Public meeting set for Feb. 20 to present concept plans for ExpoPark improvements
The Board of Cascade County Commissioners, Great Falls Montana Tourism, Montana ExpoPark Advisory Board and the Great Falls Area Lodging Association are previewing concept plans for the proposed facility updates at Montana ExpoPark during a public meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Exhibition Hall at the fairgrounds.
Project staff will present the proposed concept plans in a 45-minute presentation and then disperse to tabletop displays where attendees can engage in further discussion about the proposed plan.
The estimated cost of the proposed upgrades is $86 million.
“Montana ExpoPark, the home of Montana State Fair for nearly ninety years, is a vital part of Great Falls and the surrounding communities, Cascade County, and the state of Montana,” County Commissioner Jim Larson said in a release. “The facilities are in need of renovations and updates to keep pace with the diverse event requests for facility use throughout the year, and to keep Montana ExpoPark an important part of our community for the next 90 years.”
Beyond Montana State Fair, the complex buildings provide space and accommodations for livestock events, sporting events, trade shows, conferences and meetings, concerts, as well as spacious lawn areas for company outings and family events.
Community teams have collaborated with several event organizers who are most familiar with the Montana ExpoPark infrastructure and operations, according to a release.
The proposed concept plan incorporates their collective knowledge and includes:
- Upgrades to livestock facilities to improve connectivity and provide a better flow for livestock movement on the Montana ExpoPark grounds;
- Construction of a new multi-use arena with seating capacity for approximately 10,000 patrons; and
- Relocation of the current livestock building and replacement of aging horse stalls nearing the end of their useful life.
“We’re looking forward to a conversation with the community about the future of ExpoPark,” Larson said in the release. “Any updates to facilities would be contingent on strong community support.”
Ninety-minute tours of the Montana ExpoPark grounds are being offered and will depart from Exhibition Hall promptly at 5:30 p.m. for those who want a firsthand look at the facility’s current condition. Those planning on taking the pre-meeting tour are advised to dress for weather conditions by wearing appropriate footwear and outer gear and to arrive on time.
For questions, please contact the Cascade County Commission Office at 454-6810.