Lights Out Momentarily

When times get tough, the cuts get made, and an arena in Kalispell, Mont., is preparing to cut a few months out of 2009 to see if the economy improves in the meantime.

The 5,000-capacity Majestic Valley Arena will go dark January through March with a scheduled April 1 reopening date, a venue representative told Pollstar.

In the meantime, owners Bob and Jan Parker are testing the waters for a sale. The venue has been listed for sale and “if somebody writes them a check for the right amount they can have it,” the representative said.

Last summer the arena, which hosts equine shows, rodeos, truck rallies and concerts, took a hit amid rising fuel costs and the struggling economy.

Equine show participants, who haul trailers around the country, were hit especially hard by fuel prices and fewer riders have been participating in shows, leading to fewer willing promoters for the shows, according to the local Flathead Beacon.

Kalispell economic director Kellie Danielson told the paper Majestic Valley, which has been operating since 2002, has a major impact on the local economy.

“We’re very hopeful they find a way to remain open because I think the closing of the venue would be a great loss for the community,” Danielson said. “We hate to see the facility go dark.”