Friday, January 14, 2011

Hailey finalizes rodeo grounds policy

Sawtooth Rangers’ to be only rodeo in town until 2013


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

The new rodeo grounds multi-use arena at the south end of Hailey is scheduled for completion by the Fourth of July, just in time for the 64th annual Sawtooth Rangers Days of the Old West Rodeo.

The Sawtooth Rangers have had authority over how the arena is used since 1947, but that changes following the $3.5-million redevelopment of the rodeo grounds. The city of Hailey, which owns the property, hopes to expand use of the arena to include farmers markets, concerts and other community events.

On Monday, Jan. 24, the City Council expects to pass an arena user-fee policy, intended to make the new facility self-supporting through user fees rather than tax money.

The Sawtooth Rangers have an initially exclusive three-year contract with the city for the weekends prior to, following and including July 4, 2011 and 2012. No professional rodeos other than those produced by the Sawtooth Rangers are to be allowed within the arena during 2011 and 2012.

"This is to make sure we get a good product," said Councilman Fritz Haemmerle at a council meeting Monday.

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The council will vote on Jan. 24 on general-use policies for other weekend events (up to 3,000 seats) after July 15.

Rental fees for the facility will be $500 per day for the arena, and an additional $250 per day for the concession area, including setup and cleanup days.

Ticketed events are subject to an additional $1 per ticket fee on tickets up to $20. For tickets above $20, an additional 5 percent of ticket prices will be paid on the ticket value over $20.

For example, a $45 ticket will pay $2.25 to the city for each ticket sold.

Event producers can reserve the arena as far in advance as they like, so long as they provide a refundable security deposit of $500 plus half the rental fees.

The City Council will address user fees for local weekday, non-ticketed events, such as 4-H events and equestrian club activities in coming months, based on Hailey Parks and Lands Board recommendations.

Events at the Hailey rodeo arena will be coordinated not to interfere with other large-scale events at the adjacent Hailey Ice Rink, scheduled for completion some time next year.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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