Year in review: Fairgrounds improved, due for more work
The Garfield County Fairgrounds drew quite a bit of attention this year, both on and off the actual site in Rifle.
This year’s fair was the county’s 75th, and a $900,000 improvement project was completed just before the fair began in August.
Frontier Paving employees and sub-contractors spent the summer managing dirt work and paving, as well as landscaping, sidewalk construction, irrigation, storm drainage infrastructure, fencing and lighting improvements.
Along with added parking spots, upgrades included a landscaped berm (which has camping hookups), a larger equine warm-up area, and a design that directs pedestrians from the parking lot to a new stone entryway into the grandstands area. It was designed not only to be more efficient for vehicle parking, but safer for event participants and attendees.
“We are looking at facilities master plans for this property and the Garfield County Regional Airport,” said Commissioner John Martin. “This is just the first of several steps towards an upgraded fairgrounds, with better stalls, a covered warm-up area, a rubberized track and proper changing areas for rodeo and riding participants, which I would like to see included in our facilities in future years.”
Toward that end, the county held a series of public meetings across the county to gather input for the fairgrounds master plan. After the comments from the meetings are compiled, facilitator Kathy Chandler Henry will submit a report to the county. The commissioners are scheduled to hold a workshop on the subject in early January.
The vision and strategic plan for the fairgrounds will help guide any further improvements, possible relocation and other operational issues.
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