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Red River Valley Fair Association Seeks To Expand Campground

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According to a report, the Red River Valley Fairgrounds Association is seeking to build an additional 130 campsites on an empty lot.

“We turn away about 25 to 40 campers a week,” said Fair Association Chief Executive Officer Cody Cashman, who asked North Dakota’s Cass County commissioners last week to help fund an estimated $3.5-million project, which would increase the number of sites. According to the association, the campground is continuously filled up every summer.

Cashman claimed that the park has proven to be “very profitable” and earns about $270,000 annually in revenue and expenses of around $40,000 to help with fairground operations.

With the addition of camping spots, the spokesman estimated that it could generate an additional $450,000-$600,000 in revenues during the peak season from May 1 until November 1.

Cashman said the fair association board would be willing to help pay the costs of the project. Still, commissioners believed they first needed to get zoning approval from the West Fargo City Commission. They have jurisdiction over the property since the area is in their extraterritorial area but not within the city limits.

Cashman shared that the zoning is likely to be approved as it’s zoned as agricultural but includes the fairgrounds and its facilities. He later said that he’d like to work on the zoning question in December.

Only about nine acres of the 22-acre site are being used at the moment.

The project would entail adding RV hookups in addition to the other sites within the facility.

According to Cashman, the vacant 71 spots have been filled throughout the summer in recent years. Often, they are occupied by construction workers and traveling nurses.

However, Commissioners Rick Steen and Chad Peterson were worried about construction costs that were higher than they expected.

Steen said that the estimate shows a total cost of around $27,000 per campsite.

Cashman acknowledged that the cost was higher than expected, but he’s optimistic that it could still go down.

The main objective for the association’s board is for Cashman to make the fairgrounds self-sustaining, he explained, and this could be a significant move in this direction. He is also looking into other events that could help boost the revenue.

In addition, Cashman said the association is willing to pay back the costs for this expansion. However, the association would like to ask the county to assist in financing.

The association receives about $75,000 to $100,000 per year from the county for its operations. The funding was increased this year to help fund other enhancements to the grounds.

Discussions about the campground expansion are just preliminary as the campground expansion is still in the planning stages. However, Cashman expressed his hope that something would be figured out within the next few months.

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

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