During its 132-year history, the Larimer County Fairgrounds moved three times. The first location was a 40-acre parcel located in Fort Collins on Lemay Avenue where Poudre Valley Hospital now stands. A financial crisis in 1893 brought an end to the county fair in Fort Collins. Loveland then added the fair as an extension of the City's annual Corn Roast celebration in 1912, building a facility on a six acre site of a former horse race track, adjacent to the Big Thompson River and just south of downtown Loveland. The Old Fairgrounds housed many structures: a caretaker's House, former calvary stables and two buildings once used to house prisoners of war during World War II.
With the help of long-time Fair advocates and many 4-H families and friends, a measure passed by Larimer County voters in 1998 allowed for a one-year sales tax to purchase the land that would eventually house the new fairground. Another measure passed in 2000 supporting the construction of The Ranch Fairgrounds and Events Complex, a state of the art, eight building complex that boasts 150 acres of site work and over 375,000 square feet of indoor event space. In addition to the move of the annual Larimer County Fair in 2003, The Ranch Events Complex accommodates a variety of events from trade shows, conferences and meetings to concerts and festivals. It's easily accessible location and impeccable amenities have made it the ideal site for regional, state and national events. The rich tradition, hard work and community involvement at the "Fairgrounds" continues. The saying "If there's somebody you haven't seen for awhile, go down to the fair and you'll see them," still stands.
Since the first shovel hit the ground on its campus, The Ranch Events Complex has been earning the reputation as one of the premier event and entertainment complexes in the region. With the ability to host anything from a board meeting to tens of thousands of music festival fans, the multi-purpose venues on the campus of The Ranch is not only known locally as a place for local entertainment, but is also a nationally known event destination.
The Ranch campus also includes the Budweiser Events Center. This 7,200 seat multi-purpose venue is called home by the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL and the Colorado Ice Indoor Football team of the IFL. The arena has seen some of the best bands, comedians, family and theater shows stop in Loveland for a evening or two as well including Bill Cosby, Matchbox 20, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, Rod Stewart, Journey, RENT, WWE, Garrison Keillor, Blue Man Group, Alan Jackson, Lord of the Dance, Monster Trucks, Jeff Dunham, Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, Kenny Rogers, Miranda Lambert, ZZ Top, Harlem Globetrotters, Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus, and many more. In addition to events inside each building on the campus of The Ranch, the campus has held multiple large events that take up much of the area in the almost 150 acres of outdoor space at the Fairgrounds. These events include the GoodGuys Car Show, HeavenFest and Mud Brigade, Gnarly Barley Brew Fest and more. For a complete list of events coming to The Ranch, please visit the Calendar.