(COLORADO SPRINGS) — After hours of deliberation late into Tuesday night at City Hall, the Colorado Springs City Council voted to build the Sunset Amphitheater concert venue in northern El Paso County.
The open-air amphitheater is a $40-million project that will be an 8,000-seat venue. The project was already approved by the city’s planning commission, but it was appealed by residents in the surrounding neighborhoods that do not want a concert venue in their backyard.
The vote on Tuesday night was whether to grant or deny the appeal. In a landslide 8-1 vote, that occurred at 12:45 a.m. the council voted to deny the appeal, meaning the project will be moving forward as planned, and the Sunset Amphitheater will be coming to Colorado Springs.
District 1’s Dave Donalson was the only city council member who voted against the amphitheater.
The amphitheater agenda item began at 6:30 p.m. and ended up taking up the last seven hours of the city council meeting that had begun at 9:00 a.m. The long hours were used listening to those that are in support of the concert venue; namely, people with the company, developers, etc., and those who are against it; mostly residents in the northside neighborhoods living near the site. Aside from the planned speakers and presenters, over 40 people showed up for public comment.
A plan for the amphitheater was initially announced in early 2022. The Sunset Amphitheater will be built against the backdrop of the picturesque Pikes Peak mountain range. It is modeled to be Colorado Springs’ own scenic concert venue, like that of Denver’s renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater.
According to the venue’s website, “The Sunset Amphitheater is set to be the most luxurious and hospitality-focused music venue in the country.” It is expected to host big-name artists, typically from May through September, each year.
It will be developed on over nine acres along Spectrum Loop.
Three main neighborhoods surround the amphitheater site; Gleneagle, Northgate Estates, and Grey Hawk. Some residents from these neighborhoods who got to the meeting at 9:00 a.m. ended up spending over 15 hours at City Hall.
“We’re exhausted, but we’re here because we believe in our cause and we want to protect our homes and our families,” said Stacy, a northside resident who took off of work to make sure her voice was heard, against this venue.
Noise, traffic, and congestion are all concerns of thousands of residents that live as close as a quarter of a mile from the site.
“So imagine the guy coming home from work. He wants to go in the backyard and barbecue with his kids. They’re seeing these concerts from 10:00 to 10:30 on the weekdays and 11:30 on the weekends,” said Matthew Gruber, another northside resident.
The Classical Academy North Campus, a K-12 school, is also less than a mile away from the site.
“It’s already congested when these families go there to pick up their kids. Can you imagine one of the concerts being released?” said Gruber.
Notes Live, the Colorado Springs-based entertainment company, that is launching the Sunset Amphitheater, conducted noise studies and traffic studies, that show the venue will be manageable. At the meeting, the city’s traffic engineer, Todd Frisbie, also pitched in that after research and studies he is in favor of the venue.
When asked for a comment, Notes Live declined to make a statement.
“Look, we’re not against the concept. We’re against the location. There are plenty of other spots to put this in. So why does it have to go here?” said Gruber.
FOX21 News will continue to update this story as the plan’s for the Sunset Amphitheater get underway.