Music series resolved in Genoa | RecordCourier.com

Music series resolved in Genoa

by Maggie O'Neill, Staff Writer

The Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre will return next season, but not to Mormon Station State Park in the Town of Genoa.

At the monthly board meeting Tuesday night, board members voted two to two regarding the return of the music series to Genoa.

To the disappointment of some and to the pleasure of others, a tie vote means the motion failed to allow the Amphitheatre’s return.

“There will be a Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre series,” partner John Procaccini said after the decision was made. Procaccini and Starlight partner John Pappenfort hope to decide on a venue in January.

Both men had requested the board make a decision at December’s board meeting. Before public comment began, Procaccini and Pappenfort gave rousing speeches to a full town hall.

Procaccini voiced disappointment at the recent decision by state park officials not to support the series’ return.

The partners lost a significant portion of money in the summer series. Pappenfort said what kept him going was the smiles on people’s faces leaving the concert.

“It’s for those people I’m here tonight,” he said.

More and more people walked into town hall as the meeting continued. The audience split into two factions on either side of the room.

During public comment, those on the supporting side cited the benefits of the concerts to Genoa business and the surrounding areas and the pleasure of having the music in their town.

“The support for continuing the series (among Genoa business owners) was overwhelmingly positive,” said Len Semas, spokesperson for the Great Genoa Business Association. “Let’s start thinking outside the box. Even Lake Tahoe is not an island. Why would we deny Northern Nevada the benefit of the series because of a few people outside the park?”

But residents living outside Mormon State State Park said dishes rattle during the concert and, with windows closed, music could still be heard.

“We’re not anti-business,” said Genoa resident Brian Williams. “This is not just a minor inconvenience. (It’s not like) moving next to Douglas High School knowing a football game was going on, it’s like the football game moved in on us.”

After public comment ended, Procaccini promised to work on sound issues and to finish the concerts on time – the main issues Genoa residents had issues with this summer.

“Carson City is willing to pay us money to come there,” Procaccini said prior to the town vote. “But creatively it doesn’t work. Once again, we’re open to solutions. Should we be denied, we’ll be on our way, but should we be approved, I’ll hope to receive calls regarding solutions.”

Mike Saffran and Bo Bottiggi voted against the return of the series, and Steven Hollister and Bill Donohoe voted for its return.

n Maggie O’Neill can be e-mailed at mo’neill@recordcourier.com