Fairgrounds to improve look, parking

Fairgrounds to improve look, parking »Play Video
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- The offseason is the perfect time for fair organizers to make big improvements. They're getting the fairgrounds ready for your next visit.

Gary Wright lives eight blocks from the Benton-Franklin Fairgrounds, but still has parking issues.

"The whole yard is filled up with parking and sometimes they park in the driveway," said Wright.

Just trying to get out of the lot at the end of the night is an ordeal. It's one of the main issues the Fairgrounds Commission board is trying to fix. A traffic study will be done to alleviate congestion.

"Right now because of the parking situation during the fair, we usually drive downtown, pick up the bus and drive there," said Wright.

And the overall look will be improved. The board hopes to add landscaping and pave the gravel areas.

Staff also had four other recommendations. Increasing signage around the city, providing water to the south and east portions for over night campers, a new public address system and adding wi-fi.

"More of a competition market to other facilities around the area," said Board Coordinator RJ Lott.

They want to be able to house the amount of events as the TRAC in Pasco. It's not clear what these improvements would cost. Right now it's a wish list, the board hopes Kamiakin students might make it a part of their senior projects.

"The students would get some real world experience, the Fairgrounds would benefit, and costs would be minimal," said Lott.

They would help in putting up signs, improving the website, and putting in landscaping. Keeping the product local and the nearby residents happy.

"They've got a beautiful place there, we just need to improve it a little more and I think we can draw a lot of income from a lot of people out of town," said Wright.

The board is also looking to revamp the website and maybe even stream concerts or events live. Another meeting is planned on the upgrades next month.