COLORADO SPRINGS – The stage was set for people to return to a newly upgraded Black Sheep concert hall next weekend. New floors, a new mural, a new bar and better lighting had all been installed during the three-month hiatus.
Then the governor ordered bars and places like the Black Sheep closed, saying the country had not found a way to operate these businesses, designed for mass gatherings in tight spaces, in the event of a pandemic. .
âIt was heartbreaking,â said Rosanna Taylor. âBut we know we have to do what’s best for our state and our community in order to understand. It just sucks because we all love what we do here, so not being able to do it sucks for everyone.
Taylor is the venue’s marketing manager, one of the few full-time employees.
On Saturday July 9, they were ready to open to a capacity of 50 people with hand sanitizing stations around the building. The venue can usually accommodate over 400 people, but Taylor says it was more about reconnecting with people they missed than maximizing profits.
âWe are celebrating our 15th anniversary in October. We feel like we are a fixture in our community when it comes to concert halls, âTaylor said.
As soon as the phone rang at the Sheep’s marketing meeting on Tuesday, general manager Kevin Zirfas had an idea of ââwhat the owners of the place were going to say.
âSeeing all the other states with spike cases, and then some of the other bars in town and state not complying with anything, we thought, ‘Is this going to be even stricter? How is this going to work? ‘ Zirfas said.
In addition to the renovations – the first in the Black Sheep’s 15-year history, undertaken by an owner who wanted to reinvigorate the facility – Taylor says people have bought merchandise to support them.
They also had live concerts with local bands where people donated to them.
“That says everything. It means that what we’ve been working for, building community, is working, âTaylor explained. âWe want to take it to the next level. We want to continue doing this for the next 15 years and still be the black sheep and spread it in the city and be part of this community. That’s what everyone wants here.