Colorado State Fair Releases Master Plan of Grounds Updates and Improvements



Pueblo, Colo. — The Colorado State Fair has released a new Master Plan that outlines a compelling vision for the fair and historic state fairgrounds. The Master Plan identifies a suite of capital investment projects for the Colorado State Fair, which are important for advancing State Fair goals.

“The fairgrounds are a vital community asset for Pueblo and a cultural and historical asset for the State of Colorado, showcasing the State’s diverse industries, crafts, and agricultural heritage while also providing opportunities for youth engagement,” said Colorado State Fair General Manager Scott Stoller. “The fairgrounds are currently facing issues like aging facilities and a backlog of building deficiencies, limited funding, and competing venues. The Master Plan serves as an essential guiding document to address many of these complex issues and a roadmap for the implementation of the Colorado State Fair Authority’s Broadest Ends Statement for the Fair and Fairgrounds.”

The Fairgrounds are a vital part of Pueblo’s identity and considered a community treasure. From late August to early September, the Colorado State Fair celebrates the agricultural industry, its people and culture, and entertains visitors with a variety of attractions.

The Master Plan outlines a compelling vision for the Fair and Fairgrounds that creates a vibrant heart of the community and an inviting outdoor space. The Fairgrounds are anchored by new, attractive and flexible facilities, and sustainability and resilience are embedded in every aspect of the Fairgrounds.

“The Master Plan will focus on four fundamental goals: creating connections and a sense of community, creating an engaging and celebratory environment, creating memorable places and experiences, and cultivating a more sustainable and resilient campus,” said Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg. “These improvements to the fairgrounds and the addition of larger, flexible facilities will enable the Colorado State Fair to appeal to new audiences, improve the fair experience for visitors and and exhibitors, and help attract more festivals and outdoor expos in non-fair times. These ambitious improvements will also help elevate agriculture in the minds of fairgoers.”

A portion of the Fairgrounds comprise a state-designated historic district. The tree-lined promenades, landscaped spaces and use of local materials are significant features of the Fairgrounds but have diminished greatly over the years.

Additionally, the Master Plan focuses on increasing sustainability and making significant impacts in addressing climate change. The renovations will mitigate the urban heat island at the fairgrounds by reducing impervious pavement, utilizing green infrastructure, and increasing tree canopy. All new buildings will be designed with energy efficiency in mind and the plan proposes ways to improve the energy systems of existing buildings to reduce the fairgrounds’ carbon footprint. On-site energy generation utilizing solar PV panels have the potential to save more than $500,000 annually on operational costs. This is one of many future efforts for the Colorado State Fair to help address climate change and overall sustainability and resilience.

The Master Plan implementation will be completed in four phases. Phase 1 focuses on “early wins” – projects that can be implemented in the short-term with minimal costs – as well as demolition of some older buildings to prepare for subsequent phases. Phase 2 consists of constructing the new Livestock Building and Community Building and transitioning the Carnival/Midway to its new location. Phase 3 consists of major gate improvements as well as improvements to the Horse Complex, relocation of the Rodeo, and further expansion of the Community Park. The last phase, Phase 4 consists of building the new Multipurpose Facility.

The Master Plan is estimated to cost $177 million and requires significant external support. To that end, the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority is establishing a capital campaign committee to focus on securing funding from multiple sources, including local, state, federal, and foundation grants, and fundraising from community and corporate partners.

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