Casper City Council reviews study to renovate Ford Wyoming Center

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - At their July 12, Work Session the Casper City Council heard a pitch on ways that the Ford Wyoming Center (FWC) could be renovated to help bring it up to date. The building is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has seen little in the way of updates to its construction since 1982. The City of Casper partnered with Visit Casper and the FWC’s new management organization, The Oak View Group, to help conduct a study of the center and what it might take to bring them up to par with other similar sized venues in similar sized markets.

“We are doing business in this industry a lot different than we were back in the middle eighties. We’re trying to get some help to try and understand what that vision should be, and perhaps what some of those goals ought to be so that we don’t lose any relevance for the facility moving into the next 40 years,” said City Manager Carter Napier.

The study found some different places where the center could be improved with one of the biggest proposed undertakings being the creation of a $70 Million, building which would be attached to the current one. This new building would accommodate a 20,000 square foot dining hall and junior ballrooms along with a kitchen that could cook for 1,500 at a time. This would allow the center to host more than one event at a time and generate more revenue each year.

Some other changes that were proposed to the Council were renovations to the entrance where it would be opened up to allow those walking in to view the arena upon entry. There were also some designs made that pictured new VIP seating areas at the North and South of the building and concourses could be widened to give more room to attendees.

These proposed ideas, if all were to be approved, are projected to bring in over $11 Million more a year. Overall though the construction costs would add up to almost $113.7 Million dollars along with $22 Million in soft costs which include architecture, accounting, inspections etc.

The council has not yet approved these proposals and City Councilman Bruce Knell said, “No way, no how, are we talking about spending 113 Million Dollars or doing anything to it actually at this point. I just want to make sure that people don’t think the council is looking to spend money on it yet because its certainly not the case.”

If any of the projected changes are approved the city would hope to have construction started by 2024.

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