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What's next for small town losing major concert?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: What's next for small town losing major concert?
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Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, is gone in a flash. Lewis County and its small town of Turin are reeling from the news one of its biggest money makers. The Labor Day Weekend Concert Festival knows as moe.Down is leaving town. As our Brian Dwyer reports, town leaders and businesses are now trying to make sure the move doesn't have long-lasting effects.

LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. -- It couldn't have come at a worse time. Not only has the snow melted the ski season early, but there will no longer be a big money maker to fill the void.

The moe.Down festival held each year at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin says it's moving the show to the Mohawk Valley.

"It's a lot of fun,” Snow Ridge Ski Resort GM Michael Sabatini said. "If you've never been here, it's a lot of great food and a lot of good people. We've made a ton of friends over the years."

But when 7,000 friends will no longer fill the resort every Labor Day weekend, there's a different kind of loss. The show is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars with it. Less money equals fewer jobs.

"There's probably five, six, seven, eight guys here working for a month and a half to get the place ready," Sabatini said. "They're not going to work this summer. They're going to be unemployed."

That's not including the hotels, restaurants and other businesses losing out. The Town of Turin will feel the pinch as well. moe. not only donated money, but held a number of charity events each year as well.

"Last year, they had a can drive for food pantries,” Turin Town Supervisor Gerald Reed said. "They had an educational supply drive that went to South Lewis. Our library has gotten money. Our town fire department probably sees the biggest impact of this concert going away."

So what next? That's the question being asked by local businesses and Lewis County leaders who have now formed a committee to try and figure out some sort of replacement.

"We have nice hotel. We have a ski area. We've got a golf course,” said Sabatini, who also owns the nearby course. "You don't get all that very close together. You should be able to take that together and market that and be successful with it."

"We will meet again, but it will take a long time to have an event that will have anywhere near the significance that moe.Down had as an impact on the county,” Lewis County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anne Merrill, who's on the committee said.
As for how long that could be, Merrill says it could be years.

moe.Down will now be held at the Gelston Castle Estate in Mohawk. It will still be over Labor Day Weekend. Tickets go on sale April 1st.

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