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July 30, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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I,CHENEY FREE PRESS • I Thursday, Ju,y 30, 20!5 I nl Events are trying to part of a bigger Cheney celebration By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter With a rodeo that may be better than ever, even after nearly a haft-century, and a city in search of staying power for a community event, perhaps the two can helpboth parties thrive. The~8th annual Cheney Rodeo re- cently completed its three-day run at the Bi-Mart Arena and was one of the best officials said. "In a word, good," Rick Edwards said. Edwards is secretary of the Cheney Events Association, the organization behind the rodeo. "I think 2013 was the best year we ever had," Edwards said. "It (2015) didn't stack up tothat, but it's probably the second best year we ever had." With the two years showing general improvement in attendance, "It's gen- erally indicative of an upward trend," Edwards said. It's hard to say whether this is a permanent adjustment. The quality of the contestant pool is one factor in the improving bottom line at the event and is something driven by bigger purses and better stock. "We have a good quality rodeo for the Pacific Northwest, one of the best around," Edwards said. The 2014 rodeo featured Canadian-. based stock contractor, Bar C5 that Ed- wards called,"real good." They did a good job of matching riders and stock. "You don't want them all bucked off," he said. While 2013 is largely viewed as the best year for the Cheney feel this year's event was pretty good too. Photo by Paul Delaney Rodeo, organizers The two-year-old Rodeo Round-up the Roundup saw a decrease in vendor tried to lasso interest from both residents interest. The first round-up took place and visitors and corral it downtown for in 2014 with 52 vendors but partially the rodeo parade. Debbie Anderson,due to rain, that number dropped to who owns the Holiday Inn Express, as 40 this year, well as Against The Grain, was askedAnderson signed vendors in ad- to help organize an event, vance for $20 each this year -- up from "It used to be that way years ago," $10 in 2014 - and also worked with Anderson said. "The vendors would downtown businesses to put together be downtown and people would stay other activities and specials. There was downtown all day for the parade." a petting zoo, live music and a beer While the rodeo showed a slight garden, all designed to be a magnet 8-percent increase in attendance ac- for rodeo visitors, many whom are not cording to Pro Rodeo Cowboy's As- from Cheney. sociation secretary Trisha Davis-Stacy, Proceeds from the Rodeo Round- up went to the Cheney Events As- sociation. Anderson hopes the Roundup will galvanize the community in future years and bring the excitement found a few miles north of town to downtown. "I think what we're trying to get it to evolve into is Cheney Rodeo Days, an entire weekend filled with rodeo and fun," Anderson explained. Anderson said it was suggested that Cheney Rodeo organizers visit Newport, Wash. for their rodeo. "Not necessarily the rodeo but the whole event," she said. Just days removed from the last bits of dust settling, the rodeo folks are already hard at it planning 2016. "We've already got some projects that we're looking at," Edwards said. Those include improvements to the rough stock pen and the northeast bleachers that need' attention. "We'll probably rebuild half of those if we get the funding we think we're going to get." The association is already looking at acts for 2016, too. "We want to get the word out what we offer as soon as we can," Edwards said so people put Cheney in their calendar for 2016. It's all pointed to the bigger picture of a concerted effort to build a com- munity celebration just like those in nearly every other city and town, both big and small. "Every community has a festival," Anderson said. "Why doesn't Cheney, what's going on?" Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com. Cheney i Inn E: pl I By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Cheney Holiday Inn Express owners Debbie and Brian Anderson have filed an application with the city's Community Development Department to ex- pand their 76-room hotel and conference center. The proposed $3.5 million expansion would add 46 more guest rooms along with increasing the size and capabilities of the conference center to accommodate events of up to 200 people. The expansion is also part of a $1.5 million remodel of the existing hotel rooms and lobby spaces, bringing the total cost of the project to 55 million, all of which the Andersons have had to arrange financing for. "We'have to strip it out and do it all over," Debbie Anderson said. "You're not going to be able to tell the difference between the new part and the old." Anderson said the call to remodel the existing fa- cility comes from the Holiday Inn Express corporate office, which is part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group. Hotels are required to.redo their exteriors ev- ery 10 years, Anderson said, although in the Cheney hotel's case that is coming a couple years early due to the expansion. The expansion is needed because of the popularity of the hotel. Between March and October, Anderson said they have been experiencing over 100 days when all rooms are booked and occupied, and generally and at parking lot islands, along with a new stormwater run off swale, will be included with the expansion, which also adds 78 new parking stalls for a total of 220. Once completed the hotel will employ 40 people, generating an estimated maximum of 180 vehicle trips per day. Anderson said they hope to begin construction on "This time of year, we're sold out the expansion by the end of the summer, with comple- • tion soinetime'in March 2016. Once the new rO~s 4 - 5 days a week. We're just at that and spaces are operable, they would then begir~ the point where it's time." remodeling process on the existing rooms, redoing 25 rooms at a time. Cheney Holiday Inn Express owner Debbie Anderson The conference spaces, what Anderson referred to as "The Great Room," along with the lobby will be have been carrying a waiting list of sometimes 50 remodeled separately over the next six months. potential guests. The application requires no public hearing as the "This time of year, we're sold out 4- 5 days a week," site is zoned C-2, general commercial. Public comment she added. "We're just at that point where it's time." on the proposed project closes at 5 p.m., Aug. 4. Cam- According to the application's environmental check- ments may be directed to Brett Lucas, city planner, at list, the building is architecturally constructed in the blucas@cityofcheney.org. Northwest Lodge style with wood, stone and native John McCallum can be reached atjmac@cheneyfreepress. landscaping: Additional landscaping around the building com. Two former Cheney students join expedition to Canadian Arctic Rick Roig retires after 31 years with Cheney Fire D partment A pair of Cheney High School gradu- ates will be spending part of their summer cooling off -- literally. Connor Netz and Evelyn Rowe are joining 110 other high school and university students and 80 staff members ~pres~ting 18 countries on a journey from Ottawa, Canada to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic as part of the 15th annualStudents on Ice annual expedition. According to a news release, the two-week combined sea and land-based expedition, which departed Ot- tawa July 27, will journey to the communi- ties, coasts and fiords of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada's high arctic, exploring the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage induding visits to Pond Met, Sirmilik National Park and Beechey Island. Netz, Rowe and the others will ex- perience encounters with Arctic wildlife, including whales and polar bears; take part in workshops and discussions on Attic his- tory, climate change, policy and governance along with Zodiac cruises among icebergs and ice floes. There will be visits to north- ern communities and cultural events, and parfidpants will learn to build and paddle traditional Inuit qajaqs (kayaks) in the Northwest Passage. Joining the Students on Ice team this year will be legendary polar explorer Dr. Fred Roots, scientists Paul Sokoloff and Kieran Shepherd with the Canadian Mu- seum of Nature, Inuit leader Mary Simon, polar adventurers Eric and Sarah McNair- Landry, Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer, Inuk artist Jolly Atagooyuk, author James Raffan and polar experts Dr. Bianca Perren and Dr. Don Walsh. To learn more about the expedition and follow their journey, visit studentsonice. cam, Students on Ice is an award-winning organizatiofl offering unique and inspiring educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic that foster an understanding and~espect for the Hanet. Since 2000, Stu- dent on Ice has taken more than 2,500 youth from 52 countries to the Polar Regions. By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Rick Roig's career with the Cheney Fire Department not only spanned several decades, but also included be- ing on the forefront of many changes in the field of emergency response. And, it included deliver- ing a couple of babies. Roig was honored by the city at the City Council's July 14 meet- ing on the occasion of his retirement after 31 years of service. Department Lt. Tim Steiner said Roig began as a firefighter with Cheney in 1984, advancing to the rank of captain in the late 1980s and eventually battalion chief in 2002. Rick Roig Roig was one of the first Cheney firefighters to also become an emer- gency medical technician, becoming an advanced EMT in 2010. Fire Chief Mike Winters noted that, among other duties, Roig took over the position of fire marshal in 2002, actively maintaining and monitoring an inspection program that makes sure structures within the city are in compliance with current fire codes. "The work he has done, our citizens are saf- er for it," Winters said. When Roig began in 1984, the department was averaging between 400-500 calls for service a year. By his last shift, Steiner said they had received over 1,400 calls for service. "The growth of the city has been amazing in my time here," Roig told the council, and thanked the city for allowing him to have a "great career." lohn McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. cam, THE FAIRWAYS 9810 w. Melville Rd., Cheney, WA $2OO FOR > Golf Play Per Clinic > Clubs 8, Cart Rental Participants get $200 OFF Annual Green Fees Membership *PGA Apprentice May Train at Some Clinics *Space is Limited Call 509.747.8418 / z CHENEY We Provide Family Peace of Mind! How may we serve you? We are available 24/7 for: • Meal prep, light housekeeping • Grocery shopping, errands • Personal Care • Medication Reminders • Companionship • Transportation ....... 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