Add the dual locations of the 1998 Tooele County Fair to that growing list of things being blamed on El Nino.
Unusually wet weather this spring and summer have stymied efforts to complete the first phase of the new $16 million Deseret Peak Recreation Complex in time for the county fair this weekend.As a result, said County Commissioner Lois McArthur, only the stock show and the demolition derby will be held at the complex this year.
All other fair events will be held in the traditional fair location, at the old city-county facility at 400 West and 400 North in Tooele.
"We had hoped to move the entire fair to the complex this year," McArthur said, "but the three weeks of rain we had really held us up and we didn't get it finished."
The complex's new enclosed arena has been completed, however, and will house the stock show this weekend.
Delays in the planting also mean the ball fields at the Deseret Peak facility won't be ready for use this fall, she noted.
"Now we'll plan to finish the first phase by next spring," the commissioner added.
The 206-acre complex is located just off U-112 between Tooele and Grantsville, immediately west of Sheep Lane Road.
To be built in phases over a period of several years, the complex is being funded primarily by environmental mitigation money from west desert industries and nerve agent incinerator mitigation funds from the U.S. Army.
County officials have said they do not plan to bond or increase taxes to pay for the facility.
The finished complex will include indoor and outdoor arenas, horse stables, soccer and softball fields, a 3/4-mile race track, a military museum, a Western village, an Indian museum, and a first-ever county convention center.
Construction of the new convention center is scheduled to begin this fall and wrap up in about a year. The center will seat up to 5,000 people, and include both a central indoor arena and an exhibition hall.
Long-range plans for the complex also call for a fine arts building and an amphitheater for plays and concerts.
County officials also say they would like to build a swimming pool at the Deseret Peak facility someday if they can locate another source of funding.
Delays because of wet weather have been particularly ironic for county officials because the 206-acre complex site has previously been considered something of a "dust bowl" - a place where overgrazing and lack of vegetation combined to make the ground barely usable for most purposes.
And when the rains came, the complex quickly became a muddy mess that mired heavy equipment and hampered work crews for nearly a month.