By Selwyn Harris
Even though there’s still much work to be done, the Pahrump Fairgrounds will have an official grand opening in a few months.
Town Manager Bill Kohbarger invited local media to the site on Sunday where a special event took place just after sunset.
“Tonight we are doing a test shoot where Red Apple Fireworks is testing some fireworks over at the Spring Mountain Motorsports facility. In April, we are going to have a grand opening of this facility where we are standing right now — the fairgrounds. We are out here to look at it and to see how it looks and if you can see them clearly. In April when we have the grand opening, Red Apple is going to donate a bunch of fireworks and we are going to have a big fireworks display during the grand opening of this fairgrounds facility,” he said.
Kohbarger said crews have already completed a vast paving project at the site, which is more than 20 acres.
“We have about 385 parking spaces. Basically it is 27 acres. Twenty-five acres has been flattened for soccer fields. Over 70,000 cubic yards of dirt have been moved and we are going to the county within the next 30 days and ask them to pave where the paved parking lot stops off Gamebird, which is about a $125,000 to $150,000 project. Hopefully the county will step up and do that. Nye County has been very helpful in getting all of this done. We have gone through their planning and zoning and it’s been very good so thank you Nye County,” he said.
Last Tuesday board members voted to seek the county’s assistance with the paving project.
The town manager also said county officials have already completed some infrastructure work at the site.
“They have expressed a lot of interest in partnering on several different projects. One of them being this one. As the town board just directed me to do is go to the county commission and ask for them to pave that from our property to Gamebird so that way it can be driven in on pure pavement the whole way. The county also put in a well, which should help with bringing water onto this property. Overall this is just a fun night to see how well the fireworks look and to show off our fairgrounds a little bit,” he said.
A related agenda item which requested the county’s assistance to provide power, RV, and restroom sewage disposal at the site was tabled at the meeting.
Kohbarger said he’s optimistic about the county providing support with the project.
“I don’t anticipate the county won’t chip in because I think they see this as a huge tourist and economic avenue for the Town of Pahrump and Nye County, so therefore I’m not worried about that but fast-forward to the future, how about three or four thousand kids with parents out here. Eight soccer fields, a huge concession stand, restroom facilities, and this place just entirely packed with people having a lot of fun in the town of Pahrump coming from Las Vegas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California to bring in their kids over here for a huge soccer tournament. How about holding the fall festival out here one weekend? There will be 24 acres of grass and won’t that be a very large event?” he said.
Town Board Vice Chair Bill Dolan said he is hopeful that organized events will be held at the facility in the not too distant future.
He also urged patience.
“Everything kind of moves slowly with government and we have to apply for some grants and find some money. This is a great avenue to kick off with the soccer fields. As far as the fall festival being held out here, I would like to see that but I would like to see that after we build a new arena out here. I’d like to see a new indoor and outdoor arena so that we can attract more rodeos throughout the year. Some finals from the Western Regionals from Idaho, Utah, and Nevada made and interest in coming here and we just need to do a few things. One of them is build that new facility and turn around, have maybe a hotel or two on the south end of town. We’ll have to see what happens,” he said.
Dolan also commented on the tabled agenda item that requested the county to partner with the town on the water and sewage issues at the site.
“They can always dry park out here and go and dump uptown. There was a tabled item for reclaimed water, power, fresh water, and the whole gamut out here. I don’t think a couple of my fellow town board members realized how much work had gone into this already. It does need to move forward and the county is very interested in working with the town. In fact, one of my campaign issues was to work well with the county and heal this void that’s been just wedged open over the years. I in particular have been working with two county commissioners on a bunch of different issues and it’s going very smoothly. It’s about time we put our differences aside and move Pahrump and Nye County forward for the benefit of everybody,” he said.
Town Board Chair Harley Kulkin, meanwhile, spoke about why the board decided to table the item last Tuesday.
“The item was tabled to bring back to the next meeting, giving Mr. Kohbarger a couple of weeks to talk to the county to see where we are with this because he has been working on it for two years. Now we do have something here. At the minimum, I’m just looking to have an RV dump station. You can dry camp here but before you leave you can at least dump your stuff and maybe have some water because we’re going to have events out here we should at least have a water tank and facilities in case there’s a fire or something for public safety,” he said.
Kulkin said that it would be in the county’s best interest to collaborate with the town on the project.
“If we can get this thing utilized, that means increased sales tax for the entire county and the money gets spent all over the place,” he said.
Kulkin also said that the fairgrounds would be an excellent location for a very popular event that is unique to the Silver State.