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2014-07-21 16:04:24
Dont tell the folks in Tooele County they can't...

Don't tell the folks in Tooele County they can't do something. Like with your kids, it's the best way to get us to do it.

I'm a bit hung over today. many of my friends and neighbors are too. It doesn't have anything to do with alcohol...At least for Berna and I it doesn't. You see, we just got done with day 4 of 'Country Explosion'. So, I'm having a country music hangover. 4 days of music, hundred degree temps, and every kind of County fair food you could ask for. For many others, there's the beer hangover too!

I won't go into most of the specifics of how this festival came to Tooele County, other than to say it wasn't supposed to. Two years ago, County government was approached by the promoters, who were looking for a better place to hold it than the location they were in. Many of the folks approached were certain that such an event couldn't succeed here. Either we didn't have enough staff, or the venue wouldn't work. Maybe they just didn't like the idea. 

In any event, the promoters then approached the good folks at Miller MotorSports park to hold it, which they did last year. It was a fun event, but had it's limitations. Many of them had to do with using a racetrack as the venue, something it wasn't designed to do. The promoters kept looking, even looking into buying some land and holding it there. But, at the end of the day, they knew the right venue was right under our noses, the one they were told wouldn't work. 

They tried again. A new attitude in County government had folks looking for new ways to promote Tooele County. A public/private partnership was created, with the County contributing some tax money collected specifically to promote tourism. The promoters put together a great slate of entertainers and began the marketing blitz. These weren't cheesy second class acts either. How about Rascal Flats, Reba McIntyre, Toby Keith and Florida-Georgia Line? 

Did it work? The numbers aren't yet in. However, based on the fact that the RV's and campers started rolling in a day ahead of schedule and filled the spots made available (and beyond), it sounds like the word got out. I stopped counting when I hit 600 RV's and two whole softball fields filled with tents. Rough counts put Friday attendance at over 10,000 folks and Saturday night for Toby Keith somewhere between 15-18k. Sundays crowd felt bigger than Friday did, despite lots of rain showers coming through the area.

Again, I don't know anything about the math, but I do know how it felt to be there. Most folks had a great time. We ate too much (hand dipped corn dogs rock!). many drank a bit too much. The music was awesome. Traffic was handled beautifully. Most of all, folks are looking forward to coming back next year...to the place that shouldn't be doing this! So, all I can say is, don't tell the folks in Tooele County they can't do something, because they can and they will. And they'll probably do it next year too!

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