Curtis C. Wynee
LOVINGTON — The adage goes that the best defense is a strong offense.
In the face of concerns they failed to keep their commitments, Spectra Event Management showered the Lea County Commission Wednesday with a 45-minute presentation featuring at least a half dozen corporate executives with plans for the future.
From Colorado to Pennsylvania, corporate officials gathered in the commission chambers to assure Lea County they are behind the local staff of General Manager Jake Crumb and Marketing Director Alex Archuleta with a plan to make the county fairgrounds and event center points of attraction.
“We’re committed to Lea County. We’re committed to getting the fairgrounds, the fair and the event center going the right direction,” said Colorado-based Rick Hontz, regional vice president, who began the presentation. “We believe our team locally, specifically Jake and Alex are very strong and we have the right team here.”
Acknowledging the company started with weak local leadership over a year ago, he asserted the changes made and the lessons learned have set Spectra in the right direction.
“The three concerns we’ve heard most from the commission, from (County Manager Mike) Gallagher and from the newspapers are event booking, marketing and sponsorships,” he said.
Each of those concerns was addressed in detail as the various corporate experts in those fields approached the commission with their part of the presentation, offering a review of the current status and plans for the future.
Asserting Spectra now has the infrastructure in place, Hontz said progress will be much more visible.
He further assured the commissioners that if the local staff should have problems, the corporate level personnel are available for help, many of them physically coming to Lea County during events.
After the Spectra corporate executives concluded their remarks, Commissioner Jim Britton began the responses.
“Shame on you for not doing it a year ago. I’m glad you’re doing it now. Time will tell,” he said.
Commissioner Gregg Fulfer, who had begun the discussion in May with a challenge to get more events, also responded.
“It’s great to see all this support finally coming in. I really appreciate everybody getting on board,” he said. “We really have expectations of this thing firing up big time now and getting some events going. We want to see action and results. We’re supporting you, but we want to see results from that support.”
Dean Jackson, R-Lovington, the only commission candidate to have actively voiced opposition to Spectra, said after the meeting, “It’s just too little, too late.”
Curtis Wynne may be contacted at 575-391-5436 or by email.