There’s nothing better than a cold beverage on those hot summer nights at Rock & Rails, and this year, organizers are raising money to make getting one a little easier on concert-goers. Last month, the Niwot Business Association (NBA) and the Niwot Cultural Arts Association (NCAA) announced that most of the proceeds from the 2019 series will be used to fund the construction of a permanent building in Whistle Stop Park that will be used for beverage sales, as well as storage of large items used during the concert series.
“The building is a natural extension of the NCAA’s efforts to improve the park, and to make the Rock & Rails concert series run smoothly. We think concert-goers will experience shorter lines and quicker service. Our volunteer servers are excited about it too,” NCAA president and longtime Rock & Rails volunteer Bruce Warren said.
The 990-square-foot structure will be located in the southwest corner of the park, in roughly the same location as the current beverage tent. In keeping with the rail theme, the building has been designed pro bono by NCAA vice-president and architect Anne Postle to resemble a depot. It will have electrical service, allowing for refrigeration, an ice-maker, and air-conditioning, but there won’t be running water.
“Right now, we have to haul ice to the park every night, and sometimes we make an additional ice run to Niwot Market in the middle of a concert,” Warren said. “Having a building onsite to serve those needs will take some of the burden off of our volunteers. The building will also allow volunteers to better serve beer, wine and margaritas to concert customers, with windows on the south side of the building. Large garage doors on the east and west sides are designed to allow air to flow through the building on hot summer evenings.”
The building will also provide much-needed indoor storage for the beer trailer, as well as the flatbed trailer used by the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band and other community organizations. It will also be used to store the park’s barrels and boards in the off season, resulting in less maintenance.
Plans for the improvements were approved earlier this year by the Boulder County Land Use Department following a five-month review process, and the NCAA is now in the process of selecting a contractor and applying for building permits. Provided there are no delays there, construction is slated to begin in the first week of September.
Warren said the final cost for the project is estimated to be around $125,000, much of which will come from NBA/NCAA reserve funds and private donations. The rest will come from this year’s Rock & Rails profits, donations to the Tip Jar program on the opening night of the 2019 series, and a community fund-raising campaign. Donors of $100 or more will be recognized on a plaque.
“We're hoping the community will want to invest in the park, just like they did when we raised funds for Niwot Children's Park next door,” Warren said.