After months of careful deliberation, the Laramie County Commissioners voted to create an events department and events advisory board. This structure will eliminate the existing fair board. This decision was driven by the need to consolidate recreational and event related activities and operations throughout the county, improving efficiency, reducing costs and promoting safe, lawful events.
Laramie County operates the oldest and largest county fair in Wyoming. Over the past few years, operations have expanded beyond the traditional county fair to include the RV campground, rodeo arena, meeting halls, and disc golf course. A year-round multi-event center is currently under construction and completion is anticipated for summer of 2019.
In addition to the fair, the Archer Complex is home to two nonprofit organizations. Windy Wyoming is an equestrian organization that hosts the Three Day Eventing Horse Trial as well as schooling opportunities. Archer is also home to a motocross track for dirt bikes and ATVs, currently operated by the Laramie County Riders Association. The Tri-State Dirt Riders Race was held on September 8 and 9. Both organizations anticipate additional events in the coming years.
County operated recreational facilities aren’t limited to ARcher and these facilities have also expanded significantly. This includes the expansion of the Greenway, the growing demand for road cycling, and running events like the Cheyenne Marathon. It also includes the management and oversight of greenspace, particularly Clear Creek Park.
Clear Creek Park has undergone a complete overhaul. With funding and oversight from the Recreation Planning and Advisory Board, the County has replaced the shelter, built a new restroom facility, and installed new playground equipment. The County also received grant funding to install a bike rodeo playground and alligator bike rack at Clear Creek in 2019.
The increase in recreational facilities and anticipated continued increase, including those facilities outlined in the 2014 Archer Master Vision Plan, have created a need for a county department devoted solely to the operation of these facilities and activities. Currently, oversight and management of operations are spread throughout County departments including Public Works, Planning, Attorney’s Office and Maintenance Department in addition to the Laramie County Fair.
In addition to improving efficiency, the commission anticipates financial benefits from consolidation of operations. Consolidation will reduce costs and streamline administration. Furthermore, consolidation will improve transparency to the taxpayers by consolidating recreational events and facility costs into a singular department.
Finally, the expansion of facilities and events has necessitated increased and more complicated legal, technical and administrative responsibilities. Consolidating services into one department ensures specialization and expertise in event management and recreational facility operation, protecting the taxpayers’ investment and producing safe and lawful opportunities for Laramie County citizens.
The new Laramie County Events Department will be effective immediately. All existing fair staff will be given the opportunity to become employees of Laramie County and will be entitled to all the benefits, obligations and requirements thereof. The search for a new director has begun.
The County Commissioners wish to thank the Laramie County Fair Board for their diligence to the fair over the years.