COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – As an ever-expanding population continues to test the carrying capacity of central Colorado’s concert scene, one man, with a long-running passion for musical performances, aims to loosen that strain when he opens his 8,000 seat venue in late 2023.
The chairman and founder of Notes Live, J.W. Roth, sat down with FOX31 on Wednesday to talk about what it’s like living the early chapters of his independent venue’s origin story, which looks likely to bring in some prominent acts.
“This is not being built to compete with Red Rocks,” said Roth when asked about what impact he wants his venue to have on the community.
That impact may be out of his hands, however, as the structure planned to be built on the Polaris Point retail property in Colorado Springs looks likely to have some unique and breathtaking details that are certain to bring concert fiend’s flocking.
“I can always tell if it’s a great place if my wife liked it,” said Roth when outlining what is important when rating the quality of a venue.
Bathroom lines, the return walk back to the car, and the level of risk of losing a tooth were things he took into consideration when designing this venue along with the 5-architect team he hired out of Atlanta.
“I want people to leave and obviously remember the band, explained Roth, “but I want them to go holy cow, that place was awesome.”
How Colorado amphitheaters compare to The Sunset
- Red Rocks (Morrison)
- Capacity: 9,545
- Standing room for the most part, but undeniably life-changing to visit, period.
- A bit of a nightmare to get out of post-show.
- Fiddler’s Green (Greenwood Villiage)
- Capacity 18,000
- A much larger venue, but not holding the same breathtaking backdrop that The Sunset is projected to boast.
- Levitt Pavillion (Denver)
- Capacity: 6,500
- Hosts a large number of free concerts for the community.
- Philip S. Miller Park Amphitheater (Castle Rock)
- Capacity: 2,000
- Small and intimate.
- Backdropped with the famous rock of Castle Rock.
- Dillon Amphitheater (Dillon)
- Capacity: 5,000
- Graced by the presence of alpine lakes and a mountainous backdrop.
- Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (Vail)
- Capacity: 1,260 seated, 1,260 lawn
- Looks out over the Vail Valley, a sight worth the journey.
- The Mishawaka Amphitheater (Bellvue)
- Capacity: 950
- Was opened in 1916 and pairs beautifully with the adjacently-placed Poudre River.
Why The Sunset settled in Colorado Springs
To get this mission off the ground and after years of running Roth Premium Foods with his son, which delivers to over 12,000 grocery stores across North America, J.W. stepped back from his role so that he could focus on The Sunset.
According to Notes Live’s renderings of the $40 million venue, a lawn will look down on a fully seated amphitheater that includes 60 fireplace suites. Additionally, four 5-star restaurants, which have yet to be picked, will be on either side of the seating areas. Roth highlighted that the $40 million price tag does not include the construction and development costs attached to these restaurants.
When facing the stage, the audience will see Pikes Peak framed perfectly behind it, and in accordance with its name, concerts will begin around 8:15 p.m., when the sun sets on the peaks, creating what is sure to be a one-of-a-kind musical experience.
When asked why he chose the city known as the home of the Air Force Academy, Roth loyally replied, “it’s where I live… I’m proud of where I live.”
According to the World Population Prospects report put together annually by the U.N., the springs carried a population of 102,000 back in 1960. Today, an estimated 685,000 people now live in the home of the newest Whataburger in Colorado.
“Our population is booming,” Roth explained, “I am building this to be complementary to the movement that we already have growing in Colorado.”
Roth and his partners also own and manage the popular Boot Barn Hall, a 1,400-person venue, which consistently brings in country acts and sits on the same property that The Sunset will be erected upon. Also on that property are his other two restaurants Bourbon Brothers and Buttermilk, A Breakfast Eatery.
When The Sunset is set to open
The 8,000 seater-of-a-venue is not yet under construction, but according to Roth, “we’re just getting our final approval now. We’re 30 to 45 days away from moving dirt.”
According to Roth, the projected completion date is scheduled for August or September of 2023, which will allow the venue enough time to get involved in the 2024 concert circuit.
In roughly 6-months, Roth plans to launch the relationship-building process with promotional companies outside of country music, as those businesses partnerships are already ongoing due to having to book country acts over at the Boot Barn.
Where Note Live is also breaking ground
According to our news partners in Colorado Springs, Notes Live plans to operate a half dozen large and mid-sized premium venues across the country, with the next to open this fall in the booming commuter city of Gainesville, Georgia.
“These are some of the fastest-growing cities in America, but the live entertainment options haven’t caught up to the population,” explained Roth.
Notes Live is currently working with companies including CD+M Lighting Design Group, Dimensional Innovations, Diversified, Duray J.F. Duncan Industries, ME Engineers, and Theatre Projects.
“I am building an entertainment company that when you think of our name, you think ‘experience,’” Roth said, “there will be no better place to see a concert on earth than at one of our properties.”