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April 6, 2022

Notes Live to Open The Sunset, Colorado Springs World Class Music Amphitheater, in 2023

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ABOUT NOTES LIVE

 

Notes Live is the rapidly growing Colorado Springs-based company that within the next year and a half will be operating a half dozen large and mid-sized premium music venues across the West and South. The company identifies markets in regions with growing populations but a dearth of high-quality music and entertainment venue, and offers premium concert experiences, complete with unbeatable sound and sightlines as well as elevated food and beverage options.

 

Experienced entrepreneur and fifth-generation Colorado native JW Roth founded the company after a formative trip with his wife to California. A train tour of Napa made a stop at Peter Mondavi’s property, where the revered winemaker had set up a small amphitheater to hold concerts. Seeing a show in such a beautiful setting stuck with Roth. “I love live music, whether it's in Peter Mondavi’s front yard or some hole in the wall in downtown Colorado Springs,” Roth says. “But not everyone is not going to go to a lot of the places that I go. People don’t want to stand in a long line at the bathroom, sit at a table that is sticky, not be able to see the band well or eat bad food. So I built a place where the overall experience is as good as the music itself … and people love it.”

 

He first realized his vision of unbeatable music meeting world-class atmosphere with the music venue Boot Barn Hall, located on the same Colorado Springs campus as his restaurants Bourbon Brothers (opened 2014) and Buttermilk, A Breakfast Eatery (opened 2020). Roth brought all his experience as a successful entrepreneur to the new venture, drawing on lessons learned from starting Roth Industries, one of the fastest growing packaged food companies in America that provides fresh-never-frozen meals and proteins to over 12,000 grocery stores nationwide, where Roth remains Executive Chairman after stepping down as CEO in 2021 to focus his energies on Notes Live. For his first foray into the entertainment space, he got advice from industry veterans and hired the best people in the space, from architects to sound designers to sightline and branding experts, to create a premium entertainment experience. “I want it to sound like it does in my car. I want it to sound like it does on my patio at home,” he says. “I want everything to be perfect, and I want that perfection translated in all we do.”

 

Since opening in February 2019, the Boot Barn Hall has quickly become one of Colorado’s premiere music venues, booking a mix of country and classic rock acts for the upscale demographic that has moved into the area. Now Notes Live is building on that success with a slate of new entertainment campuses coming throughout the south and west through 2023.

 

The biggest will be The Sunset, an 8,000 person state of the art open-air amphitheater in Colorado Springs that will host the largest touring acts in the country in style and comfort. Designed by industry renowned architects, it will offer an unparalleled view of the sun setting over Pikes Peak right behind the stage as each concert begins, flanked by the United States Air Force Academy stadium on the left and the iconic Air Force chapel on the right, as well as amenities like 60 VIP luxury firepit suites, 4 – 5 Star restaraunts including a signature seafood and chophouse with a top-shelf rooftop bar carrying over 150 of the rarest bourbons in the world.

 

Notes Live will also be bringing the successful Boot Barn Hall and Bourbon Brothers concept to a number of other cities, starting with opening in the greater Atlanta market in the fall 2022, with a 30k square foot state of the art campus under construction in the booming commuter city of Gainesville, GA. From there it will add locations in Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. As more of these open, Notes Live will be able to create leverage through scale, purchasing multiple artist dates for their network of venues.

 

“I am building an entertainment company that when you think of our name, you think ‘experience,’” Roth says. “There will be no better place to see a concert on earth than at one of our properties.”

 

ABOUT JW ROTH

 

Notes Live, founded by Colorado Springs-based entrepreneur JW Roth, is the rapidly growing live-entertainment company that within the next year and a half will be operating a half dozen large and mid-sized premium music venues across the West and South. It currently boasts a Colorado Springs entertainment campus with the Boot Barn Hall concert venue, Bourbon Brothers restaurant, and Buttermilk breakfast eatery and will have launched similar locations in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas by the end of 2023, as well as the company’s crown jewel: The Sunset, a state of the art, 8,000 person open-air amphitheater in Colorado Springs that will host the largest touring acts in the country.

 

Down to almost the smallest detail, the company’s venues were envisioned by Roth, an entrepreneur who has led the process of taking seven different companies public and a lifelong music fan and concert-goer. He first conceived of the company on a trip to California years ago. A train tour of Napa made a stop at Peter Mondavi’s property, where the revered winemaker had set up a small amphitheater to hold concerts. Seeing a show in such a beautiful setting stuck with Roth. “I love live music, whether it's in Peter Mondavi’s front yard or whether it's some hole in the wall in downtown Colorado Springs,” Roth says. “But not everyone is not going to go to a lot of the places that I go. People don’t want to stand in a long line at the bathroom, sit at a table that is sticky, eat bad food, or not be able to see the band well. So I built a place where the overall experience is as good as the music itself.”

 

Roth’s personal passions infuse every experience at his venues. He loves classic rock and country, so those were some of the first bands he booked (“I told people, I'm going to build a place that is going to have the same kind of music that I listened to in my car,” he jokes). He has the largest residential firepit in the nation at his house, so the Sunset will include over 60 VIP luxury firepit suites. He is a bourbon collector, so all his campuses will include bourbon tasting rooms with over 150 of the rarest bourbons he has discovered from all over the world. Roth’s attention to detail informs every decision made, from the tables in the concert halls – all custom-made hightops for an optimal sightline whether the attendee wants to sit or stand – to the lights in the bourbon room – every one hand blown by a lighting company he found in Tennessee – to the state-of-the-art sound system designed by Martin. “People know that I go over the top, it’s just what I do. I want it to sound like it does in my car. I want to sound like it does on my patio at home,” he says. “I want it to be perfect, and I want that perfection to be translated into everything we do.”

 

The fifth-generation Colorado native traces his self-starting streak back to his early teenage years, when he started a business selling firewood door to door. He scaled his ambitions up from there, selling everything from bulk delivered foods to insurance before he was twenty. Drawing on his childhood experiences working on his family’s cow ranch outside of Denver, as a young adult he co-founded the animal health company Aspen Bio Pharmaceuticals and was the initial financier of the veterinary imaging company Sound Technology, leading the process of taking seven different companies public along the way. In 1996, he made his first investment in food manufacturing, which, through a series of further investments, led to his biggest success yet: Roth Industries, one of the fastest growing packaged food companies in America that provides fresh-never-frozen meals and proteins to over 12,000 grocery stores nationwide.

 

In 2021, though, he resigned as CEO of Roth Industries (he remains on the board as Executive Chairman) to devote himself to another passion: Live music and entertainment. The company he founded, Notes Live, has become his main focus. It began almost by chance after one of Roth’s early real estate investments was leased by a restaurant group. That establishment soon went under, leaving him with a fully-operational restaurant sitting empty on his land, just waiting for someone to run it. Rather than find someone else to lease it again, he decided to step in himself.

 

“I didn't know anything about the restaurant business, to be honest with you,” he recalls now. “So I took a team that we already had established at Roth, and we put a business plan together. Then I went down to the culinary school in Colorado Springs and started hiring some of the students that were graduating. Then I hired the guy that ran the culinary school.”

 

That first restaurant, Bourbon Brothers (opened in 2014), became a smash success, and an example of one of Roth’s core business philosophies. “One of the things that I learned early on in my career was invest in jockeys, not horses,” he says. “I've had that mentality through all of my businesses: Find good people. Bad people can screw up a good business; great people can fix a bad business.”

 

Some of those great people include his own family members. Roth boasts one of the longest family lines in Colorado; he notes that the Roths settled there before Colorado was even a state. And now his son Mitchell has joined the family business at both Roth Industries and Notes Live. “I would take him with me when I would go on meetings when he was nine or ten,” Roth recalls, “and I would always tell him, one of these days we're going to work together. And today, Mitchell runs our family’s crown jewel, Roth Industries.”

 

The campus with Bourbon Brothers soon expanded to include the music venue Boot Barn Hall (opened 2019) and Buttermilk, A Breakfast Eatery (opened 2020). Since its opening, the Boot Barn Hall has quickly become one of Colorado’s premiere music venues, booking a mix of country and classic rock acts for the upscale demographic that has moved into the area. Next, Roth plans to bring that model to other cities across the West and South in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, and beyond. The company identifies markets in regions with growing populations but a dearth of high-quality music and entertainment venue, and offers premium concert experiences, complete with unbeatable sound and sightlines as well as elevated food and beverage options.

 

The biggest of all will be The Sunset, an 8,000 person open-air amphitheater on the same Colorado Springs campus as Bourbon Brothers, Boot Barn Hall, and Buttermilk. Opening in 2023, it will host the largest touring acts in the country in style and comfort. “My goal is to build the most luxurious, state of the art amphitheater in the world,” he says. Designed by industry renowned architects, it offers an unparalleled view of the sun setting over Pikes Peak right behind the stage as each concert begins, flanked by the United States Air Force Academy stadium on the left and the iconic Air Force chapel on the right.

 

“I am building an entertainment company that when you think of our name, you think ‘experience,’” Roth says. “There will be no better place to see a concert on earth than at one of our properties.”

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