Lodging Panel Funds New/Old Events

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Members of the Two Shot Goose Hunt are at work finalizing the 48th annual get-together for Lamar and Southeast Colorado.  Bob and Rose Ann Yates, President and Executive Director, respectively, detailed some of the financial benefits the Two Shot has brought to Prowers County for almost a half century for members of the Prowers County Lodging Panel.  Now known as the Southeast Colorado Two Shot Goose Hunt and Southeast Colorado Two Shot Habitat and Wildlife Foundation, Inc, the couple explained that from 75 to 100 out-of-area participants will make use of motel rooms and restaurants in Lamar for the three day event, taking place this year from December 3 – 5.  Between 300 to 350 people come to the annual President’s Night and Auction headquartered at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn.  The couple requested funding from the Panel to help defray expenses associated with the annual hunt.

Rose Ann Yates said the community prospers from the event, throughout the year, not just during December, “We’ve had some hunters come back to the area for other hunts or events and one donated $100,000 to the local hospice recently; others have bought vehicles from local dealers. They help promote our community to other people around the region.”  Board member, John Ritter, recounted how the annual Dove Hunt which concluded earlier this month, moved to Lamar.  “For 20 years it was held in La Junta, but the past 12 years, the hunt has been headquartered here in Lamar,” he explained.  He said that three day hunt also generates revenue for community businesses.  Rose Ann Yates estimated that 90% of the hunt’s annual costs were spent in Lamar and Prowers County.  Lodging Panel members approved $4,100 for the Two Shot Hunt.

A $500 request from Marge Creech was approved. She appeared on behalf of the annual Rhythm and Ribs music and dining event held at the Holly Fairgrounds, this year on October 11.  The funds will go to advertising costs for the event which raises money for the annual free Bluegrass Festival held in Holly each year.  Persons pay $15 for the BBQ rib meal and for dancing with the band Freddy Darnell and Country Gold.  The dinner begins at 5:30pm at the fairgrounds barn.

Lisa Thomas, President of the Lamar Chamber of Commerce, and Lisa Carder, office manager, requested $240 for partial operating expenses for the chamber’s website. This has been automatically funded by the Lodging Panel for the past several years.  The website helps detail numerous community events throughout Lamar and Prowers County.

Gerry Jenkins, representing the Southeast Colorado Diversity Council, formerly Voces Unidas, requested funding to advertise the group’s annual banquet, set this year for October 11 at the Lamar Eagles. Guest speakers have been invited to address the audience each year and community awards are presented for various citizens, recognizing their contributions to Lamar and Prowers County.  Panel members voted to award $1,156 to the council.

As the Fruita, Colorado Welcome Center staff visits Lamar; the Lamar Welcome Center members will travel to that community. Lodging Panel members approved $1,435 cover the costs of meals and lodging for the Fruita visitors in town while they learn about some of the attractions in southeast.  The visits help educate all Colorado Welcome Center employees about other portions of the state in an effort to generate more visits to local areas of interest.  Fruita, Colorado staff members will be in Lamar next week and have planned a similar fact-finding trip for La Junta while they’re here.

Lodging Panel members discussed their 2015 budget with no final results at this point. Members felt that in light of requests for new events, coupled with annual repeated events such as the Blue Grass Festival or Two Shot Goose Hunt, additional funds should be available to help finance new tourism oriented entertainment. The Prowers County Commissioners ratify the budget submitted by the Panel for their approval.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedGranadaHistoryHollyLamarProwers CountyRecreationTourism

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