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Weber County has put out its welcome mat to host the Utah State Fair, saying new facilities, an accessible location and experience make it an ideal area for the annual exhibition.

Weber County Commissioner Spencer F. Stokes, who also is chairman of that county's fair board, made the bid in a letter dated July 20 to Gov. Mike Leavitt."We understand the Utah State Fair is looking for a new home. As you know, Weber County is home of the finest multipurpose fairgrounds in the Intermountain West. Built in 1988, the Weber County Fairgrounds is the newest complex of its kind in Utah," Stokes wrote.

The letter described the 7,000-seat indoor Golden Spike Arena, a 21,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a newly resurfaced three-quarter-mile racetrack with a 3,500-seat covered grandstand, 400 covered boxed stalls and the 35,000-seat outdoor Cream O'Weber Area.

He said the 144-acre fairgrounds includes an attractive cross-country equestrian course with water jumps, spacious parking lots that will accommodate 7,500 vehicles, an area for a large carnival, a complete sports complex fitted with four softball diamonds and eight soccer fields, a handsome livestock auction arena that hosts "one of the most superb junior livestock auctions in the West . . . ."

He said that if state officials decide to use the Weber County facilities, "you will have all the necessary components, including an experienced fair management team, a beautiful facility and an excellent location right off the I-15 freeway, only 35 minutes from Salt Lake City."

Vicki Varela, spokeswoman for Leavitt, Monday released a copy of a letter dated July 29 from Bob Linnell, deputy for governmental relations, to Stokes. A copy of the letter was to be sent to William R. Shaw, chairman of the State Fair Board and of the Fairpark Task Force, which has been meeting in recent weeks to consider the future of the State Fair and of State Fairpark facilities.

"Your letter presents an intriguing alternative to the present site of the fairgrounds," Linnell's letter states. Linnell said in the letter that he would forward a copy of the letter to Shaw and was "sure the fair board will give your proposal serious consideration."

Shaw said Monday morning he had not received a copy of Stokes' letter.