Hayden Bathrooms and showers are a hot commodity at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden.
Fairgrounds Manager Jill Delay said that 4-H girls use them to straighten and blow-dry their hair before shows and that hunters who camp out at the grounds use them early and often.
But Delay said the facilities long have been in need of an upgrade.
“When you have 1,000 people on the fairgrounds and a lot of people wanting to take showers, the lines can start to form at 5:30 a.m.,” Delay said.
An ongoing construction project this summer at the fairgrounds will replace a more than 50-year-old restroom facility that has been closed for three years with a larger building that will add six showers and new restrooms to the grounds on South Poplar Street. Delay said the new showers will be coin operated and open to the public at all times.
“Once this is done, we will have the only public showers open year-round from Steamboat to Craig,” she said. “We’re pretty excited about it. There’s definitely a need for it here.”
In the past, the fairgrounds’ restrooms were weatherized and its two showers were turned off during the winter. The project is expected to be finished in mid-July and is funded by a $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant and about $100,000 in matching funds from the fairgrounds.
The project could be the first of other upgrades to the recreational facility.
Fair board Vice President Don Hayes said there are plans to add a second crow’s nest and outdoor warm-up arena to the northeast side of the grounds to separate spectators from participants and animals. He said fundraising efforts for those projects are ongoing.
“It’s been stagnant (at the fairgrounds) for a long time,” Hayes said. “Anything that we can do to increase usage is going to increase revenue, which is going to help the county.”
In addition to the annual Routt County Fair in August, the grounds will host several events this summer, including a 4-H expo in June and the inaugural Routt County Redneck Olympics on July 21. The new games will feature a lawnmower triathlon, paintball obstacle course and mud surfing, among other things.
Organizer Wendy Lind, who owns the Axial Arts architecture company in Hayden, said Tuesday that she is excited to see upgrades coming to the fairgrounds this summer.
“The upgrades will help us grow our events much larger,” she said. “To attract larger events, we need to have good restrooms and good facilities.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com