Parachute cites potential impacts of new oil and gas regulations in canceling this year’s Oktoberfest event

Parachute is canceling its signature fall event, Oktoberfest, citing economic reasons behind the decision, including concerns over the potential impacts of state Senate Bill 181 on the oil and gas industry.

While the bigger priority for Parachute Town Council is to build the town’s local economy by adding new recreation opportunities rather than host a single event, the sweeping new industry rules that appear headed toward approval also led council to the decision.

According to a press release, it is firmly believed by council members that the bill, if passed and signed by Gov. Jared Polis, may halt the natural gas industry now and into the future. That would in turn impact the town’s economy, which is largely dependent on oil and gas-related activities, states the press release.

The legislation seeks to alter how the natural gas industry is regulated in Colorado and allow for more local controls. It has now passed through three state Senate committees, the full Senate and two House committees in less than a month.

As the bill continues to move forward, the town determined that the money used for what has been an expensive Oktoberfest event in the past could be better used to fund other economic development efforts that are of higher priority for the Town Council.

One such venture listed in the release is TOP Adventures, a Parachute-based outdoor recreation business which rents recreation equipment such as bicycles, off-road vehicles, rafting trips and more.

The town has assisted with some of the infrastructure to support the business, including a boat ramp, and has been working to establish a riverfront “recreation corridor” along the north side of the Colorado River in town.

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