While many locals look forward to musical events that herald summer in the Wood River Valley, other residents' thoughts are tuned to the potential inconveniences and dangers that may accompany them.
The Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission approved a conditional-use permit for one of three Bravo Entertainment concerts at the Greyhawk parking lot in the Warm Springs Village area of northwest Ketchum.
Bravo Vice President Greg Marchant came before the body Monday, June 26, to request a permit for three concerts in the lots owned by Sun Valley Co. The property is within the Ketchum city limits.
"We've selected very family-friendly bands," he said. "We propose early stop times. We've worked with the town regarding egress and ingress routes, and we've worked with Wood River Rideshare and KART and the police."
More than a half-dozen area residents wrote letters of opposition to the concerts, a few of whom attended the meeting.
Many residents said they were concerned about fire danger, a claim supported by Interim Fire Chief Mike Elle.
"I'm a little disappointed," Elle said. "Two weeks away from the event and I haven't seen anything (about plans for fire mitigation). I'm sorry, but you guys need to do a better job. This venue concerns me greatly."
The lots are surrounded by hillsides in the Agricultural and Forestry District.
"It's very dry over there," said resident Karen Taylor. "By the end of August, it will be a tinderbox."
Commissioners shared concerns about fire danger, and approved the permit only if Bravo abides by Elle's requests. They will consider permits for the other two concerts after the first one, on July 4.
"All of us are here for a reason," said Commissioner Deborah Burns. "We are a resort that lacks events. If it was my neighborhood I would make it happen as much as I could, as long as it's covered by (police and fire department protection). Whatever we can do to bring events in, I want it to happen."
One Warm Springs-area resident in attendance agreed.
"Residents have to understand they're buying into a resort area," said Jerry Seiffert, former mayor of Ketchum. "There's been an amazing decline in activity in Warm Springs. This is what we do. We put on events like this. I'm very much in favor of (the) request."
Marchant said Bravo would try to be a good guest.
"We've been doing this for more than 20 years," he said. "We take our relationship with the neighbors and the town very seriously."