Fairgrounds expansion of equine facilities on hiatus until late summer

Plans to construct a second covered arena, a new show office and additional parking at the Mesa County Fairgrounds have been delayed, and the improvements won’t be ready in time for this year’s show season as had been originally hoped, Fairgrounds Manager JoCarole Haxel said last week.

The plan now is to begin construction late in the summer, with the aim of having the new facilities open by next spring.

The Mesa County commissioners approved funding for the project last fall. However, Haxel said, “We got delayed in our contract negotiations with the holidays and everything. It was going to push construction way too far into the show season.”

She added, “We hope to enter into a contract in the next few weeks and have everything ready to go so we can begin construction Aug. 1.”

There will still be horse shows occurring at the fairgrounds in August, September and October, and they may be affected by the construction. Although the existing covered arena, show office and barns will be available, parking may be impacted.

The county chose to wait until Aug. 1 because “we have a series of large events that need a lot of parking earlier in the year,” Haxel said. Those events include Western Slope Reining Horse Association shows, Rope the Rockies team roping competition and the county fair.

Although additional barns and a large, indoor events center are in the long-range master plan for the fairgrounds, they aren’t part of this first phase of construction.


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