Confusion about the role of the Grand County Facility and Events Promoter has arisen amid controversy over rates charged for events at the Old Spanish Trail Arena and perceptions of a failure of arena management to market its services.
The Grand County Council has received at least one complaint about higher rates it imposed on event sponsors earlier this year to cover the costs of preparation for events and cleanup.
Adding to the confusion is the listing of the facility and events promoter’s name, title, and contact information on the web pages for OSTA and Star Hall.
Marian DeLay, executive director of Moab Area Travel Council and Michele Hill, the facility and events promoter, sought to clarify Hill’s responsibilities during a recent interview.
Hill said she works to assist clients with planning for special events, meetings, retreats, weddings, reunions, festivals, shows, and other projects in Grand County.
The directors of county owned facilities, the Old Spanish Trail Arena and Star Hall, along with the events coordinator of the Grand Center, are responsible to plan, market, and schedule the use of their facilities, according to DeLay.
Hill’s duty is to market Grand County overall for events, not just market the publicly owned venues. The listing of her name and contact information on the OSTA and Star Hall web pages is intended to inform prospective clients of who to contact for information about all of Grand County’s amenities and services, DeLay said.
“Part of her job is to help event sponsors determine which facilities [public and private] in Grand County are best suited for their event,” DeLay said.
Hill said her role and availability to assist potential event sponsors have been widely disseminated and she has established relationships with organizations that reach out to sponsors of events that might be enticed to come to Moab.
For example, someone might want an outdoor venue for an event that could be held in Moab, and Hill provides information about available local places and the amenities of each one. If Hill “captures” the event, she serves the community, which is the ultimate goal, DeLay said.
While Moab is well known as an adventure and leisure destination, it is a challenge to get people to consider the area in terms of a place to hold events, meetings, and conferences, Hill said.