PUEBLO — On Friday, the Colorado State Fair returns to Pueblo, and some big improvements were made since last year, plus more are on the way.
The biggest renovation you'll see is at the entrance on the west side of the fairgrounds. It’s new and improved, and it’s all part of the 20-year master plan for the fair, costing around $180 million.
The plan was adopted last year and the first phase of the project was putting a modern, larger twist on the entrance. With the upgrades, the entrance will be able to get people into the fair quicker. The entrance has also been re-paved and large ticket booths have been temporarily placed.
“Phase one really addresses that outdoor space of the fairgrounds. We call it the early wins,” said Scott Stoller, general manager of the state fair. “There are some really nice outdoor spaces on the fairgrounds and then there are some other spaces that aren't so nice and aren't so functional, and the master plan calls for us addressing those quickly.”
He says that part of the plan is upgrading historic buildings on the fairgrounds. Renovations will start at the entrance of the fair, and then work toward the center and Main Street corridor.
“One of our big outdoor projects, is that we want to do is enhance our Main Street corridor, which has so many old historic buildings that over time, will get retrofitted and modernized, and restored to their old glory and functionality,” said Stoller.
While it's the 150th year for the Colorado State Fair, visitors will also see differences year after year moving forward.
“It's going to be kind of fun to see. That way you know from year to year, of the new next to the old, and the old slowly improving each year,” said Stoller.
The improvements are also exciting for Amber Harman. She’s the owner of the business called, Feelin’ a Little Philly. It sits right across the street from the fair.
“We were so excited for the upgrades. We are hoping that it attracts new events. Anytime there's an event at the fair, it boosts our economy, which gives our business a boost, which of course we love.” said Harman. “We want to be here the whole 20 years. We want to see it (the project) all the way through.”
The main goal of the master plan is to bring in more people to the fairgrounds and generate more revenue. They're also hoping it helps bring in more larger events throughout the year.
For more information about the master plan, click here.
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