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October 27, 2011 8:54 am

EDITORIAL: Positive developments for the fairgrounds

Written by Don Amend

It’s been a year of problems and changes for the Park County Fairgrounds.

Electrical issues, the demolition of a major building due to structural problems, and changes in personnel at particularly inconvenient times all affected the facility in the past year.

Despite the problems, the Park County Fair went on as usual in July, and the fairgrounds continued to host many public and private events, including two massive dinners during the dedication of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center, thanks to the efforts of the fair staff, the Park County Fair Board, the Park County Commission and Park County Buildings and Grounds Department.

Still, all the issues with the fairgrounds have not been resolved. Major upgrades of the electrical system are under way, and the demolished Large Exhibit Hall must be replaced.

The Fair Board has taken the situation as an opportunity to take a new direction. Instead of hiring a new fair manager, the board has promoted the fair’s office manager, Jennifer Lohrenz, to the position of fair director, giving her the major responsibility of administering the fair and the other activities that take place at the fairgrounds during the year. The board turned the management and upkeep of the fairgrounds over to the county’s Buildings and Grounds Department.

Changes are under way to improve lighting in several areas, improve camping areas and add an additional horse arena. Work has begun to develop plans for a new multipurpose building that will replace the old Large Exhibit Hall and several other deteriorating buildings.

The fairgrounds are an important facility, not only for the fair, but for numerous other community events that take place there throughout the year. The new attention to their care and enhancement can only add to the usefulness of the facilities and make them more attractive as a place to hold events.

The Fair Board and the County Commission are to be commended for turning the recent difficulties at the fairgrounds into positive progress.

2 comments

  • Comment Link October 27, 2011 9:28 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    The way people in Park County poop money off,they need to get the fairgrounds outside the Powell city limits.Many folks who live around the fairgrounds are tired of the noise,pollution and ignorant people who park in front of our driveways.Move the fairgrounds out in the county where it belongs.

  • Comment Link November 05, 2011 5:41 pm posted by Steve Moseley

    I've been told it was out there by itself when it was first placed at that location. If that's the case then the aggrieved residents to whom you refer bear at least some responsibility for the fact they live in the shadow of the fairgrounds. Seems to me a little like the folks who build under an airport approach that's been there for decades, then set up a howl about jet noise. A person who was so inclined might also argue that a week or two of fair activity still leaves 50 weeks a year of blissfully mundane living for those good folks. Just sayin...

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