Nothing too Phishy

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By AJ Vicens

The weekend concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre by the rock band Phish were subdued as far as law enforcement was concerned, allaying fears that these concerts would be a repeat of the last time Phish fans flooded the Morrison area.

“I was the on-call (police spokeswoman) over the weekend, and I wasn’t advised of anything major happening,” said Detective Sharon Avendano of the Denver Police Department. Red Rocks and the park’s parking lots are owned and operated by the city of Denver.

However, a 26-year-old man from Oklahoma was found dead Sunday morning in his hotel room at the Denver Marriott West hotel in Golden, Jeffco sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said.

“Investigators don’t think a second party was involved,” Kelley said. “But what we don’t know is exactly what caused his death. It’s unfortunate that we lost a 26-year-old, but it’s not being investigated as a suspicious death or homicide.”

This year’s concerts July 30 to Aug. 2 were much more subdued than the 1996 shows when over-zealous fans flooded Morrison and got a bit too exuberant, causing a clash with police.

Kelley said that Jeffco agents working with the Denver police reported nothing major happening within Red Rocks.

The Jeffco sheriff’s office had a few extra deputies, but worked in coordination with the Denver Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol and the Morrison Police Department.

Denver Marriott West General Manager Jennifer Atkins said things went pretty well at the hotel.

“We weren’t as busy as we had hoped,” Atkins said. “The people that did stay had late-night concerts and pool-side concerts everyday, and it seems like everyone was having a very good time.”

Atkins said that other hotel guests weren’t thrilled with the Phish fans, but overall, things went well.

“People were happy, in a good mood, and there were very few incidents of any major criminal behavior,” Kelley said. “It was really, truly, a non-event.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.