Georgia National Fairgrounds looks to add new livestock building

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PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia National Fairgrounds is adding a new way to bring more visitors in.

A new livestock building should add to what’s already a busy place.

“It doesn’t matter if there’s 100 people here or 10,000,” said Agriculture and Youth Director Philip Gentry. “The energy is the same.”

A dreary Monday afternoon doesn’t do the Sutherland Livestock and Equine Center justice.

“You can tell we’re working, we’re getting cleaned up,” said Gentry. “We’re getting ready for the weekend.”

The weekend is where the people and spirit shine

“You can feel it build throughout the week,” said Gentry. “This is a passion that they have in their life…When they spend money and they take time to come here, they’re excited once they get here.”

The Georgia National Fairgrounds wanted to pour a little passion in themselves–$9 million worth, done through state taxpayer money.

“This expansion actually allows us to open up a calendar year full of dates that we can sell to our equine and livestock customers,” said Gentry.

The plan is to build a new livestock center, similar to the Sutherland.

“What we’re going to do with this new building is on the north side of it, it’s going to have seating just like this,” said Gentry.

It’s going to be a lot more open, leaving room for events to get creative with their set up.

“You can pull trailers in there to have vendors and things like that or you can have anything you want going in there and I think that’s going to allow multi-function use of that building,” said Gentry.

That will draw more customers who want to show off their animals.

“What they mean for a day their in the state, the money the buy in gas, the taxes they pay on everything that they do and their room and board and their tax and everything they buy while they’re here that impacts our state greatly,” said Gentry.

Adding a few hard earned dollars to a whole lot of passion at the fairgrounds.

Gentry says the facility has about an $80 million economic impact on the area.