The past few months have been busy for the Clark County Saddle Club. The group’s old arena was sold, 40 acres of land for a new arena was purchased and the club organized a lease on the old land to still operate while a new arena is built.
Unfortunately, as anticipated last year, there won’t be a 2019 Vancouver Rodeo as the new facility makes its way to construction.
Clark County Saddle Club Board Member Jackie Phillips filled The Reflector in on where the club stands in its effort to move operations to a better location. The biggest news is that the club has closed on sale of its current 14-acre location as well as its purchase of 40 acres of land, located on the west side of State Route 503 in Meadow Glade, just south of the NE 179th St intersection.
In October the club purchased half of those 40 acres, referred to as the “west parcel.” In January the old arena parcel sold to The Cosmopolitan, LLC and in February the club bought the second half of the new club site.
The old arena spot was sold for $2.5 million, Phillips confirmed, and the new parcels were bought for close to $770,000 altogether.
Phillips explained that the west parcel would be the primary development site for the saddle club with plans to include a “state-of-the-art” indoor arena. The other parcel would be used for future expansion as well as a buffer to prevent the arena from getting crowded out by other development. The old arena spot has apartments adjacent to it and its location off of 503 north of NE 99th Street was in an area that is developing, whereas the new location is bigger and not nearly as dense.
In the meantime, the club has signed a lease with The Cosmopolitan for an initial six-month period beginning January 31 with options for a month-to-month following, Phillips said. She declined to give numbers for how much the lease was, but noted that members who use the old facility are paying $10 monthly to offset lease and security deposit costs.
Leasing the old location will allow a spot for monthly meetings and equine activities like barrel races, team roping and game shows as well as 4-H, equestrian team and clinic events. The location will not be host to a 2019 Vancouver Rodeo, however; in 2018 both Phillips and rodeo director Helen Cole anticipated that during the transition that the event would be held off.
More recently Phillips explained that the club had looked for alternative sites but none of them worked out, “so there will be no rodeo produced by Clark County Saddle Club in 2019.”
Currently the club has been working on engineering and permitting with Clark County for the new arena, Phillips explained. Once that is taken care of weather would determine how quickly infrastructure would be in place. Following that the club would submit bids for materials and construction, with Phillips hoping to have the new arena occupied this October.
“Again, infrastructure and arena construction are weather dependent,” Phillips wrote in an email.
“This is a huge project and undertaking but it is exciting to have finalized purchase of the property and be moving forward to the actual construction phase,” Phillips wrote. So far the club has spent $500,000 on closing costs, engineering and the permitting process.
Though the club has about $1.2 million available for “phase 1” which will ensure members have an arena space, Phillips noted there would still be a “significant shortfall” to complete it. It’s the club’s hope that through member donations in funds or labor/equipment.
“The new facility will continue to serve and support the youth and adult equine enthusiasts in the County,” Phillips wrote, adding that a “state-of-the-art equine facility” would be a positive economic impact on the local community.