with these visitors will be dollars to be spent locally.

"It’s really going to put an influx of revenue and visitors into our community," Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Mistalynn Meyeraan said.

Many businesses are already seeing some out-of-town money. The Visitor and Convention Bureau says of the three thousand hotel and B&B rooms in the area, only a couple hundred are left as of Friday night.

"I think a lot of people come up, and either on the Friday before or the Sunday after, they go out and do the winery tours,” visitor Bob Grant said.

Grant has attended Winefest for the past 12 years. Besides the grapes, the crowds draw him back.

"They’re great people, everybody having fun, everybody enjoying wine," Grant said.

For many, the weekend isn't just about Winefest, but instead about experiencing local wine in a small town.

"We have a very homey experience and ambiance for these folk,” Muse said.

"palisade is a wonderful, quaint little town, one of the last little small towns in Colorado," Shull added.

So whether you're a wine expert or trying to learn, Winefest offers something for everyone.

KKCO 11 News is a proud sponsor of this year's Winefest. Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello.

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