Casey Bradley Gent
The indoor arena at Norris-Penrose Events Center today.
The latest issue of the Independent takes a close look at plans to expand the Norris-Penrose Events Center's indoor arena. ("Western expansion," Cover, April 26, 2017
As noted in the story, there are some hills to climb for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, which runs the center. Chief among them is persuading the El Paso County commissioners to release the county's first right of refusal on the property, so banks will loan the foundation money for the $4 million project.
Courtesy CSNA Architects
The renovated indoor arena as envisioned in an artist's rendering.
Commissioners are mulling the possibility. County spokesman Dave Rose sets out these points being taken into consideration via an email after commissioners held an executive session to discuss the matter on April 20:
• The Commissioners have indicated that they recognize the tradition of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and they want the Rodeo to succeed as both a region event and a philanthropic organization.
• The Commissioners want to do what they can to assure that the primary use of the property for recreation and equestrian purposes is preserved.
• They want to do what they can to assure that future construction is done with proper testing and monitoring in place to minimize the environmental risk. As you know, there was a gold extraction mill on the site (the Portland Mill) from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and later it functioned for a number of years as a city dump.
• County Attorney will make an effort to incorporate those objectives into discussions with the lawyers for the Rodeo Association and if they are able to reach some sort of agreement, I would look for any proposed Agreement to come back to the Board within a few weeks and we will absolutely let you know when (if) that gets scheduled.
Our coverage in this week's edition also delves into the property's legacy as a gold refining area
, as well as recaps contributions made by the Rodeo Foundation