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Konocti closing: The day the music died

  • Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa. 2002 file photo (The Press Democrat/ John Burgess)

Todd Flack went to a Loverboy concert at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa 10 years ago, and loved it so much he moved to Kelseyville.

He still lives there on Mount Konocti, just above the hotel on Clear Lake. He works out at the resort?s spa, goes dancing at the lounge with his wife every Saturday night and attends nearly every live show.

When the resort, long beset by legal and financial problems, shuts down on Nov. 11, it?ll leave a void in his life.

?We?re broken-hearted,? Flack said. ?We?re hoping some investors come in and keep it alive. We don?t know what we?ll do if it closes. The Konocti is unique, because of the setting on the lake. Even the bands get onstage and say, ?Look at that!?

The hot country band Rascal Flatts plays the last scheduled concerts in Konocti?s outdoor amphitheater this weekend, and the venue plans a couple of smaller indoor shows early next month. Then the music?s over.

The closure means that Flack and the venue?s other fans will face at least a two-hour drive to reach venues big enough to book their favorite Konocti Harbor acts, from classic rockers like KISS to country stars, such as Tim McGraw and Brooks and Dunn.

?Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville is a two-hour drive. So is HP Pavilion in San Jose,? said Rick Bartalini, director of entertainment programs at Santa Rosa?s Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. ?Maybe some of those acts will play Sacramento (Arco Arena) or Concord (Sleep Train Pavilion) now.?

With almost 1,600 seats, Wells Fargo Center is the nearest, next-largest venue to Konocti, which seats 5,000 in its outdoor amphitheater and 1,000 in its indoor showroom.

?We might pick up some of Konocti?s smaller acts, like Cheech and Chong, or Heart, but we were already booking those,? Bartalini added.

The next-closest venue of a roughly similar size is Marin Center in San Rafael, with 2,000 seats, but fans shouldn?t look there for the major country-music acts they love. Even the annual Marin County Fair doesn?t book much country music.

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