The Deschutes County Fairgrounds is looking to expand into one of the biggest fairgrounds complexes in the nation, but first a land exchange between local and state entities must occur.
“It would give us the largest property of its type in the nation and the opportunity to come up with a full master plan for what the rest of the full build-out of the campus will look like and give us these opportunities to meet needs that we aren’t currently able to utilize,” said Deschutes County Fairgrounds Director Geoff Hinds.
The exchange would add 140 acres to the already 320-acre property.
“Once that’s done, we’ll go into a master planning phase and figure out what we would build next and what that price tag might look like and where the funding would come for that,” said Hindz.
The land is on the south side of the fairgrounds across from the RV park.
Something the fairgrounds is hoping to improve on by adding more camping spots, especially for 4-H and FFA members during the fair.
“We just don’t own that property yet, and, you know, one of those things that we would certainly put into the master plan is the ability to house those members during the best five days of summer and then figure out what we would do with that space for the rest of the year,” Hinds said.
Hinds says the expansion would also include a new south side entry, which would mean better access for people coming from Bend and other areas to the south.
Planners are looking for community input to help with further developments.
“Sports fields, sports complex, is certainly one we hear a lot about, but just a tremendous other amounts of items on the table,” Hinds said. “It would give us the opportunity to explore those and figure out what’s the best utilization long term.”