Board selects local to run fairgrounds
2/19/2013 6:00:00 AM
By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
The new Mohave County Fairgrounds manager has a familiar face.
The Mohave County Fair Association Board unanimously voted Thursday evening to hire James Guillot as the new manager of the grounds.
Guillot has served as a volunteer at the fairgrounds for a number of years and has been the interim manager since August.
"He was the most qualified," Association Chairman Chuck Cox said.
The association advertised the position locally, statewide and across the Southwest. It received around 20 resumes, Cox said. A subcommittee narrowed the field to four candidates, including Guillot.
"He went through the same application process as everyone else," Cox said.
The association board interviewed each of the finalists, including Guillot, before making the decision.
The association has leased the grounds from the county for more than 30 years and has made some major improvements to the fairgrounds buildings and event areas in the last six months, including adding a paintball field and a BMX track.
Guillot plans to continue those improvements and is already working with the county and board to develop three- and five-year plans for the fairgrounds, maintenance and facilities.
The first item on his to-do list is to fix and repair the fairgrounds facilities.
"We've got a lot of things that need fixing," he said.
The work includes paint, new plumbing, upgrading the electrical systems and possibly adding additional bathrooms and a new rodeo arena.
The association has been looking at various rodeo arenas that would move the rodeo action closer to the grandstands and allow certain parts of the arena to be removed so truck, car, motocross and equestrian events could be held in the same area, Guillot said.
"We'd like to be able to hold two rodeos a year," he said.
The association's various subcommittees are also looking at ways to improve the county fair and the home and garden show and add more events to the fairgrounds schedule in the summer, he said.
"We're looking at possibly having a beer fest right before the fair," Guillot said.
Also on Guillot's wish list - adding batting cages at the far end of the fairgrounds near Harrison Street.
He's hoping the repairs and additional events will bring more people to the fairgrounds who are interested in helping out.
"We want more community involvement," Guillot said. "We really want to encourage people to volunteer. The more people we have, the better the results. Our new motto is 'Yes.' Just 'yes.' If there's a way to do it, we will do it."
"He's got a difficult job," Cox said. "He'll be working for 11 board members. That's a lot harder than working for one boss, especially around fair time. But I'm confident he can do it."
Residents interested in volunteering or joining the Mohave County Fair Association should call (928) 753-2636.