MV Crane Festival Committee asks town to prepare for visitors


Hey Monte Vista — are you ready for Crane Festival March 10-12?

It’s kind of hard to remember what a ‘normal, pre-COVID’ crane festival feels like. Crane Festival brings about $3.35 million to the San Luis Valley, nearly $120,000 in tax revenue alone! During the month of March about 18,000 people visit the refuge (and our town) to see the cranes. The peak of that visitation is over crane fest weekend. These visitors stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, fill their gas tanks, go to the grocery store, and our other businesses.

After last year’s festival, a waitress at a local restaurant reported a long, tiring, busy weekend but that she made a car payment ($600 plus) with the tips she earned during crane fest weekend!

This year is the 40th Annual Crane Festival and your Crane Festival planning committee (Friends of the Refuge, MV Chamber, and City of MV) are planning a full festival with bus tours, speakers, craft and nature fair at Ski Hi, and special events including a movie premiere to mark the 40th anniversary.

Monte Vista — get ready for this event and these visitors — if you are a business owner increase your supplies and staffing for the weekend to handle crowds and consider extending your hours. This is especially important for restaurants — stock up and be ready for thousands of people looking for food and drink.

Let’s show our visitors a good time, if we do, they will visit again at other times of the year.

Jenny Nehring

Monte Vista Crane Festival Committee