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Our Post-Thanksgiving Plans

K/O Fairground Planners – We will be there, will you?

Enough with the turkey, bring on the chips and salsa!  K/O Fairground Planners will be exhibiting at the 2018 International Fairs and Expositions Conference (IAFE) which will be held in San Antonio, Texas this year right after Thanksgiving.  We hope to see you at Booth #537 and discuss fairground master planning, growth, or even new facilities as your fairground planner and architect!

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Way Out West

Bonneville County Fairgrounds Master Plan

K/O Fairground Planners recently completed a Master Plan for the Bonneville County Fairgrounds in Idaho Falls, Idaho.   This fairgrounds is located south of town,next to the Sandy Downs horse racing facility, home of the War Bonnet Rodeo.  It will replace the existing Bonneville County Fairgrounds site that is located within the city and is surrounded on all sides.

Bonneville County Fairgrounds Rodeo Arenas

The premise of the Master Plan was to utilize as much as reasonable the existing infrastructure of the new site and create a plan that complements and aligns with the adjoining Sandy Downs equestrian facilities to the north.  Once complete, the new fairgrounds will not only provide first-class livestock stalling and exhibition areas, but also introduce a thoughtful circulation pattern to the site that will allow for multiple events to be hosted at any one given time. 

Bonneville County Fairgrounds Equestrian Arena

As part of the recently completed Master Plan for the Fairgrounds, K/O Fairground Planners developed some preliminary design concepts for new buildings and barns for the relocated grounds.  New livestock buildings will include anywhere from 48 to 120 stalls each depending on the type of animal and the pen layout.  These structures provide ample circulation space for both livestock and people while maximizing safety and security for all.  Access to natural light and fresh air was a design strategy achieved through mid-barn roof height changes which allowed for clerestories and stack effect circulation as well as enhancing the fairground architecture.

Bonneville County Fairground Stalling Barns

Besides the two new stalling barns – other buildings on the grounds included a new Family Consumer Science Building, renovation of an existing building into animal stalling, and a new Show/Sale Barn.  Other fairground support structures include restrooms and entry gates.  The framework for great fairground architecture and design is set and is ready for their future growth!

I Love NY – The New York State Fair Expo Building

New York State Fair – Expo Center Design

K/O Fairground Planners was part of the design team that helped the New York State Fair undergo a major fast-tracked, phased renovation effort that included fairground infrastructure improvements and new event services at the complex over several years.  These entertainment design program elements were all outlined in a recent master plan effort.

K/O’s effort included involvement on the team that created the design-build bridging documents for the new 136,000 square foot Expo Center Arena Building.  The building architecturally featured vast areas of daylight and a 110,000 square foot clear span column free space.  Future phases of site development, according to the master plan, include a 55,000 square foot Covered Warm-up Arena, 3 open Warm-up Arenas, and Equestrian Stalling Facilities.  The main arena portion of the Expo Hall will have retractable seating for 4,000 patrons.

Other proposed improvements include development of a Picnic Grove and Center Green – including restrooms and pavilions, and improvements to parking, utilities and landscaping.

The building was completed in time for the 2018 Fair and is shown on the New York State Fair’s website – https://nysfair.ny.gov/venue/exposition-center/

Big Plans at The Ranch

Proposed Event Center – The Ranch, Colorado

K/O Entertainment Designers recently finished up their component in the Master Plan document for the “The Ranch” in Loveland, Colorado.   This facility has earned its reputation as one of the premiere event and entertainment complexes in the region. The Master Planning team comprised of several members which partnered with K/O to provide the national expertise in Master Planning and development of fairground and entertainment facilities.  Although not acting as the fairground architect at this time, K/O prepared several programming recommendations for each of the facilities at The Ranch.

Entry Plaza – The Ranch, Colorado

Some of the proposed, strategic components included:  Facility Improvements to the Events Center, Additional/Re-purposed Areas for Community & Youth Development, Renovation/Expansion of Exhibition Hall & Conference Center, New Indoor Arena & Livestock Pavilions, and Site Circulation Enhancements.  The Ranch is wisely planning their future so they have a roadmap to follow as their entertainment venue expands and improves for the years to follow!

Livestock Arena – The Ranch, Colorado

K/O – The Ranch Master Plan

Great Architecture is everywhere! And so are great breakfasts…

The end of August brought a short trip to Pueblo, Colorado to visit the Colorado State Fair.  K/O Architects will be providing master planning services to guide future growth of this fairground.  Of particular beauty on this fairground were the iconic horse stalling structures, which have been in use for decades.  It will be a wonderful challenge to blend this historically significant architecture with new technologies/trends in equine care and we are up to the task!

Colorado State Fair – Historic Stalling Barn

Colorado State Fair – Impressive Skills!

As always, any trip to a new locale is not complete without a stop at a local eatery. We particularly enjoyed The French Press Café and Bakery in Aurora, Colorado and can strongly recommend the Breakfast Super Sammy! And no breakfast is complete without a deliciously rich cappuccino! Say “hi” to chef Cisco when you stop by!

The French Press Cafe’ and Bakery – Aurora, Colorado

Order the Breakfast Super Sammy at The French Press Cafe’ and Bakery!

In a New York “Fairground” State of Mind…

Welcome to the New York State Fair!

K/O Architects traveled to Syracuse, New York to attend the annual Great New York State Fair! K/O is part of the planning and programming team creating a premiere Fairground Expo and Arena building, working with the New York State Fair since early 2016. The Master Plan is for the venue to host everything from a sporting event, to a livestock show, to a music concert, to a business-style trade expo. Additionally, K/O Architects is addressing items from their recent market study master plan to facilitate smart growth for their fairground. Our partner in this venture is C&S Companies, and we were glad to see their commitment to the fair in their sponsorship of the S.T.E.A.M. exhibit (S.T.E.A.M. is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking). Investing in our youth will always pay great dividends!

S.T.E.A.M. – a key to our future!

What’s a trip to the fair without some local cuisine delights? We got a chance to experience some of New York’s “Famous” fair food. First up, it was Gianelli Sausage. Their sausage sandwich was worth the hype! Then it was the $1 potato at The New York State Great Potato Booth located in the Horticulture Building. I recommend the sweet potato with maple syrup – what a bargain and quite delicious!

Make sure to try the Gianelli sausage sandwich!

As architects, we always admire and acknowledge stunning architecture – and the New York State Fairground has a great history of it. K/O is excited to assist in providing the framework for the Fair to add to its rich heritage of great design!

Historic architecture at the New York State Fair

Iconic Horticulture Building – New York State Fair

The Difference is Night and Day!

Iowa State Fair Entry Gate – Nighttime

Iowa State Fair Entry Gate – Daytime

A key piece to the Iowa State Fair Master Plan was completed in time for the State Fair in 2017 and what an impact! K/O Architects designed the dynamic entrance canopy and ticket gate and provided fairgoers a highly visible and streamlined welcome point to the north side of the fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. K/O continues to value its long-standing relationship with the Iowa State Fair and its team.

In previous years, this entry point was a small wooden shed with 3 ticket windows and long lines. The new structure provides up to 14 ticket windows in a climate-controlled building under a generous shade canopy for the ticket gate workers and patrons alike. This striking entrance gate quickly became one of the busiest entrances to the fair and handled the crowds with ease! When the sun went down, the canopy glowed electric blue and served as a prominent fairground planning and design element that directed fairgoers to the entry on the hill.

There are many more exciting changes on the horizon for the Iowa State Fair and K/O Architects is looking forward to being a part of their future development!

Summer of Fun and Fairs – Photo Recap!

K/O Architects has been busy as Fairground Architects and Fairground Planners attending (and designing) Fairs and Festivals all around the country, and just having a “Good Ol’ Time” this summer! We thought we would include a couple of photos of what we’ve been up to in August. Fairground Design has taken us all around the United States as we have been working on Livestock Barns, Equine Facilities, Exhibition Buildings, Fairground Design and other Entertainment types of projects.

 

We got a chance to visit a couple of NASCAR tracks this summer as we were planning some fairs!

We got a chance to attend a few concerts on Fairgrounds this summer – like Brantley Gilbert and Skid Row! We even had some backstage passes!

We spent the day working a food stand at the Iowa State Fair! There is nothing like first-hand experience to understand what works!

We got to visit the Evergreen State Fair in full swing as part of the Master Planning process! The Ferris Wheel is courtesy of Butler Amusements.

Cool lighting effect on the back of this grandstand at a track our NASCAR feasibility consultants were involved with – DSA Motorsports.

We got a chance to climb the roof tops at the Iowa State Fair this summer as we analyzed flow to better develop our planning concepts!

 

Fairs, Travel, Great Food, and Even Better Company!

 

Great Food and Great People at the Clockwork Cafe in Park City, Utah

On a recent trip to Utah, while wrapping up a project as Fairground Designers and Fairground Planners we happened into a nice little café located on the unpretentious side of Park City. Called the Clockwork Café its proprietor Ben Farquharson was quick to offer up conversation and the daily specials. He did not get more than halfway through his description of the Monday special before we were ordering our very own “Italian Stallion”. From his description:

“We take a nice 6 inch ambassador French roll lightly toasted with a spritz of balsamic vinegar. Then we add a layer of lean cured ham, true dry salami, provolone cheese, and a dash of parmesan. All of it is heated then we add lettuce, onion, tomato, and if you are so inclined and I recommend you do so, we add diced pepperoncinis for the bold. It is then finished with a light mayo and mustard.”

If you’re ever in the area I guess the Friday special is not to be missed – the BBQ Tri-Tip Day. As local rumor and legend has it if you show up after 11:30 you will have more than likely shown up too late as they have probably run out for the day.

Ben is quite a salesman and a great personality. He has a great little shop serving breakfast, and lunch, sandwiches, salads, and as stated directly off of the menu “Bad Ass Coffee Creations”. So, be sure to stop by the Clockwork Café located at 6415 N. Business Park Loop Road, Park City, Utah 84098. For carry out orders or deliveries be sure to call ahead 435-658-2469. You might even find us there – I mean there is always a Fairground that needs an Architect – right!

Thanked for Just Being K/O!

Thank You Cards recently sent to K/O Architects!

Recently we hosted a couple of college students in our office for an informal interview of sorts. We were not the student’s only stop, they got a chance to visit with several other architectural firms in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The expectations at the outset were pretty simple they were not looking for a job – only information on firm dynamic, culture, make-up, etc.; basically a no pressure situation for both parties. The students were on a self-directed mission to find out what kind of employers were out there. We agreed to sit down and chat, and answer a few canned questions and a few not so. We enjoyed the conversation, showed them around our office, and gave them a glimpse as to the “ways” of our profession (at least the “ways” as we see it in our world).

Long story short, they must have appreciated the information and tour as much as we did the “show and tell” time – they sent us a couple of follow-up Thank You notes. Not the email type – the good old fashion note card type that comes in the mail with a stamp on it! It was refreshing to see that the art of hand writing a personal note has not been entirely lost. What an excellent idea on how to make a strong first impression! This is Marketing 101 stuff! The conversation was not memorable but it was pleasant. The hand written notecard was icing on the cake so to speak – unexpected and memorable!

Most people in marketing could take away a thing or two from these two college kids! Small things matter! Just when you think it might not be important. That is when it is the most important of all!

Both notes start out – Mr. Overton, and read as follows:

Thanks again for meeting with us this summer. I was surprised to see ISU feature a MakerBot in their Smithsonian display after seeing one in action at your office. Your laid back studio culture was a pleasure to observe in contrast to the other offices we had the chance to visit. Hope to see you up in the guest critic circuit in the near future.

Thank you so much for taking time to meet with us. I learned a great deal and appreciate all you helped us with. I loved K/O and the atmosphere there and hope to visit again someday. Thank you again for everything!

See what we mean – it’s flattering to get Thanked for being Yourself!