I realize this is all in the preliminary stages, but has anyone really thought about this?
Thirty-six acres is not enough land for a rodeo arena, 150-room hotel/conference room, restaurant and amphitheater.
Case in point: Some of the parking from the last rodeo had to be moved to the casino lot. Usually, rodeo contestants have motor homes, RVs and horse trailers, so where are they supposed to park when you have those other things that are going to need parking? They should have priority, because without them you wouldn't have a rodeo. Also, there was something said about minimizing the rodeo grounds, so what does that tell you?
The Indians are going to have a hotel with a conference center, so why does the town have to have one, too. Are they afraid the tribe is going to be making more money than the town?
If the town would take the money they waste on feasibility studies and architectural plans that never get used, they could cover the arena and put in decent bathrooms with that money. It didn't cost the town but very little to move it from Rumsey, as it was all done with volunteer help from various contractors in town. Most of the labor was donated, also.
The last mayor we had wanted to finish the arena and then start to try to get a lot of the festivals back. Payson used to be considered the festival capital of Arizona, and gradually they have been gotten rid of, as there is no decent place for them to go. It's too bad that one person couldn't get any help from the rest of the council.
As long as I'm venting, why is it that if the town wants to do something involving water; water credits always seem to pop up.
I was born in Arizona and raised around rodeo people in Prescott. I came to Payson in 1949 and lived here most of the time when my husband wasn't on a job. That rodeo ground has been moved five times, and is probably in its final resting place. The town council and the newcomers in this town are trying to push it out. After it's gone, you won't have to worry who has the oldest rodeo -- Payson or Prescott.
Progress is good, and is needed, but not at the expense of losing something that has made this town unique. If this goes through on the 36 acres, the rodeo will probably be gone within the next five years. There is just not enough ground for the things they want to put there and be compatible with the rodeo.
Marylou Haught, Payson