The Ferron Equestrian Events Center was discussed at a recent meeting.
During the recent Ferron City Council meeting, Michael Bischoff of Aspen Resource Consultants gave the latest update concerning the Ferron Equestrian Events Center.
Bischoff began, "The economics of the project and how it applies to the residents of Ferron is the first thing that we addressed in this process. People in rural America live in self contained circles, so with respect to small town America, we began to take a look at what would suit Ferron and its residents the best."
"Most of rural America is closing down due to lack of industry. Those that have survived have emphasized their own individual cultural niche. The Ferron Equestrian Events Center is trying to establish a basis for that purpose. We also want to increase economic conditions in Ferron.
"People who live in rural America do like to leave occasionally for shopping trips and the like, and that is also representative of the people in the cities. They leave their demographic radius for recreational experiences. With that in mind, this events center must create something to attract those people to town while preserving the culture.
"The preliminary meetings with the mayor and city council have established many objectives of the project. They are: to save the junior livestock show; to increase recreational opportunities; to increase special events; to improve motel and restaurant accommodations; to promote tourism; to provide secondary impacts to the area; and to preserve the barn at the existing facility.
"We began by investigating projects of this same basic make-up. We put together the cost analysis and calculated the number of events that could possibly be held in the events center. These numbers gave us the breakdowns to calculate the projected income versus the projected cost of the project.
"The computer comparisons of income and expenses led us to the next step, funding the project. With the building costs and income figures, we realized that a funding gap existed. The council decided that the alternative to scrap the project was not an option. We then calculated to do the project in phases.
"With phase one, which was entirely feasible with the figures available, phase two could be funded by the income from the improvements in phase one. Phase two would include the new indoor arena. Phase one would be the park improvements and would allow the park to operate and enable phase two to become a reality in the future.
"As phase one is completed, more outside investors would be more interested in helping with phase two. In the mean time, rodeos, concerts, social events, as well as stock shows, can be held to create the income needed for operation.
"The next step is marketing and management of the facility. All the underlying economic impacts of this project need to be considered," said Bischoff.
Mayor Kent Larsen then asked the audience, "Where do we go from here? This feasibility study will be at city hall for all residents to come and study and give comments. If we don't do something now, then in 20 years we will still have nothing. Ferron City Council members will consider all the aspects of the project, but the council members need input from the residents of Ferron," said Larsen.
The next Ferron city council meeting is Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.