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Town board mulls date change for next Fall Festival

The 2014 Pahrump Fall Festival’s schedule was a big topic of discussion among town board members Tuesday night.

Though the fall festival has historically occurred the last weekend in September, the board considered rescheduling the annual event next year to draw more visitors to the community.

Due to time constraints, results from any board action will appear in Friday’s edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.

Pahrump Town Manager Susan Holecheck on Monday said board members are considering holding the event roughly a week later to avoid conflicting with another annual event in Las Vegas next year.

“Henderson now has set up a car show the same weekend as our fall festival. We are a little concerned that we may lose some vendors to that Henderson event because it may have a larger crowd. On the other hand, (board chairman) Harley Kulkin wants to maybe tag on to events that are in Las Vegas hopefully to draw them this way. Right now the discussion is whether we want to change it from the last week in September, to the first week in October. Fall is always a busy time of the year,” she said.

Kulkin said the town should decide on what they want out of the fall festival, whether it should remain as a small event, or something that would attract more and more visitors to the community each year.

“If it’s the latter, we need to be cognizant of the events that are going on around us. The following weekend in October, there’s a huge motorcycle event in Las Vegas, which we could be part of and get motorcyclists to stop by here and spend money at the fall festival, which would lend itself to more vendors. The prior weekend we’re competing with the “Street Vibrations” in Reno and a lot of vendors go up there,” he said.

Kulkin also said that he wants to address concerns he received from festival vendors this time around.

The chairman of the board also mentioned another event that may draw more tourists to Pahrump.

Roadshows Entertainment based in Reno produces and manages motorcycle festivals across the country.

Kulkin said board members will discuss developing a contract with the group at an upcoming meeting.

“It’s on Tuesday’s agenda but I think it might be tabled because the contract is not ready for Randy Burke, who produces the show. We need to get on the calendar and get some national recognition. He is well respected in the industry and that’s how I found out about it,” he said.

Kulkin noted that the town has spent a lot of money to promote the community.

“We need to create events to give people a reason to come here and what we’ve been doing isn’t working. I’m getting more adamant about it. It’s going to happen, we will have a big motorcycle event here next year,” he said.

Holecheck, meanwhile, said she spoke to Burke last week about bringing an event to Pahrump and she liked what she heard.

“We are thinking about trying to bring a different type of event here. The nice part about a motorcycle event is they could do different things. For instance they could possibly schedule a poker run to Death Valley or they could do a run to Crystal and back. I can give different businesses in town to enjoy increased revenues,” she said.

Board members also discussed the shortage of park space for sporting events in the community and possibly charging fees to groups who come in from out of town.

At present, the groups are not required to pay the town for use of the parks.

Holecheck said it costs the town additional funds to accommodate the group’s requests each week.

“What’s happening right now is we don’t charge for our fields. A lot of times, people from Las Vegas are coming in to use our fields and it costs us money. The reality is it costs money and we pay to mow and water the grass. All I’m saying to the board is if it is time to for us to think about a user fee for our ball fields,” she said.

“I know it’s a very touchy subject but Las Vegas charges a lot more for their fields and so does Mesquite. I think people tend to forget about that. We do have fees for the Bob Ruud Community Center, but we didn’t have fees established for groups who come in from out of town to use the fields,” she said.

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