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Mineral County Fairgrounds Association
210 Airport Rd (County Rd 806)
P. O. Box 61
Creede, CO  81130

719-469-0734 (Matt Sliwkowski)

2023 Board of Directors

Jess Alford III
James Laing
Brisa Ferguson
Matt Sliwkowski
Clint Leggett

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About the Mineral County Fairgrounds Association

Our Mission: To provide outstanding recreational educational cultural and entertainment programming in harmony with the interests of the community while collaborating with regional partners.

Our Vision: The Mineral Country Fairgrounds Association will enhance quality of life by providing activities for Creede area residents and visitors through the development of a regional facility.

Our Values: *Promoting the safety, health, and well-being of our community *Providing superior services and programs *Recognizing, encouraging, and valuing our community, residents, and visitors *Serving as stewards of our fiscal, human, and natural resources *Managing growth responsibly *Advancing partnerships *Respecting our cultural heritage

The Mineral County Fairgrounds Association (MCFA), a grassroots non-profit organization composed of local volunteers, has embarked upon a multi-phase project envisioning opportunities not readily available to residents and visitors within the small, remote Colorado mountain community of Creede. Located on 46 acres of donated land, the fairgrounds complex will accommodate an outdoor arena and other buildings set within a functional landscape with wetlands and wildlife habitat featuring native willows and other indigenous vegetation.

The MCFA Board of Directors has emphasized the value of creating a complex that will serve as a regional landmark. Voluntary environmental restoration projects, signature architectural and landscape concepts and alternative energy resources are integral components to the success of this project.

History of the Mineral County Fairgrounds Association

2001: MCFA incorporated as Non-Profit Organization

Early talks amongst residents identified a need for an arena for events and recreation and citizens formed the MCFA board, which was State incorporated as a Non-Profit Organization in 2001.

2002: John Parker gifts 46 acres of land for fairgrounds site

John Parker deeded the land to the MCFA in September 2004.

Photo: Donor John Parker points to northeast boundary stake during 2007 Retreat

john parker
land parcel
land deed

2003: V-Cup Application Drafted

The Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment Program was created in 1994 to facilitate the redevelopment and transfer of contaminated properties. In January of 2007, the Mineral County Fairgrounds Association prepared and submitted an application. Below are short excerpts from the proposal:

Part 2.3 - Type and Source of Contamination:

Lead-impacted soil is the primary contaminant of concern at the MCFA Site. The soils have been sampled and analyzed for metals as part of several environmental assessments and investigations conducted at the Site. Elevated metal concentrations were found in many portions of the Site, with most elevated concentrations occurring in the Willow Creek floodplain.
Mining or milling activities never occurred at the Site. However, the Site has been impacted from upstream mining and milling operations....

Part 2.4 - Voluntary Clean-up

The waste dump material located at the Mineral County fairgrounds contains elevated levels of metals that need to be mitigated by capping the mine tailings, relocating wetlands, and building surface water diversion ditches. This work is proposed to be accomplished under the Colorado Voluntary Clean-up and Redevelopment Act (C.R.S. 25-16-301) that was passed in 1994.

Completed Application: MCFA_Final_Voluntary_Clean_Up_Plan.pdf

2004: Fairgrounds awarded $200,000 Brownfields Grant

2007: Masterplanning Retreat

The MCFA Board spent three days in April of 2007 holding a ‘retreat’ with its architects, 51% Studios. This was an intense, focused meeting bringing all concerned parties together to confirm key aspects of the Masterplan and to progress the design framework. This is a particularly valuable process for building projects that must incorporate the wishes of many stake-holders, a Board of Directors and rich site characteristics. Charles Nearburg kindly made Glenmora Lodge at Broadacres Ranch available for the retreat, and this facilitated a level of concentration that significantly helped the sessions. Delicious catering completed the perfect setting.

The architects came prepared with many visuals and strategies to stimulate thinking, including the “Beauty Pageant” powerpoint presentation which contained a well-chosen range of architectural examples to jostle thinking about possibilities for the future.

Perhaps the most important results of the Retreat were confirmations that:

• The main buildings to be placed on the “middle bench” for improved spatial identity and views, better protection from the weather and proximity to Willow Creek.

• The main indoor arena should be an attractive version of a pre-engineered steel structure and that the Community Recreation Centre would be a purpose-designed feature building.

• Fund-raising should proceed based on the goal of building the four main buildings of the Masterplan as a set.

Participants at the Retreat were excited to develop an aesthetic strategy for the future design process, one based on an attitude toward building that mirrors that seen in the mountain heritage of Creede, rather than the mere adoption of a popular style.

siteplans stage3

2008: Voluntary CleanUp Project begins

stream restoration1 remediation 

2008: Mitigation and Environmental Remediation accomplished

Working with the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, NRCS, American Geological Services, and Willow Creek Reclamation Committee, the MCFA developed an award-winning Voluntary Clean-up Plan with removal of contaminated soil that initiated in 2004. Clean up of 85% of the site was accomplished in the Fall of 2008. Almost two acres of wetlands was remediated. Eight species of willows that existed naturally on this site were successfully replanted around two new marshlands.

Remediation - Relocation of Willows to New Wetlands

willow creek remediation

The Fairgrounds site has now experienced its first growing season since the entire site went through a process of soil ‘remediation’.  Due to the presence of heavy metals that resulted from Creede’s mining heritage, much of the site’s top layer of soil has required treatment to prevent the metals from joining the Willow Creek run-off.  This process has also involved the complete upheaval of the indigenous vegetation of the site, and the relocation of the site’s existing willows to newly created wetlands areas.  The Board is delighted to be able to report that the relocation of the willows has been a complete success.  This represents an important sentimental success, one which is now beautifully complementing the wetlands formed as a key part of the overall remediation requirement.

12 Remediated Willows2 522x391

2009: Masterplan Phase I – Complete

The Outdoor Riding Arena was relocated last week, marking an exciting first step in the MCFA’s flexible masterplan. For the past two years the arena has been on the site’s “upper bench”, on Airport Roadway under the flight path. The Masterplan adopted by the Board has located all event facilities on the “middle bench” to achieve several benefits for visitors and eventors alike: better proximity to the lovely, newly-remediated Willow Creek and its bike paths; natural separation from wind; and framing events in a more focused and contained setting that has its own identity.

new arena

siteplans stage1

2010: El Pomar Grant awarded

$25,000 grant was awarded on February 3rd, 2010 for the development of conceptual design/schematics to advance the planning process of the complex.

2010: Architectural Sketches for Recreation Complex Presented

The Mineral County Fairgrounds Association hosted a viewing of architectural sketches for the Upper Rio Grande Events and Recreation Complex on July 8, 2010. At the Community Church MCFA board members received input and thoughtful discussions on this project. Catherine du Toit and Anderson Inge of 51% Studios presented their vision for the future of the site. Many of the topics discussed focused more on how the complex will benefit the community and not the delicious food. Some benefits of the recreation complex included providing a place for local children to learn to swim, provide a large venue for concerts, and give all age groups a sense of place within the community.

The architects and MCFA board have committed to making the site as self sustainable as possible, investigating newer technologies to answer old maintenance problems. Ideas on sod roofing, geothermal heating, and solar collectors were discussed. In all the architects presented designs for three buildings; an indoor events arena, a maintenance building, and a recreation center. Also included were designs for the entire complex, complete with landscaping, parking lots and traffic flow patterns. The impressive scope of the presentation ranged from layout of the entire complex to a cross section of the swimming pool/recreation to a shadow study of the buildings at various times of the year. In addition, the architects had roughed out square footage numbers for each building and total construction cost estimates.

2015: Permanent Seating, Chutes & Announcer's Booth Complete!

In 2014, permanent seating was added to the site! The MCFA also installed a set of Chutes. In 2015, a 2 story Timber Frame Announcer's Booth was built!

2016-2023: Facility Updates

  • Boarding Pens
  • Roping box and livestock chutes with alley
  • Bull Riding Chutes and pens
  • Covered Dining / Event Area
  • Live Music Stage
  • Concessions Stand
  • Water on-site

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2024 Facilty Updates

An RV Dump Station has been added to the facility

The Mineral County Fairgrounds Association is a Colorado non-profit cooperation with 501(c)(3) federal tax status. MCFA is a Colorado Enterprise Zone Project. Cash donations of $100 or more provide a 25% Colorado tax credit opportunity through the San Luis Valley Enterprise Zone.

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