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New Stall Barn project nears completion

With the Bowman Blitz Barrel event just around the corner, the All Seasons Arena Committee and Rodeo Club are currently making new improvements to the Bowman County Fairgrounds.
By Frank Turner
Specifically, the two organizations are constructing new horse stalls on the east side of the grounds. Once finished, the stalls will provide temporary housing for horses during rodeo events.
The current plan is to build 120 new outside stalls and 40 new sheltered stalls, according to President of the Fair Board Darwin Wilke and Rodeo Club Committee Member Chad Miller. The project, which started mid-August, is slated to be finished in the next couple of weeks.
Although the project isn’t finished, Miller and Wilke said they hope to utilize some of the finished panels for the upcoming Blitz Barrel event.
“The pens will really help out with large rodeo events,” said Miller, “especially when hosting the State School Finals and the Junior High State Finals in May.”
Wilke and Miller said that the project has been a high priority for both the All Seasons and the Rodeo Club. For over 25 years, the organizations have relied on local ranchers and volunteers to lend a hand and help set up portable stalls.
“If we can get these permanent stalls set up, it just eliminates that much labor that we have to do,” said Miller.
Wilke added, “It will save us time.”
With a higher housing capacity, Wilke and Miller said that the new pens will likely bring both more events and additional participants.
Along with higher traffic, the organizations also see the new pens as a major investment. Once finished and paid off, Miller and Wilke expect the stalls will provide a new source of income at events for the fairgrounds as participants will have to pay a fee to use the new stalls. The organizations estimate they will pay off the costs of the project in roughly two to three years.
“This will help generate some revenue, eventually, once we have them paid off,” said Miller, “It will be a pretty good sized income for both organizations.”
Although the organizations have yet to settle on an exact fee for stall use, Wilke said that the proceeds from the stalls will be reinvested into the fairgrounds.
“As of right now, we need to do some improvements to the outdoor arena, but nothing is really planned right now until we get more revenue from the stalls,” said Wilke.
Miller added, “We would like to thank everyone that has helped sponsor the projected and donated up to this point. The project will help us to continue improving the fairgrounds.”

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