Manager who oversaw fairgrounds upgrades resigning

Mesa County Fairgrounds Manager Marsha Kosteva will resign at the beginning of next month, leaving behind a venue that has been boosted by a number of improvements only a few years after talks of its potential sale.

Kosteva said Friday she is leaving her post after eight years because of a “private matter of a personal nature” and that her resignation isn’t tied to Bobby’s Birthday Bash, a controversial country music festival scheduled to be held at the fairgrounds next month. Her last day on the job will be June 3.

“It’s been a wonderful experience here. I’m just so full of pride in this facility and our staff and our accomplishments,” she said.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said Kosteva wanted to take a break before pursuing some other plans in the near future.

“Her departure is a real loss,” he said. “We’re going to have a hard time replacing her. She was one of those people just ideally suited for what she was doing. She always ran the fairgrounds with a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Commissioner Craig Meis credited Kosteva for what she’s accomplished on a thin budget.

The 67-year-old fairgrounds received some updates in recent years: a remodeled community building, a new office building and a gazebo that serves as the focal point for the county fair, the largest even held there.

But three years ago, county officials explored the idea of selling the 93-acre site and moving portions of the fairgrounds to the proposed Riverside Arena, a 5,000-square-foot venue that developer Reed Mitchell envisioned on city property west of Fifth Street near the Colorado River. The recession nixed that proposal.

Earlier this spring, the county completed an $820,000 facelift of the equestrian facilities at the east end of the fairgrounds, one of the oldest and most-used areas. The work featured new animal stalls, a larger riding arena and a lighted parking area.

Interim County Administrator Tom Papin said Kosteva has enhanced both the infrastructure and programs at the fairgrounds.

“I think she’s really made the fairgrounds a much more integral part of the community,” he said.


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