The Ranch's Master Plan-Looking Towards the Future
Since opening in 2003 The Ranch has served as a central congregation point for Larimer County residents and citizens from across the region. It has developed a reputation as one of the premier event facilities in the area and serves as a major economic driver for the County by attracting regional and national events that attract out of town visitors.
The Ranch operates in a highly competitive environment that is continuously changing on all fronts. As such the County has taken a very proactive approach to keep the facility competitive and preparing for the future. The citizens approved an extension of the dedicated sales tax based on a master plan that expands and enhances the campus facilities and possible activities. That master plan was driven by the vision statement for the Ranch
The Ranch is Larimer County’s premier event and entertainment complex that hosts a wide variety of events such as indoor arena events, sporting events, the Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo, 4-H and C.S.U. Extension programs, outdoor concerts and events, trade shows and commercial events, as well as many business and community meetings. It is a community gathering place, with long-standing agricultural roots and pride of ownership expressed in the high quality of the facilities, programs, and services. These experiences improve the lives of Larimer County citizens.
Over the last eighteen months, The Ranch staff has worked with a consulting team to explore the approved 2017 master plan and to recommend the best path to move forward with an implementation plan. The analysis included an extensive market study, multiple stakeholder meetings, recommendations for any overlooked programming opportunities, concept designs for the recommended projects, an in-depth analysis of the recommended programs, and an extensive economic model.
The culmination of that research identified seven projects to move forward with as an implementation plan. The projects have the best cost-benefit for the county and the most community support from the stakeholders and the community overall. These projects include:
- Relocation of Arena Circle to the outer edge of current parking and to create two new entrance and exit points on the southeast and northern edge of the property. This relocation would ease congestion on Arena Circle due to current pedestrian crossings on the primary entrance road. It would also facilitate easier and safer access to the buildings for our guests.
- A new 60,000 sq. ft. flat floor trade show facility to be attached to a privately funded full-service hotel. The hotel would have a minimum of 250 rooms. The hall will replace the current First National Bank show halls. The building would be class A show space and have 35’ ceilings, allowing it to be flexible enough to be used as a tradeshow space, sporting event space, and/or meeting spaces.
- A recreational sports complex to house three ice sheets and a natatorium. This would host local and regional sporting events as well as be a practice facility for local teams. The building would be designed and built in such a way that the ice sheets could be converted to other sport uses as market demand allows. This could include basketball, indoor soccer, tennis, pickleball or other court type sports.
- Expansion of the equine and livestock facilities would include a new 70,000 sq, ft barn to house up to 400 more stalls. A new covered show arena with seating for approximately 2,000 people, an attached warm-up ring, and livestock handling spaces. It would also include several new outdoor warm-up arenas and expanded parking and camping facilities with full-service connections.
- Conversion of the existing First National Bank show halls into an expanded 4-H, youth and community building. The new facility would allow the current programs to expand and allow new community programming. It will also house CSU extension offices, making their accessibility much more convenient for our citizens.
- Conversion of the current McKee Hall into administrative offices for the Ranch.
- A new event center arena with a capacity of approximately 10,000 seats to replace the existing Budweiser Event Center. Alternately, should financing not be secured from the private sector for a new arena, we would move forward with renovations to the existing Budweiser Event Center. Updates would include all new seating, guest amenities and expansion on the north and west sides of the building. The expansions would allow for a general admission club, a true club seat holder dedicated space, expansion of the concourse on the west side of the building and expansion of the locker room and storage spaces on the lower level.
In addition, an alternative project was identified should financing be secured to support it:
- A dedicated 4-H arena including classroom space and equine and livestock facilities.
- A dive well with platform diving as part of the warm-up pool.
The projects are identified on the two sight diagrams attached, labeled option A and option B. Option A being the primary implementation plan and option B being used if the funding cannot be found to support the additional development of a new arena.