breaking news

Springfield home fire a possible case of arson, police say

Fairgrounds get $50k to rebrand site as Champions Park

The Clark County Fairground will get a $50,000 grant to pay to rebrand one of the top tourist attractions in Clark County.

The Clark County Convention Facilities Authority is funded by local hotel bed taxes and is tasked with supporting projects that lead to more overnight stays and tourism in Clark County. It will give the fairgrounds a one-time payment to be used to cover costs associated with rebranding the fairgrounds as Champions Park, said John Maurer, vice chairman of the CFA.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: South Limestone Street restaurant to close after 30 years

The rebranding project fits the authority’s mission because most of the overnight stays in Clark County can be attributed to the fairgrounds, Maurer said.

The grant could cover items such as new signage, costs for websites, literature and other promotional materials.

“The fairgrounds and Champions Center generates 65 percent of all the overnight stays in Clark County,” Maurer said.

The economic impact of tourism in Clark County was about $395 million in 2016, according to the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

READ MORE: $20M Springfield Kroger Marketplace still on hold until at least June

The fairgrounds had previously submitted a request for additional funding, fairground Executive Director Dean Blair said.

The site will still be known as the fairgrounds but the new branding will allow it to better market itself for state and national events, he said. For example, an event might be pitched as being hosted at Champions Park, home of the historic Clark County Fairgrounds.

The money from the CFA will be a good start toward rebranding the site, Blair said.

The venue is a good fit for a variety of events, Blair said. But in the past it’s been hard to convince some event organizers to host their activities there because of a perception of what a fairgrounds looks like in some other counties, he said.

RELATED: Champaign County examines demand for new hotel

“What we found is if we can get someone here, we usually close the deal,” Blair said.

It’s not clear exactly how the $50,000 will be spent, but he said it could include projects like banners lining the entrance to the fairgrounds to make the site more attractive and make it easier for guests to find their vehicles in the parking areas.

DETAILS: New Carlisle business to begin up to $8M expansion, add jobs

The Clark County Convention Facilities Authority also received an update last week from officials at Wittenberg University, who are in the midst of a roughly $40.5 million overhaul of the university’s athletic facilities, a project they expect to attract youth sports and other events to the region.

Last year the authority agreed to provide $75,000 per year from 2018 to 2022 to assist Wittenberg with the project.

MORE: Downtown Springfield market seeks historic status

The CFA also continues to review a request from the Master Gardeners of Clark County, which has started a fundraising campaign for its $360,000 first phase of work to transform a former golf course into the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum.

The Master Gardeners are seeking $50,000 from the authority to assist that project but some CFA members wanted more information about how the Master Gardeners plan to use the arboretum to attract more overnight stays.

CFA board members continue to work with the Master Gardeners to gather more information about the proposed project, Maurer said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

5 amazing flight deals we found at local airports for summer travel
5 amazing flight deals we found at local airports for summer travel

It’s time to book your next vacation. Discount airlines flooded regional airports with cheap, new flights to destinations across the world. WOWair, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air added new flights in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton — lowering airfare for eager travelers in the region. There are plenty of cheap flight options to...
Non-stop Paris flight set to begin this week from airport in region
Non-stop Paris flight set to begin this week from airport in region

Delta’s Indianapolis-to-Paris flight begins Thursday. Delta, with joint venture partner Air France KLM, last year announced that it will bring nonstop trans-Atlantic service from Indianapolis to its European hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle starting May 24, 2018. “Indiana and the Indianapolis metropolitan area have long been an important...
Stagnant population, lower wages a drag on area home building
Stagnant population, lower wages a drag on area home building

Dayton-area home-builders are building fewer homes, exacerbating an already chronic crunch in inventory. Builders identify several problems at work: Last winter was a relatively rough one — and more troubling — the Dayton area isn’t experiencing the growth in jobs, wages and population that other parts of the nation are seeing. &ldquo...
7 tips for males who manage or mentor females
7 tips for males who manage or mentor females

It's a sensitive time in this #MeToo era. As Peter J. Strauss described it in Forbes, "Over the past few months, there has been an important and long overdue national conversation surrounding the topics of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace."  And while the movement has generated massive positive change, "...
Target next-day delivery may be coming
Target next-day delivery may be coming

A next-day delivery service from Target isn’t available in Dayton yet -- but “stay tuned,” Target is saying. The retail company announced that it is offering “Target Restock,” a next-day delivery service of household goods, available “coast to coast,” the company said. But a cursory search on the Target Restock...
More Stories