Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hailey adds rodeo event to lineup

New arena events to cover cost of annual maintenance

Express Staff Writer

During the last Fourth of July rodeo, Hailey citizens celebrated a grand opening of the city's new multi-use rodeo arena. The 3,000-seat, $1.9 million venue was paid for with a tax levy and touted as a money-maker and job-creator for the city.

But the new arena has yet to attract the expected concerts, art shows and other events once touted by Parks and Lands Board officials, despite an effort started by the Hailey Chamber of Commerce to market the venue last year.

Yet thanks to a new rodeo event scheduled for Sept. 1-2, the total arena use fees should now more than cover the $10,000 cost of annual maintenance at the rodeo arena.

The use fees are based on a combination of factors: the number of people expected, how many restrooms will be opened for the event, whether entry tickets will be sold and the level of cleanup/preparation work asked of the city.

The Scottish Festival and Highland Games last weekend, brought to the city by the Chamber of Commerce, brought in $500, yet the event was lightly attended.

The Sawtooth Rangers Days of the Old West Rodeo on July 2-4 will bring in $9,000. On Sept 1-2, the Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association Finals will take place in Hailey, bringing in $2,500 to city coffers.

All scheduled events will result in a net gain of $2,000 for the city.

Another rodeo, the Sun Valley Professional Bull Riders Classic, is tentatively scheduled for later this summer. The event would bring in an additional $3,000.

A scheduled Blaine County Fair Horse Show was recently canceled, in favor of using the Blaine County Fairgrounds in Carey.

No concerts or other events have been scheduled for the arena this summer.

Tony Evans:

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