The Montezuma County Fairgrounds has completed an upgrade on the commercial kitchen and on the bathrooms, said manager Justin McGuire.
The county installed stainless steel appliances, a new range and exhaust hood, new counters and flooring and a new dining area. An air-conditioning unit was also installed for the kitchen and dining area.
As part of the project, the bathrooms were remodeled as well with new sinks, fixtures, stalls and plumbing. The bathrooms are accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ADA showers were added to men’s and women’s bathrooms.
The project cost was $165,000 and the work was done by the county fairgrounds and county maintenance staff.
Modernizing the kitchen opens up commercial uses for the community and presents a cleaner and nicer area for events to utilize.
“The commercial kitchen is available to rent for catering, banquets, meetings, cooking classes, parties, food prep for farmers markets, or for canning,” McGuire said.
The 2020 pandemic presented challenges for the fairgrounds, but it soldiered on with community events in modified form.
It had to shut down for a month early on, and some events were canceled or postponed.
Visitation for 2020 was over 54,000, down from the 70,000 visitors seen annually on average the previous three years.
“Considering what we were dealing with, it was a pretty good turnout,” McGuire said.
Major events were the car races, county fair, Four States Ag Expo, Ranch Rodeo, Little Texas concert, gun show, home and garden show, barrel races, junior rodeos, team roping, July 4 concert, and the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team that set up a command post to fight the East Canyon Fire.
The Ute Mountain Rodeo and 12 Hours of Mesa Verde bike race were canceled.
For 2021, fairground events are returning, McGuire said, So far, 72 events are being planned or scheduled.
Improvements being considered are expanding the beef barn, permanent horse stalls, upgrading the power station for the poultry building, and improving the race track lighting and fencing.