Small changes to COVID-19 guidance gives big hope to events industry

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Some members of the live events industry are celebrating small changes made to the state’s COVID-19 indoor events guidance this week, including once again allowing dance floors.

The news is especially impactful for wedding professionals and couples hoping to tie the knot in 2021.

“It’s definitely a good sign and there’s more excitement now behind it that we can maybe see a light near the end of the tunnel at least,” said Brice Kavanagh.

Kavanagh and his fiancé, Amy Sharma have put off planning portions of their wedding due to so many unknowns. News that the state is opening the possibility for dancing at events has restored their confidence.

Under guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, dancing is strictly limited to no more than six persons dancing together from the same party. Dancing parties must remain six feet from other persons and all must follow current mask mandates.

“This consumer confidence will help us retain contracts that are already signed and give people who have proposals out the confidence to sign those contracts because it’s going to look a bit more like normal this summer,” said Brynn Swanson, wedding planner and co-founder of the Colorado Event Alliance.

Swanson says the state is also moving toward changing the distance required between masked performers and patrons, from 25 feet to 12 feet. That is not reflected in the state’s official guidelines yet.

Matt Ruff, general manager and part owner of Dazzle in Denver says that rule change would not have a dramatic impact on their music venue.

“It maybe adds two tables. Still with the distancing and stuff it’s not going to add much, maybe two more patrons or four more if that many,” said Ruff.

A sold out show on a Saturday night at Dazzle is still less than a third of the occupancy they would have pre-COVID. Ruff says he appreciated the state making small changes when they can but it won’t make a significant difference.

“I’ll believe it when I see it, basically. We’re prepared for things to go back to normal maybe in September I would think but maybe this summer we’ll have some good stuff, too. I hope so,” said Ruff.

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