Fair Update 5

Western Idaho Fair

We had a good ten-day run at the fair this year, although the weather was less than cooperative at times. The kids had fun feeding the animals at the petting zoo and riding the carnival rides, older kids had fun shopping and eating fair food, and young and old alike found something to enjoy among this year’s fair concerts by the Doobie Brothers, Uncle Kracker and Luke Bryan, .38 Special, and Clint Black. Clean-up is underway and planning efforts for next year’s fair are already underway.

Horse Racing

We won’t see horse racing in Ada County this year but attorney Vaughn Fisher, representing a new horsemen’s group, has formally petitioned the Idaho Racing Commission in an effort to have the new group replace the Idaho Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association as the recognized horsemen’s group for the purposes of negotiating an agreement with the operators of Idaho Downs. Attorney Fisher’s stated reason for requesting the change? He says the HBPA has no members. Stay tuned….

RV Park

Twenty years ago, the Board of Ada County Commissioners (then made up of Vern Bisterfeldt, Judy Peavey-Derr and Mike Johnson) signed a twenty year agreement to lease out the property where the On the River RV Park now sits for fifty dollars a year. In exchange for the long-term lease and ridiculously low lease rate, the lessee had to spend some money to clean up and develop the site. Surely, at the time, the Board thought it was the best way to proceed; however, I believe it was wrong to tie the hands of county commissioners for twenty years into the future.

We now, finally, have the opportunity to address the RV Park situation. There has been a lot of media attention focused on the fact that we intend to shut the park down at the end of September for renovations and a good clean-up, before re-opening it as an RV Park. Some confusion stems from the fact that the current operator led people to believe that they could permanently reside at the site. Please keep in mind that this is an RV Park, NOT a mobile home park. Permanent residency has never been contemplated by the county at this location.

As an RV Park, On the River’s operation complements fairgrounds usage. Western Idaho Fair and interim event exhibitors, workers, guests, and even race horse owners from out of town, who are in Ada County on a temporary basis, are able to stay right on the grounds. It is our intention to re-open the site as an RV Park and campground, once again, as soon as renovations are complete.

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5 thoughts on “Fair Update

  • eric

    A few questions

    1. How much is renovation going to cost?
    2. is the park on sewer? or will it be on septic.. so close to the river. If it has been on septic and is being converted, how much will that cleanup cost?
    3. are these expenses going against the fair budget? The fair is supposedly self supporting.

    The county doesn’t need an RV Park.. or a racetrack. Or a wedding venue. or a raft rental. or a fair, for that matter.

  • Craig

    The horse racing industry in Montana has voted on Saturday to toss Eric Spector out on his ear. No simulcasting, no racing–they want him *out*. I’m guessing you saw that coming, because you read it in his business plan, right?

    It’s time for you to call up some members of the Montana Board of Horse Racing and find out why nobody there wants to do business with him. While you’re at it, call up some officials in Wyoming and find out why there’s no live racing in that state anymore and why the Wyoming horsemen had to run all their big Wyoming races out-of-state for the first time ever.

    You made a *ridiculously* poor choice of operator.

    Swallow your pride and admit your mistake. And begin working to revoke that lease. Do not allow him to hold up horse racing in Boise for a third year.


  • Craig

    Why don’t you put up on your blog that Montana Entertainment and Eric Spector are being thrown out of Montana?

    Why don’t you put up on your blog that Wyoming Entertainment and Eric Spector were not able to simulcast the Breeders’ Cup in Wyoming?

    Why don’t you put up on your blog that Montana OTBs were only able to simulcast the Breeders’ Cup ONLY AFTER Churchill Downs was assured that the OTBs would be under the state’s control and not under Montana Entertainment’s (and Eric Spector’s) control?

    Why won’t you tell the truth on your blog? Why are you so happy about Vaughn Fisher’s “trick” to deprive the horsemen of their legally elected representation?

    Do you know why the “leaders” of the new horsemen’s group never ran for the board of the HBPA? Because they would rather use legal maneuvers than to run for office honestly. They know the final votes would show that the horsemen who race at Les Bois Park don’t want them as their representatives.

    You are being played by Spector and his toadies.

  • Craig

    You had 21 months in a row of blog posts and now you have three months in a row of no blog posts. You’re not even trying anymore, are you?

    According to an article in The Missoulian, Eric Spector never posted the $15,000 bond to the county. NEVER POSTED THE BOND. Now the county is going to have to sue him for the $10,000 he owes them. That’s for TWO DAYS of racing.

    You could call the people who believed he would post the bond stupid. You could call the people who believed he DID post the bond stupid. You could call the people who believe that he will pay them back the $10,000 he owes stupid. Maybe everybody in Missoula is stupid.

    Or maybe just everybody who believes what Spector says is stupid. What about you, Sharon? Does the shoe fit?


  • Craig

    When were you clued in that Spector was going to skip out on his 5-year lease after only 20 months? He leaves owing you how much? Minus that 125 thousand dollar CASH bond that the county gets to keep, right?

    By the way, did it say in the lease agreement that, if the lessee decides to skate, then the termination of the lease goes to a negotiation stage? Didn’t it have a penalties-for-failure-to-pay paragraph? Why does it seem like you didn’t learn any lessons from Lariat?

    Nice job,