At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, a group called Strategic Venue Studies and JLG Architects submitted a draft proposal to the council to redesign the Ford Wyoming Center, costing an estimated $113.8 million.

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Visit Casper had commissioned a study back in December 2021 to look into the redesign, costing $44,910, which the city paid a third of.

Catherine Sarrett, president of Strategic Venue Studies, gave a presentation to the council that talked about the issues with the Ford Wyoming Center and how they propose to improve it.

Sarrett said that the main areas of improvement include the front entrance, types of seating, and the types of events it can offer.

The draft study proposed several solutions to the problems it identified, including overhauling the front entrance, adding extra VIP seating, and building a separate building that could host multiple events at the same time.

Adam Meyerring, a senior project manager with JLG Architects, said that it will probably cost more than $100 million to remodel the building.

"The point I'd like to drive home is we could not rebuild the existing Ford Wyoming Center you have today for $100 million, not a chance," Meyerring said. "We're working on similar buildings, much smaller, with three to 4,000 seats that are going for $50 $60 $70 million today. So like I opened, you have a great facility there, it's got great bones, what was built 40 years ago was a very good building and it needs some help but we can easily make that a modern, very competitive and a good facility that will last the next 40 plus years."

According to the draft study, by doing these improvements, the event center would generate an extra $11 million in revenue for the city.

Council member Bruce Knell clarified at the end of the presentation that they haven't decided on anything yet.

"This was something that was brought to us by Brook at Visit Casper to have a look at the center to see if it was something we could do with it," Knell said. "No way, no how are we talking about spending $113 million or doing anything to it actually at this point. I just want to make sure that people don't think the council is going to spend money on it yet because that's certainly not the case, that isn't how this came about."

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