The Saratoga Sun -

Encampment supports CCVC application for Wyoming Business Council grant


Plans for a new Carbon County visitor’s center in Rawlins were discussed at the Encampment Town Council meeting Thursday evening.

Jim McKinney, chairman of the Carbon County Visitors Council, told council members, CCVC wanted to apply for a Wyoming Business Council Business Ready Community Planning Grant, which would go toward the new visitor’s center in Rawlins. The grant amount is $25,000. McKinney said the proposed site for the visitor’s center is the guard’s quarters at the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins.

“I’m here to ask you for your support and signature on the resolution, so that we can apply for a Wyoming Business Ready Grant,” McKinney said. “What we’re looking at basically is moving our office for the visitors council over to a renovated place at the old penitentiary, basically for more exposure. Our visitor’s center in Riverside probably gets 10 to 15 times the amount of visitors per year that we see in the Rawlins office, just because of the location. Right now it’s kind of on the west side there next to where the old Verizon office used to be.”

McKinney said the grant money would be used for an architect to do a study on the space desired for the new visitors council office. The study would determine the site’s suitability, possible costs, design and floor plans, public meeting spaces and potential community partners.

“We’re kind of looking at this money to be used for a historical architect to come in, and basically look at it and see if it’s feasible,” McKinney said. “They would give us cost estimates on what it would take to turn this part of the old pen into a visitor’s center. We also are looking at renting some office space out if we renovate another portion of it, and we’ve also talked to the Pronghorn Pride committee. They’ve been looking for a place, so we’ve been looking to partner with them to get this work done.”

With its proposed location on the penitentiary grounds, McKinney said a brand new renovated visitor’s center could easily increase tourists who come in.

“When people get done with doing the pen, they can walk right over to our building and find out what else there is to do in the county,” he said. “I think it’s a win-win situation for both the Old Pen and the visitors council as well.”

The council gave approval for the Carbon County Visitors Council to apply for a Wyoming Business Council Business Ready Community Planning Grant for $25,000.

In other business, Vicki Loftice of the Encampment Planning Commission said there were no new applications received or requested at the most recent planning commission meeting, but that zoning ordinances would be reviewed for possible revision.

“We decided we would review the zoning ordinances and see which ones might need to be revised,” Loftice said. “When we come up with a list in the next few months, we’ll give it to Doreen for discussion amongst us, and then bring it to you guys. We decided next month if we did not have any applications by 5 p.m. on Monday night, we would not have a meeting for November.”

Council member Mary Martin said there may be a New Year’s Eve Movie Night at the Opera House this year, and that Summer Movie Nights would be moved to the Grand Encampment Opera House grounds for better convenience. Dates planned for the 2014 Summer Movie Night series include June 21, July 12 and Aug. 9.

The council also approved the Bear Trap Café’s application to sell liquor at a dinner theater event, which would take place at the Grand Encampment Opera House Nov. 16.


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