Marketing district approves $10K for Whittle the Wood, Colorado State High School Rodeo |

Marketing district approves $10K for Whittle the Wood, Colorado State High School Rodeo

Melody Villard, right, presents a request for $10,000 to Local Marketing District Board members, from left, David Heinrich, Chris Jones, Luke Tucker, Randy Looper and Tammie Thompson-Booker.
Sasha Nelson/staff

CRAIG — Through the course of two meetings, the Moffat County Local Marketing District Board has approved $20,000 in support of two signature events — Whittle the Wood Rendezvous and the 2018 Colorado State High School and Junior High School Rodeo Finals — hosted by Grand Old West Days committee.

Dave Pike, City of Craig Parks and Recreation director, originally submitted a request for $10,000 to support Whittle the Wood in November 2017.

He said the budget boost would help bring in a headliner band. Most of the board resigned before a decision could be reached, however, and in the interim, the city secured Big Head Todd and the Monsters as featured performers.

Pike was back before the new LMD board April 17, requesting a long-delayed decision on his original request, which was unanimously approved by board members Dave Heinrich, Luke Tucker, Randy Looper, Chris Jones and Michael Morriss. LMD board members Rich Thompson and Tammie Thompson-Booker were absent.

At its April 17 meeting the LMD board members also:
o Approved minutes from the April 5 meeting.
o Approved travel expenses for Heinrich.
o Approved payment for use of a Post Office Box.
o Discussed the process for changes to the LMD budget, an intergovernmental agreement with the Moffat County Tourism Association and MCTA funding.

Melody Villard, of the Grand Old West Days Committee, submitted a request for $10,000 in event funding, which, in addition to $5,000 of in-kind support and $6,000 from the MCTA, would cover the $21,000 cost of hosting the 2018 Colorado State High School and Junior High Rodeo Finals. Craig has twice hosted the finals.

“Both times in the past, the funding came from the city, county and MCTA, all supporting for $5,000 each, and the committee made up the rest of the amount and in-kind through community support, as well as funding all other entertainment at the event through sponsorships,” Villard said. “This year, the support is not there from the city and county, citing the addition of the LMD as a way to fund this type of event or opportunity to bring guests into our area.”

Heinrich, Jones, Tucker, Looper and Thompson-Booker unanimously approved the request. Thompson and Morriss were absent.

Board members asked Villard to provide data to show beneficial economic impacts generated by the event. That could prove to be a difficult task, with other events — such as Moffat County High School graduation — scheduled for the same weekend.

CSHSRA competitors are required to wear their back numbers when competing at an event, and Villard hopes Craig businesses will take note to help determine the impact of the competition.

At the May 1 meeting, the LMD also:

o Approved minutes from the April 17 meeting.

o Approved an intergovernmental agreement with MCTA that is expected to allow the association, supported by LMD dollars, to become the primary source of funding for future community events.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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