During the third weekend of August and the second weekend in September, after working all year in preparation of the event, the Utah State Western Riding Club Association held their Central Region and State Show at the Carbon County Fairgrounds in which each event brought in roughly 500+ people to our community. Many of these people rented hotel rooms, they bought gas at the local gas stations, and they ate at our local restaurants and shopped at our local stores.
Yet the Carbon County Commissioners still say that no horse people that come into the area spend money here. During these events the ground crews were wonderful and everyone loved the facility, even though most had no clue how much work goes into getting the it ready for the events.
However, prior to the central region meet, it was almost a daily fight to get the facility worked. The grounds were constantly hard as a rock and dusty and rarely worked, putting the safety of numerous horses and riders at risk of injury. Commissioner Jae Potter stated that if we (the horse people who use the facility) continued to complain that it would only be worked once a week (which was sometimes happening) and that we would have to deal with it. The funding is there for it to be worked three times a week but they won't allow their employees to work the facility and keep it going.
During a meeting that was held at the facility, with Shalee Johansen, Carbon County's Director of Tourism, the horse and motorcross people came together to come up with ways to make this facility a place where people would want to come and there wouldn't be complaints. In other words ways to not have our wonderful motorcross track known as "Dusty puddles of mud." Unfortunately, nothing came out of this meeting. This is sad because we have such a wonderful facility for horse and motorcross events and some great ideas to make it better. But our commissioners don't want to hear about it! Consequently our facilities and our local economy suffer.
The commission constantly fights tooth and nail to put any money into the facility to keep it worked in between events or have it looking good so when people come through they go home saying, "Wow, have you seen that Price facility? It is wonderful!" But no. A lot of people leave this county when they drive through thinking, "So sad. If only it was kept in good shape, or there were some improvements, we would bring our events here."
So, why is it that not one commissioner will stand up for these facilities and make them better so we can bring big events here. It seems they would rather see the facility close down than spend any money on it so they can build things that are not very relavant to the local economy. Things like a multi million dollar event center that is not used very much, or a million dollar animal shelter when there was nothing wrong with the old one.
I think this panel of commissioners need to be replaced with citizens who truly care about making this county prosperous and not just those who have their own agendas and only care about what will fill their pockets. It's time to these commissioners open their eyes and not discriminate against these wonderful facilities that could bring a lot of money into our local economy.
Just think, what events could be held in this wonderful county if only they were given the opportunity to come here?!