Stage to be built at Hideaway Park |

Stage to be built at Hideaway Park

A large crowd filled Hideaway Park in Winter Park last July during the SolShine Music Festival. The Town of Winter Park is planning to build a permanent stage in the park.
Byron Hetzler file photo/ | Sky-Hi News

WINTER PARK — The Town of Winter Park is planning to construct a permanent stage in Hideaway Park.

The new stage was part of the original vision for the park, said Town Manager Drew Nelson.

Nelson called the stage the “final capstone on the park’s development.”

There was also a financial impetus for a permanent stage.

“I think it’s great for commerce, and I think its great for business because it just finishes off that gem in a permanent fashion.”
Catherine Ross
Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber

Nelson said the town currently spends around $70,000 annually on temporary staging, and that cost is anticipated to rise.

“A permanent stage would not have the ongoing rental costs that we currently incur,” Nelson said.

The new stage will host events like Winter Park’s “Blues From the Top” festival and the Winter Park Jazz Festival.

“I think that’s going to provide for a better venue for both our guest and the performers,” said Mayor Jimmy Lahrman.

The town has narrowed the design candidates for the Hideaway Park Stage Project to three firms as of press time.

The O’Bryan Partnership, Semple Brown Design and Charles Cunniffe Architects have been selected as finalists to design the stage.

The town solicited proposals from firms willing to undertake the design of the stage, receiving six proposals between April 1 and April 28.

Since then, the town has worked closely with the Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce and the public to evaluate the proposals.

Though work hasn’t yet started on the stage’s design, the town’s proposal request dictates a set of minimum guidelines that the design must incorporate. These include an adjustable roof, storage space beneath the stage, a system for hanging lighting and sound equipment, and dressing rooms in the back of the stage.

The town will move forward with the design stage of the proposal after a firm is selected.

The Chamber of Commerce and public will also be involved in the actual design process of the stage, said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Catherine Ross.

Ross said although the stage won’t necessarily change how the park is being used, it will help make the park more appealing.

“I think it’s great for commerce, and I think its great for business because it just finishes off that gem in a permanent fashion,” Ross said.

The town hopes to have the design phase completed by Sept. 1, according to the request for proposals.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610

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