Dome Arena up for sale
Posted at: 08/30/2012 6:06 PM
| Updated at: 08/30/2012 6:44 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
When you say Dome Arena in Rochester, most people know what you’re talking about. The Dome is up for sale and that has people talking.
The Dome Center is owned by the Monroe County Fair Association. From Gardenscape and Home Expo to golf and motorcycle shows, train and toy shows and teen dances even flu clinics have been held there. But that might all change with a new owner.
Talking with people who live in Henrietta, News10NBC found they have an emotional attachment with the dome.
Judy Hassett, Henrietta resident, said, “Yes, I agree. When I heard this I thought, ‘Oh dear, what are we going to have there?”
Ken Howell, Henrietta resident, said, “Because every week they seem to be booked up. It's for the public.”
Betsy Logiudice, Henrietta resident, said, “My husband goes to the hunting shows. They're obviously popular because the place is packed. And I think it would be a bummer if we didn't have that.”
Ogden farmer Bob Colby is a County Fair Association board member.
Colby said, “We're having volunteer burnout and everything else to keep the facility running the way it is. I think we want to get back to our core values of taking care of the youth and agriculture in our community.”
Gary Smith, Pirate Toy Fund, said, “It saddens me as a Rochesterian that something like this could happen because it's a part of us.”
Gary the Happy Pirate operates the Rochester Area Toy Show at the dome. He's been there at Halloween time and performed at dome events for 20 years.
Smith said, “We have to look at things with the toy show, which the Pirate Toy Fund benefits from, we'll have to step back and determine what's the best venue to do because we really don't know what's going to happen with the fair grounds at all.”
A super majority of the Fair Association's 16-member board agreed the Dome no longer fits its core mission to youth and agriculture.
Colby confirmed the fair could move to the county's Springdale Farm in Ogden with or without a carnival or Colby says the fair could stay at the dome under its new owner.
Henrietta Town Board Member Jack Moore can see the dome out the back door of his farm market.
Jack Moore, Gro-Moore Farms said, “Hopefully, the right people will own it and be able to develop it in a way that the residents can be proud of it.”
The Fair Association says it has six interested buyers, both individuals and institutions. The Dome Center is honoring all commitments through the end of the year, but is not booking any event after January 1. The Fair Association says, in the 180 year history of the county fair, it’s been located at various places around Rochester.