MASON CITY — City and county leaders from Cerro Gordo County toured the North Iowa Events Center in Mason City on Monday afternoon to see the improvements being made to the facility.
North Iowa Fair Board president Scott Miller says the board is doing a lot of things to get the necessary upgrades and updates to the facility done so more people use the Events Center. “As restrictions start to lessen and as we start to recover from the pandemic, people have a place that’s affordable and that’s open and available to them, whether it be the horse groups which obviously are really great for our area, we hope to be able to attract more of those. Prior to the latest mandate, we actually had the arena booked solid through the end of March. We’re making the necessary upgrades and changes to this entire facility so that we can attract people every single day and or weekend out to the North Iowa Events Center.”
Miller says they are listening to suggestions made by the groups that regularly have been using the Events Center in making improvements. “We asked a lot of questions of our promoters and our attendees, and unlike in the past, we actually might be in a better financial situation to be able to do something about it. So it’s kind of the perfect storm where we do have a better financial situation from attracting some of these events that we were able to have and it being able to reinvest that money into the necessary repairs so that we can continue to bring in those those groups that want to use our facility.”
Miller says the board wants to find more ways to use the All-Seasons Building. “In the past, before we had access to the arena year-round, the arena is now our most utilized facility, where the All-Seasons Building is less utilized. I think a lot of the reason is it’s just a very, very large building. One of the things that we’re really focused on doing is attracting the groups that can utilize a much larger facility. One of the things we are going to do with the All-Seasons is hold more auctions or swap meets and craft shows, and depending on how long the COVID situation lasts, it’s a large building that we can use for social distancing as well.”
Miller says investments in replacing lights in the arena as well as the Olson Building with LED lighting has already paid for itself in savings.