New manager takes over for Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center |

New manager takes over for Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center

Garfield County Fairgrounds to resume regular operations and new reservations

The new manager for the Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center, Chris Floyd.
Submitted / Garfield County

A new manager is taking over the Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center, the county announced Tuesday.

Former Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office Manager Chris Floyd, who boasts 15 years of experience working for state park departments throughout the nation, aims to diversify offerings at the annual Garfield County Fair and Rodeo, a news release states. In addition, Floyd wants to ensure the fairgrounds is heavily utilized year-around with a wide range of activities and interests from throughout the community to “keep an eye on the future.”

“My vision is we need to do whatever we can not only to sustain, but grow the fair,” he said in the release. “There is an opportunity to ensure the event is robust and diverse enough to attract a broad audience far into the future and that’s what I plan to do. There are a lot of traditions both during the fair and taking place in the other months at the fairgrounds and we will continue to support those activities.”

Floyd is experienced in large events, including the Fort Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous, which welcomes 25,000 to 30,000 people over Labor day weekend annually, the release states. He said he cherishes the interactions with attendees and has always felt a strong dedication to public service.

“Public service opportunities are naturally appealing to me,” he said in the release. “What called my attention to the Garfield County role was that it mirrored much of the work I’ve done for years in facilities management, events and public programs. The only difference is a bit more livestock and a few more rodeos.”

Floyd said working with local and county governments over the years to develop outdoor recreation opportunities made the move to Garfield County a smooth transition, the release states.

“I developed a deep appreciation for local government and was looking to make the transition from the state level,” he said in the release.

An adventure motorcyclist and outdoorsman, Floyd said the outdoor opportunities offered in Garfield County made his hiring that much sweeter, the release states.

“It’s just a great place to live,” he said in the release. “It’s close to high mountains and high deserts. From that perspective, the area had a lot of appeal for me relocating here. It was just a matter of finding the right opportunity, and I feel I’m a good fit.”

The 84th annual Garfield County Fair and Rodeo is slated for Aug. 1-7 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center in Rifle. This year’s entertainment schedule will be announced in the coming weeks at


The county has hired and trained three new staff members, and regular hours of operation have resumed at the fairgrounds, which is again accepting reservations beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 7, the release states.

“One of our first goals was to get the fairgrounds operations back up and running at full tilt,” Floyd said in the release. “Now that our new staff has received sufficient training, we’re ready to do just that. We appreciate the community’s patience over the last few months.”

Reservable facilities at the fairgrounds include the indoor arena, covered arena, outdoor arena (weather permitting), grandstands, North Hall (capacity 100), South Hall (capacity 300), Event Hall (capacity 200), commercial and catering kitchens, a concession stand, five barns with stalls, and the parking lot (for food trucks, events, etc.), the release states.

Reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance, and payment must be made at the time of the reservation. Cash and checks are accepted, but credit/debit cards are preferred, the release states.

“Demand is high for reserved rides in the indoor arena for the final two months of winter, so those who make reservations are initially limited to one two-hour session per week through the end of March,” the release states. “Any leftover time slots will be re-released for reservation to anyone requesting multiple ride times.

Anyone interested in making a facility or event reservation can either visit the fairgrounds in person at 1001 Railroad Ave., Rifle, or call 970-625-2514. More information can be found at

“A lot of people have fond memories of things they’ve done at the fair and at the fairgrounds for many decades,” Floyd said in the release. “We want to help everyone create new memories for years to come.”

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