By Grant McGee
The Staff of The News 

City, county hoping to make Clovis a rodeo destination

 

Last updated 6/21/2022 at 4:12pm

Grant McGee

From left, Clovis City Manager Justin Howalt, Assistant City Manager Claire Burroughs, District 4 City Commissioner Megan Palla and Curry County Manager Lance Pyle have a chat before the City/County Luncheon on Monday.

Making Clovis a destination spot for national scale rodeo action got the attention of Clovis city and Curry County commissioners and administrators at the annual City/County Luncheon Monday.

The topic came up as Curry County Events Center General Manager K. C. Messick spoke to the group about plans to tear down the existing animal barns at the fairgrounds and build a $10 million livestock pavilion.

"This would be a game changer," Messick said. It is believed a new, modern pavilion will bring in more major equestrian events and a broad range of "money making events."

Messick spoke of losing business to other cities because the Curry County facility doesn't meet expected standards.

Dusty Leatherwood, who won the Republican Curry County Commission District 3 race in the June 7 primary, spoke of Curry County losing event business to Levelland, Texas.

Leatherwood advocated for the city of Clovis and Curry County to "get together" and get behind the rodeo so more money would come into the area.

Leatherwood pointed out that Clovis is the only place for rodeo people to stop between Phoenix and Oklahoma City or between Denver and Fort Worth.

"They don't want to stop in Albuquerque," Leatherwood said. "They'll lose half their stuff," a reference to that city's high crime rate.

In other discussions at the luncheon, County Manager Lance Pyle pointed out in July 2023, 13 months away, there'll be a ribbon cutting at the county fairgrounds for a new county extension office programming space.

Mentioned was the new county parking lot at the southeast corner of Seventh and Mitchell streets as construction on that project begins Monday.

Curry County District 4 Commissioner Seth Martin mentioned how he'd like to see Clovis and Curry County have consolidated election days. Some elections between the two entities happen on different days.

Clovis City Manager Justin Howalt pointed out that could be problematic because voting in Clovis requires ID of voters, not so in Curry County.

"We'd like to have that," Martin said of voter ID.

Clovis Mayor Mike Morris spoke of economic development efforts by the city including the hiring of the firm TIP Strategies from Austin, Texas.

Morris said he is excited about the economic development plan that firm is working on, expected to be released in August.

Morris also expressed interest in an economic plan that would take part of the city's portion of collected gross receipts tax and "incentivize" retail operations in the city, putting the money back into retail operations.


 
 

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