What Are We Fighting For?
by Kelly and Troy Wilsey
Aug 04, 2008 | 636 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

We have dedicated our hearts and souls to live music in this town. Thank you Telluride for allowing us to experience music the way one should in Telluride. So what the hell is going on? Why did we call in a noise complaint on Las Montanãs, another live music venue, this past Friday?

Believe it or not, we are fighting the same battle and are on the same team. This was not an act of betrayal although it may seem that way. Las Montanãs, Tommy’s, and The Moon were all in the front row at our liquor license hearing in June defending our business and standing up for live music in this town saying this could be any one of them.

Well now it is one of them and that was the point that we are proving. This law does not protect any live music venue on main street and in fact, it will do the opposite; it will sink them. We sincerely apologize for doing this, and we cannot reverse the pain that this situation has caused.

If the businesses truly feel that we are all in this together and any one of them could be cited then this controversial issue should push them to see that the law must be changed and not blame us because this is not Bubble Lounge getting them the ticket; this is the town having a law that does not protect its bars on main street. The anger and feeling of betrayal is something we feel terrible about but right now we are the only ones truly fighting this battle and are sinking quickly. The town actions towards us are a repetition of the past; they are taking out one bar at a time, Swede Finn, Garfinkel’s, The Roma, Side Street, The Moon, and now us, Bubble Lounge. But they cannot take all of us down if we don’t let them by standing up to them. Wake up town council! We just proved that any bar on main street could be going to court. What does the town of Telluride stand for? Liberal? I don’t think so.

The fact is they prioritize real estate sales and the property value on main street, and to them, the bars are expendable. What about the value of our business? Do you think we will ever sell a business, which has had a lawsuit since day one due to an unconstitutional noise-ordinance law, which the town’s citizens have the power to change? Stu Frasier will come up with another cowardly excuse every month for why changing the law will not be agenized which he has already been doing for three months and has recently done again. It was supposed to be on Aug.3 now it is supposedly set for Aug. 24. Meanwhile, the ability to be shut down for being a music venue is still allowed. This does not allow for growth or success for anyone.

We know this issue has raised many questions about why we would do this to another live music venue. If Las Montanãs truly feels the way they said they did at the liquor license hearing then the outcome of our actions will save us all. If everyone is just all talk to make themselves look good and unified then slowly we will all get taken down one by one, which now puts the other bars in our position. Will the town force you to soundproof? Will they force your musicians to turn their levels down lower then they have ever experienced before and watch your musicians’ faces turn gray? Will they force your windows and doors shut so there is no ventilation and you can watch your customers leave one by one? This town is dying slowly and after all that we have been through we owe it to the citizens of this town to truly show you what is going on. This has been a 17-month battle for us that we have been doing on our own, attending to every useless need that town has put on us. The big picture is that we all are in this together, and the only betrayal now is if Las Montanãs continues to bad mouth us and make us out to be the enemy, because that is not the case. We will do everything in our power to get their ticket dropped and most likely it will. It was invalidly written and a little controversy and a lot of anger is what this town needs to get some change.

Goodbye Bubble Lounge maybe this is what it will all come to. That would be so sad to see after everything that we have done. You guys know us and you know what kind of business that we run and the kind of people that we are. Have some faith that this is all for the greater good. We know we may have just jeopardized ourselves more by taking this step but we feel it is the only way to change things and we truly have to sacrifice ourselves to protect live music in this town and to let the citizens know who is leading their town. Every bar owner who has had noise problems in the past has just given up and moved on, well it is time to stop giving up and start fighting.

So now we ask for your help by not only standing by us, but also to make your voices heard to the town council that this law needs to be changed, not just for us, but for everyone. The bigger picture is that tourism is a major industry in this town and live music contributes to Telluride’s appeal to this crowd. Real estate is not the only market but also bars like ours, which support venues for musicians. The town needs to take the necessary steps now before the live music industry in town is destroyed. However, we cannot do it without everyone’s help. As a proud citizen of Telluride please help us regain what Telluride gives us pride for in the first place.

– Kelly and Troy Wilsey, Bubble Lounge owners
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