Fair, Rodeo Won't Be Moving in 2016

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[quote style=”2″]Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center Won’t Be Ready by 2016[/quote]

With a budget shortfall and time running out, the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center (EOTEC) board will formally ask the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo to hold off moving next year’s events to the new facility.

That means the old fairgrounds won’t go into retirement quite yet.

At a recent meeting of stakeholders, John Frew of the Frew Development Group informed the attendees that the current budget for EOTEC is $11,792,181 – about $4 million short of the original budget. Going ahead with the project now would mean settling for a center without all the original bells and whistles.

Instead, the group decided to hold off for a year until the $4 million can be raised.

EOTEC Board Chairman Ed Brookshier will formally asked the fair and rodeo this week to remain at the current fairgrounds for one more year.

That, however, will create some genuine pressure to get the center ready for 2017.

At the stakeholders meeting, Hermiston School Superintendent Dr. Fred Maiocco told the group that the land has been purchased by the school district and the fair and rodeo only have one more year to remain on the site. The school district continues to see growth which will have an impact on the fair and rodeo in 2016. The school district will be bringing in modular classrooms onto the fairgrounds property, cutting down on the amount of parking available.

Hermiston Mayor Dave Drotzmann said it was the right decision and that it was better to wait a year, raise the extra $4 million and do the project right.