Covering Event Center Could Help Payson Thrive Again

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Editor:

After listening to the joke of a budget meeting recently; I would again like to say an estimate I calculated shows the town did not save anything by cutting the fire marshal. Yes it was an estimate, but I certainly can show how more money could be saved, if some assistants to assistants were cut rather than the fire marshal.

It is extremely sad to know Bob Lockhart has been cut from the fire department. Not only as the fire marshal, but as an individual.

I really do not know who or how you will replace him, or his knowledge and compassion.

Personally, I think the town council could look at what would be beneficial to keeping the town thriving, rather than to cut such a position as a fire marshal. Looked like to me that was very well planned, long before the meeting started. I certainly hope the people see this and make changes when it is time for election. You know most towns this size the council is elected/but not paid ... Oh, there is something to look at.

Bob, you are an inspiration, in rough times and in good. Doing your job is not easy and even when you were in tough times as a professional you still did your job properly and professionally. Hats off to you, sir!

May everyone realize that having a contracted person do an inspection will never do the job that promotes safety to employees, the people of this town, and the fire department. I hope they realize what they are losing.

As far as revenue in this town — this Western Heritage — historical town could thrive again. An easy solution: cover the event center, lower the rent and get volunteers to staff it so it does not cost money to pay your employees overtime to work it. I am sure you can find someone or individuals to cover that facility ... money can be made.

It was a moneymaker long before you decided to move the arena from the Rumsey Park area. That’s a fact, not fabrication.

Our historical value and events were fun ... moneymakers and well worth the time.

Stacey Lawrence

Comments

don evans 10 months ago

And after you cover the event center, please schedule more events other than just Rodeo's and Equestrian competitions. It appears that the event center activities are prioritized just for those groups interests.

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Pat Randall 10 months ago

Don, For many years the rodeo grounds were just that. Rodeo grounds. All work was volunteer The rodeo grounds has been moved at least 3 times that I know of. Everything was donated including the land at Rumsey Park. It should never have been moved from there. But people started moving in around it and complained of the noise created from the fiddlers contest, rodeos and other things held there..So thousands of dollars was spent to tear it down. The metal bleachers which were in very good shape were GIVEN away, not moved. Someone was paid to tear down every thing and haul it away. Yes, I know the company that was hired. No volunteers. We were once know as the Festival Town of Arizona. Most of the work for them was volunteers but no more. Every group has thier hand out to be paid. Some people that come to the few events don't know there is a town down the road. My husband and I were stopped at the intersection one day and a carload of people wanted to know if there was anywhere near they could get something to eat besides Sonic. When the rodeo grounds were at Rumsey, people had to go thru town to get there and they could see what we had to offer. The sign that was put up for the event center is a big joke. It can hardly be seen leaving town and probably not at all coming into town. Will continue later about the roof.

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Pat Randall 10 months ago

I tried, had a long comment about the roof and when I tried to post it a page popped up and said the web page was not available, Started to type it again and everything went away. When will Suddenlink get thier act together??????/

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Pat Randall 10 months ago

Several yrs ago it was talked about covering the event center. they were getting a roof that someone had ordered and couldn't pay for. Something like $700,000. All the lights would have had to been taken down, and replaced, the arena made a different size, gates moved, and other things. lighting put in the ceiling, fans or some kind of cooling system along with other things done. It would have cost a lot more than if they had ordered one the right size. The arena does not have to be covered. Cover the bleachers and that is all that is needed. How long has the rodeo been going with out a roof? Not as long as advertised but a long time. We will never be like the Cow Palace or Madison Square Gardens. We are a small town rodeo with a very small pay out to contestants because we don't have the volunteers we had many years ago. Everyone has thier hand out. The tickets are to expensive, there isn't enough rodeo events. Too much talking and dumb jokes from the announcer, too many things being done that has nothing to do with roping, riding and bull riding. I remember when there was 2 or 3 hours slack time in the mornings, because there were to many contestants to participate in the rodeo which lasted about 4 hours. Now the rodeo lasts about 2 hours. Slack time is doing thier roping or what ever in the mornings before the rodeo started at 1:00 and lasted untill about 5;00. Oh for the good old days, when we had lots of cowboys and cowgirls from all over the US. Roping horses, trailers and all the equipment is very expensive. Why come to Payson to participate and if they win, it probably doesn't pay the cost of gas getting here.

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Rex Hinshaw 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Pat, the pay out has nothing to do with the numbers of volunteers. We have over 160 volunteers now. That has no connection with what is payed out to the cowboys. And by the way, all of the pro rodeo committee is volunteer.I don't know what to say about your other complaints about the rodeo other than.....don't go.

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Pat Randall 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Rex, I don't anymore. I won't pay $14.00 to watch 6 calf ropers 6 steer wrestlers, 6 bronc riders and 6 of the other events and listen to dumb jokes. Pay $2.00 for a bottle of water and $5.00 to park. Last time my husband and I went it cost over $40.00 for not much rodeo. About 2 hours. The stands were not half full. You may have over 160 volunteers but they don't seem to do much, except put on thier volunteer shirts and wander around trying to look important. The pay out mostly has to do with how many contestants, and sponsors. No contestants no big payout. Like I said before it cost the contestants a lot of money for thier equipment and travel. You are so smart where does the money go? You have sponsors, vendors that pay big bucks and the price of tickets are terrible.

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Rex Hinshaw 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, After all the bills are paid , including contestants , the rest of the money goes to scholarships for local high school students. The length of the performance is between 2hrs30min and 2hrs45min....that is about the standard for all PRCA rodeos. I assure you all of the committee members wearing their shirts are working. If you see them wandering around...that means they're on a break or done with their particular task. I know that it costs the contestants alot of money...having been one when I was young. We would like to put in more added money , and we do up it some every year. But unless we make a small profit , there is nothing left over for the scholarships , and no seed money for next year. There are no big sponsors and all we get from vendors is space rent. I'm not so smart , but I do know that it COSTS the Pro Rodeo Committee well over $200,000 a year to bring Payson TWO professional rodeos. I think $14.00 a person is a BARGAIN !

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Kim Chittick 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Just playing devil's advocate here, as I really don't have an opinion one way or another. However, one comment that Rex made, got my attention. What do you mean "There are no big sponsors"? What about the signs all over town from Dodge and Black Velvet and Chapman? I'm sure there are others, but can't remember right now. Are they not sponsors? Do they not give sponsorship money? If they don't, then why are they allowed to post signs all over town?

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Rex Hinshaw 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Kim, Dodge is what we call a National Sponsor. They are sanctioned by the PRCA as a sponsor for all PRCA rodeos. And yes they are one of our biggest sponsors...but it's in the thousands...not 10s of thousands. In years past we've had liquor sponsors,but none in the last two. So I couldn't tell you why Black Velvet posters are up....except that the bars,restaurants,and stores that sell it have every right to put up the banners. Unless they are a rodeo sponsor their banners won't appear at the rodeo grounds.We have beer and soda sponsors from which we recieve some money and product. It costs alot of money to produce a rodeo and the profit margin is very small....particularly with small rodeos like ours. The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee is a 503-c. Our only goal is to perpetuate the rodeo in order to give back to our community. In addition to our college scholarships,we also donate to breast cancer,high school sports,and many other worthy causes.

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Kim Chittick 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the clarification Rex. I appreciate your thoughtful, detailed and comprehensive answer. I also appreciate all that you and your committee do to keep the rodeo in Payson going. It truly is legendary.

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Pat Randall 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Rex Payson was not always the small rodeo it is now. Payson was one of THE RODEOS to attend and participate. Not anymore. We had world champion ropers, riders etc. There were cowboys from all over the US attending with thier families. A lot of them and the people who came to watch camped out as there were not a lot of hotels here. No they didn't camp at the rodeo grounds. You all are trying to make it in to something it never was and you are doing a good job of that ! My great grandkids will probably not see a rodeo here when they are grown. The Rodeo never had any big sponsers untill the 70's. I believe Black Velvet was the first one. Also there were great champions from here. One was George Cline, the first man to rope a calf in Madison Square Gardens. Eddie Conway was in the top ten bull riders when he had to quit and come home to help his dad on thier ranch. Joe Basset was a champion roper. I could go on but I think you get the picture. There were always trick riders which was a big draw.

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