FARMINGTON – Two national dog shows are coming to the Legacy Events Center in 2014.
The Farmington venue will host the Rhodesian Ridgebacks and the Irish Water Spaniels group.
The events should bring hundreds of dog owners from across the country, as well as many spectators, said Mike Moake, events coordinator.
About 400 dogs are expected from the Ridgebacks group, and that usually means two people per dog plus any spectators.
Some visitors will stay in the RV parking near the center, but many will fly in from afar. That will be a boon to area hotels, Moake said.
Often when a group such as the Ridgebacks books a location, they won’t return for many years, but this group was here only a few years ago, Moake said.
“Easterners often don’t like to come West,” he said, but with the new fields and RV spots, the Legacy Events Center offers a draw.
“The Ridgebackers like to rotate. Imagine all the places they could go,” said Dave Hansen, Center Director.
The adjacent Station Park, which continues to expand, is another draw with its restaurants, stores and more, Moake said.
In December, a 16-team wrestling tournament was held in the 2,200-seat arena. It brought teams from all over Utah as well as from Elko, Nev., Moake said.
It was the fourth time that group booked the center. The event brings in 400 kids, plus parents and spectators.
The number of events has escalated from about 400 several years ago to 850 in 2011 and 1,038 for all of 212, Hansen said.
It used to be that Sundays weren’t busy, but that’s hardly ever the case anymore, the two officials agreed.
Events range from weddings and a few Christmas parties to big boutiques, BMX shows, and an ever-growing karate class.
The Skinny Cow Cafe concession stand, operated by Shaun and Rhonda Moss, offers a lot more than the traditional hot dogs, hamburgers and fries, Hansen said.
They cook up soup and chicken dumplings, particularly for events that tend to draw a lot of women, plus pork roast sandwiches and a lot more.
“We haven’t had one complaint” about the concessionaire, Hansen said.
The County Fair continues to be the biggest draw when it’s staged in mid-August. It draws more than 40,000 people.
Exact attendance is hard to track because there is no entrance fee, but parking revenue was up, as were proceeds from some of the other paid events, Hansen said.
Arena revenue was up by $6,000 and exhibit building revenue rose by $12,000 for the fair alone, he said.
An indication that businesses are still struggling was borne out by the lower than normal sponsorships, he said.
“We’re getting business but the economy is still affecting us. We hope in 2013 people will want to travel,” Moake said.
In the meantime, more and more events are offered to attract people. There are often more than 11 per day, Hansen said.