Although I'm not a resident of Payson, I visit the town frequently and have contributed to the Multi Event Center, so I would like to give my two cents worth. I couldn't agree more with the Roundup's May 27 editorial on the future of the Event Center. People come to Payson to enjoy the small town atmosphere. Transforming the center into an air-conditioned concert venue, ice skating rink, etc is not going to draw visitors to the area. And a bridge leading from the center to the casino is going to be used by whom? Birds and snakes?
Landscaping the center would be my first issue. The place looks like a bulldozer came in and got rid of any bit of vegetation that pierced the soil, awaiting the cement trucks. Air conditioning? Forget it. People like to be outside. Put in a mist system and fans combined with the trees and grass and you're good to go. Parking? If the event warrants it, use exiting town land for parking and use a shuttle bus system instead of bulldozing more forest land.
The event center would be the perfect venue for an event similar to Rock Springs, Ariz., monthly Hogs in Heat Festival. Local music, barbecue, brew, hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones draws crowds. Pouring millions of dollars into the center isn't going to increase its usage. Keeping its small town ambience is.