Routt County Commissioners decide on top 12 priorities for fairgrounds

Year-round shower, restroom facilities top concerns listed in master plan

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Top priorities

Top 12 priorities in the Routt County Fairgrounds Master Plan Update:

  1. Restroom and shower facilities available for year-round use

  2. Additional livestock housing with wash racks

  3. Revamp circulation patterns throughout county-owned fairgrounds property

  4. Complete recreational vehicle hook-up sites

  5. Upgrade the sound system to create a unified system throughout the grounds and buildings

  6. Storage for fair supplies, equipment and panels

  7. Reconfigure livestock handling areas

  8. Upgrade recreational amenities an landscaping

  9. Add a lift station

  10. Classroom or training facility and office

  11. Alternative energy conversion

  12. Digital marquee sign on Poplar Street

— Routt County Fairgrounds officials reached another milestone Tuesday in an effort to update the Fair­grounds Master Plan.

The Routt County Board of Com­­m­­is­­sion­­ers approved, 3-0, a list of the top 12 priorities for the Fairgrounds Master Plan Update, which include facility improvements to expand the use of the fairgrounds year-round and improve functioning during the annual Routt County Fair.

Fairgrounds manager and fair coordinator Jill Delay said the Master Plan was last updated in 2000.

She said the list of 12 updates she presented to the commissioners Tuesday would be a significant part of reassessing the future vision of the fairgrounds, and the capital needs that come along with that vision.

The Fair Advisory Board held a series of public meetings to collect input about the significant priorities for future updates.

According to Fair Advisory Board Vice President Don Hayes, several organizations and community members expressed a similar top concern: the shower and restroom facilities.

“Our biggest complaint was that they wanted to have a facility they could use,” he said. “It’s been the No. 1 complaint in the community for the last 10 years.”

Currently, the shower facilities are closed in the winter.

Delay said the Fair Advisory Board is looking at a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to update and winterize the facility.

“This is something that could help on a year-round basis and not just during the 10 days during the fair,” she said.

The second priority was additional livestock housing.

Delay and Hayes told commissioners that they have been using overflow stalls the past few years, and livestock numbers have been hitting record highs.

Other potential improvements on the list included an upgrade of the public address system on the fairgrounds, hook-ups for recreational vehicles, more storage room and looking at alternative energy solutions.

The prioritization list doesn’t get into specifics of time and money, Delay said.

That plan will be left to the Mountain Architect Design Group, which soon will receive the list and look for efficient and feasible ways to carry out the potential updates.

“When we were putting this together, we were looking a little at the big picture of what our needs are,” Delay said, “Not a specific building in a specific place or designing it or anything. We just stayed on course, and I think we’ve done a good job.”

Commissioner Nancy Sta­hoviak agreed.

“You’ve done some good work on this,” she said about the priority list. “It’s a long list. A lot of dollars. But now you have a sort of road map.”

Delay said the next step is to have the architecture firm report back about the feasibility and efficiency of approaching each of the projects.

Access to funding could alter the order of the priorities as the Master Plan Update progresses.

Still, Delay said each update fits into a larger vision for the future of the fairgrounds.

“We want to make it a place we here we can have more events year-round,” Delay said.

“We want it to be a desirable facility for organizations to use for their events, and that could help offset our costs. It’s a huge asset to the community and especially the community of Hayden. There are so many organizations that could utilize the facility.”

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