Potter County, Amarillo ISD and the City of Amarillo are looking at plans to make some major updates to the Amarillo Tri-State Fairgrounds.

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They held the first community meeting last night to discuss why the updates are needing to be made.

What are some of the weaknesses of the Fairgrounds?

  • Simultaneous event capability is limited
  • Seasonality of the Rex Baxter Building
  • Limited adjacency of exhibit space to equine and livestock facilities
  • Need for more RV/Trailer connections with utilities
  • Isolated from surrounding amenities.

The buildings of the Tri-State Fairgrounds underwent evaluation in 2018 but the only buildings that were focused on were the Outdoor Arena, Bill Cody, the Amarillo National Center, Livestock Buildings.  At the time, other buildings including the Rex Baxter Building, Commercial Exhibits Hall, etc were not included in the evaluation.

The next evaluation of the facilities will include the Rex Baxter, Commercial Exhibits Hall, The Coors Cowboy Club, The Corral (covered food area), bathrooms and security.

One of the decisions that will be made is with the Rex Baxter Building, would it be better to remodel and rebuild, or scrap the building and start from scratch.   Things that need to be taken into consideration.  What would the cost be to renovate? What market can it serve vs new building and the cost value.

The Fairgrounds is in need of more flat floor exhibition space.  Also, the appearance and beautification of the grounds and surrounding areas.  Plus, exhibitor needs, what will exhibitors coming to the facilities need and can we provide for those needs?

Community Concerns:

  • Will this cost be put on the tax payer, city or county tax.
  • Will money to help with the renovations come from the private sector?
  • Need to make this feel like more of an Amarillo Event, not a business.  More city pride of the event.
  • In the next few years after the initial evaluation of the buildings, will the buildings and grounds deteriorated more where the cost to fix/replace exponentially rise.
  • More access to the facility for community events.  Local farmers markets, local events, community access.
  • More shade spaces, places to sit down and eat, etc.

The next community meeting will be at the end of March or early April.  They are hoping to have a Master Plan, and budget put together by mid 2022.

You still have time to let them know your thoughts.

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The new names (that we currently know them by) came mostly from associates of Henry Luckett, who drew the first map of the area. When this took place exactly, records do not show, but the street name revamp is covered extensively in 'Old Town Amarillo' by Judge John Crudgington, published in the Plains Historical Review in 1957.

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