Nonprofit Groups To Serve Up Profits At New Rodeo Arena

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Local service organizations will continue to peddle hamburgers, hot dogs and soda pop at Payson's new rodeo grounds --at least for the next festival season.


Although service organizations were allowed to sell concessions at events held at the old rodeo arena in Rumsey Park, town officials decided to re-evaluate that practice when the arena was moved to its new location on the east edge of town.


"For many of our local organizations, these are the biggest fund-raisers of the year," George Spears, president of the Payson Lions Club, said.


Spears said these events not only serve as the largest fund-raisers for the organizations, but whatever money is raised usually goes right back to the community.


"It's a win-win situation for everybody," Spears said. "It also helps us maintain that small-town spirit a lot of us came here for."


The prevailing practice for concessions is for the event promoters to negotiate with whatever food vendor -- whether it's the Lions Club or McDonald's -- he or she wants to include in that event, Payson Town Manager Rich Underkofler said.


"For example, if these folks wanted to work at the Spring Rodeo, they would make their deal with the ProRodeo Committee," he said. "If they wanted to do the August Rodeo, they would have to make their deal with the chamber of commerce."


The Payson Town Council gave its consent last week to continue to allow nonprofit service organizations to operate food booths at the rodeo grounds for summer events.


Town employees also will try to negotiate a "grandfather clause" with potential event operators to ensure that service organizations will be able to continue to sell concessions at the rodeo arena in the future.

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