The Odessa Record -

LC fairgrounds study done, proposals made

 

August 2, 2018



Davenport, WA, July 25, 2018 – Lincoln County recently conducted a highest and best-use study of the 11-acre property that is the county fairgrounds. The goal of the study was to identify opportunities for increasing fairgrounds revenue to a level where the property and facilities could be self-supporting – without disrupting the annual fair. The study, funded in part by a grant from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board, is now complete and under review by commissioners.

Elesco, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in asset-based economic development, was selected to perform the study. A past board president and budget committee member for the Deschutes County Fair in Oregon, Elesco CEO Lee Smith brought fairgrounds experience to the project. Lee toured the 2017 Lincoln County Fair before starting work on a site analysis of the property; an analysis of Lincoln County’s resources, economic trends and workforce; an examination of the legal constraints of leasing public facilities to privately owned entities and an evaluation of the growing market opportunities in neighboring Spokane County.

Elesco then used their research to develop strategies for increasing revenue. Several ideas were provided, ranging from a Farm Village tourism attraction to partnering with the Davenport airport in a drone services operation. Two strategies – connecting to the county’s agricultural industry through development of value-added products and linking to the larger manufacturing market in Spokane County – were covered in depth. Lastly, as is typical of highest and best use analyses, a strategy for selling the property is included.

The full report can be accessed on the Lincoln County website at https://www.co.lincoln.wa.us/commissioners/fairground-study/ or on the Lincoln County Economic Development Council website at http://lincolnedc.org/highest-best-use-analysis-of-the-lincoln-county-fairgrounds/. Feedback, suggestions, and Best Strategy votes from residents of Lincoln County are encouraged and can be forwarded to your commissioner or to the EDC.

 

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