Ravalli County Fairgrounds Manager Cryss Anderson has submitted her resignation to the Ravalli County Fair Board. She gave two weeks’ notice and the effective date of her resignation is March 15.
“It was just time to move on,” said Anderson about her reason for leaving. “I am proud of my accomplishments at the Fairgrounds, but I need to focus more on my family.”
Anderson has served as the Fairgrounds Manager – which includes managing the county fair as well as the fairgrounds – for about one and a quarter years, having been hired last December. In that span of time, quite a few things were accomplished.
The first was earning the Platinum Rodeo Award from the National Rodeo Association. It’s an award that Anderson is especially proud of.
She was also able to work out a deal with some partnerships that gave them the ability to accept credit and debit cards at all the gates at the Fairgrounds. She said that this year the gate receipts at the Fair were up by about $10,000.
“Which leads us to believe that the community supports running cards at the gates and not just with the vendors,” said Anderson. She said some requirements were changed affecting the food vendors that drew some backlash. She said that some misinterpretation of the new rules had people concerned, but the transition “went smoother than what people expected.”
Another improvement at the fairgrounds under her supervision was an expansion of the parking lot at the north gate entrance. She said the expanded parking lot was already full on certain occasions.
“We have also been able to utilize the Event Center more than just on the weekends,” said Anderson. She said Valley Elite Soccer was using the center for practice three days a week. Some successful blood drives were held for the Red Cross, when they were running short of blood and they, too, used the Event Center for training.
Another project currently underway is the removal of the large poplar trees located by the goat barn. Anderson said a large limb fell and smashed the facility just before last summer’s goat show.
“That could have been disastrous,” she said. “Some kids could have been seriously injured.” She obtained a grant from DNRC to remove the trees and “hopefully” will be re-planting this coming April. “We’ll have a little Arbor Day celebration,” she said.
Anderson said that the feedback she got so far from last year’s Fair and Cowboy Ball was “the best ever.”
“I have the pleasure of a great staff working for me of pretty dedicated volunteers and Fair Board members. It’s been a pleasure being here,” she said.
“I think we have the best Fair in the Pacific Northwest,” said Anderson. “It’s really magical. It just seems to get better every single year. I like to measure success in happiness and when I walk around at the Fair, there’s lots of happiness there.”
Administrative Assistant Darlene Reese also submitted her resignation and is expected to leave a week ahead of Anderson.