ROCK SPRINGS — The city of Rock Springs and Sweetwater Events Complex staff met to talk about the consumption of alcohol during Wyoming’s Big Show.
Rock Springs Police Chief Dwane Pacheco said he wants the Complex to do a better job at communicating with the department so he could allocate the proper resources to ensure that people who attend the county fair are safe and having a good time.
A concerned parent who declined to give her name said underage residents consumed alcohol inside the Pepsi tent during the fair a year ago.
Having kids in the same area where drinks are being served is inconsistent. Underage residents cannot sit at a bar at Applebee’s with their parents, so why are they able to do so at the fair, they asked.
The parent said they are not asking that the beer tent be moved, but a little more needs to be done.
The city has an obligation to make sure those who are underage or residents who are over 21 that have had too much to drink are taken care of, Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo said.
Sweetwater Events Complex Executive Director Larry Lloyd said he is in a people’s business and “we find it best to keep it hands off unless we’re in a crisis.”
“I don’t remember us being in a crisis last year,” he said.
If the Complex sees something on the dance floor, “we break it up,” Lloyd added.
Councilman David Halter said one of the biggest issues is establishing a firm time to stop serving alcohol.
“My biggest problem is getting absolute information from the Complex,” such as getting a set time when alcohol will stop being sold, Pacheco said.
Lloyd said he is willing to sit down and discuss it.
“Let’s get past that issue,” he added.
Pacheco said he just wants to know what everything looks like so he could be prepared.
“I will assure the mayor and Council we will come to a workable solution that meets criteria the city would like to see and what we’re willing to work with,” Lloyd said.
Kaumo said Wednesday’s meeting was late in the year considering the fair begins in a few weeks, adding he would like to meet earlier before the 2020 fair.
“That’s an excellent idea,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd added he is glad “we’re seeing some common ground.”
Kaumo said at the end he wants to make sure everyone is on the same page.
It still comes to protecting the young people, the concerned parent said.
“As a parent, you got to do something,” she said.
Recommendations will be attached to a proposed malt beverage permit application for the fair that will be considered at Tuesday’s Rock Springs City Council meeting, Rock Springs Deputy City Clerk Kristyn Muniz said Thursday.