The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions


Splash! Summer guide

HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, May 16, 2014, 2:00 p.m.

Lawmaker wants $1 fee on Gorge tickets

GEORGE — A state legislator is proposing a new $1 fee that could be added to tickets at The Gorge Amphitheatre to help pay for emergency services on concert weekends.
State Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, said the money raised would be split between the hospital in Quincy and fire districts that serve the area.
The Columbia Basin Herald reported that last year, concert goers racked up more than $400,000 in unpaid bills to the Quincy Valley Medical Center.
Manweller said his bill, to be introduced later this year, would allow the Grant County commissioners to impose the surcharge, but not require it.
“It is absolutely unfair to make the Quincy residents pay for the 40,000 kids that come from Seattle and get drunk, fall down and overdose on drugs,” Manweller told the newspaper.
The Gorge for more than two decades has been luring major performers and big crowds to sparsely populated Grant County, which is about 120 miles east of Seattle. During some shows, the Gorge draws more than 20,000 patrons, surpassing Moses Lake to become the largest community in Grant County.
Because of the remoteness of the location, many patrons camp at the site, often for several days. The big campground is known for raucous partying.
Last year, the Paradiso Festival drew more than 25,000 people on June 28-29, and more than 70 ended up going to area hospitals, many because of apparent drug overdoses.
At an earlier meeting between medical center staff, concert promoter Live Nation and county commissioners, Gorge General Manager Danny Wilde said a $1 increase to ticket prices would actually be a tax on Live Nation, and would not be passed along to ticket buyers.
“He is 100 percent wrong about that,” Manweller said. “The surcharge would be for the ticket buyer, not Live Nation, and my bill would reimburse Live Nation for the administrative fees associated with collecting that money.”
Manweller said he wants to ensure that hospital and fire district resources are available for Quincy residents.
“The nightmare scenario is if all of the ambulances are at The Gorge and somebody in Quincy has a heart attack” and they die because there isn’t any ambulance service for them, Manweller said.
He doubted an extra dollar surcharge to ticket prices would deter anyone from attending concerts.
“I go to the Dave Matthews concert every year and the ticket is $56, If the ticket is $57, I’m not not going to go,” he said.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

A perfect picnic
A perfect picnic: What you need for a romantic date or a family trip
Determined to overcome
Determined to overcome: As Oso couple rebuild their lives, they focus on the good
Opportunity knocks
Opportunity knocks: Lynch’s holdout opens door for Seahawks' Michael, Turbin
Hangover? What hangover?
Hangover? What hangover?: Expectations nothing new for Super Bowl champions