Mesa County Fairground motorsport events out in 2014

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Budget cuts have led Mesa County Fairground officials to make the difficult decision to cut motorsports out of their event line up indefinitely.

For the last five years most County departments were faced with budget cuts and it's now time for officials at the fairgrounds to make a choice after being told they needed to trim 5% of their budget.

"It was a very difficult decision for us to make because motorsports is one of the most popular things we do," Jo Carole Haxel, Mesa County Fairgrounds Manager.

The grandstand area will now only be for rodeos and livestock events and because they will not have to switch out the dirt between those events and motorsports events and deal with clean up and other maintenance costs, they will save $14,000.

Haxel said although motorsports are a crowd pleaser, rodeo events make a bigger economic impact on the Grand Valley with more people from out of town staying in hotels, eating at restaurants and coming to the events.

We spoke to a sponsor of motorsport events that have been booked here in the past. He has been involved with the Fairgrounds since 1993 and is stunned by the move to cut this huge attraction.

He believes the county hasn't considered the trickle down effect on who will be impacted by this and plans on petitioning to try to get the events back.

Officials say they can't predict what will happen in the future with the events and it depends on the recovery of the economy.

The cut only impacts the grandstand area and events like the Jeep Club Festival which takes place in the park on the fairgrounds won't be canceled.

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