RICHMOND – On Wednesday, Utah’s State Forester elevated fire dangers to Stage 2 in Cache, Box Elder, Rich and Weber counties, which prohibits the use of any open flame on all state lands and unincorporated private lands. Because of the increased fire danger – and how dangerous it would be if a fire were to break out in the hills above Richmond – the Granger Smith concert on Friday at Cherry Peak Resort has been moved to Green Canyon High School’s football field.
“This has not been an easy change,” chuckles Cherry Peak Resort Operations Director Dustin Hansen. “I had a lot of energy and ambition to make it work.”
Hansen says he received a call from Cache County Fire Chief Rod Hammer telling him the fire danger is simply too high to be hosting that many people in a tight canyon.
“Fire would travel 76 feet per minute in excess of 10 feet high,” Hansen says when describing the danger if a fire broke out in the area. “To try to evacuate over 3,500 people off the mountain would be tough … It’s just an extreme hazard. It’s one we have to take seriously and take the public safety and our own into account. It was the right thing to do and we respect the decision from Cache County and the fire chief.”
Hansen says everything had to be restructured, from lighting, to staging, working with the artists and their agents in Nashville, to parking, restrooms, concessions and more. He says it came together rather quickly thanks in large part to the cooperative staff at Green Canyon High School.
“I feel like I’ve been the President of the United States asking for help,” Hansen exclaims. “They’ve been so willing to help in every way … They’re really excited about helping out. I couldn’t say enough about their administration and their staff. And, of course, we are compensating their staff to be a part of our show. Those teachers deserve to listen to a little bit of stardom on their football field.”
The stage for country artists Granger Smith and opening act Stephanie Quayle will be set up in the middle of the football field on the 50-yard line, and Hansen says there will actually be more room for people to enjoy the concert.
“The west grandstands will be General Admission B. General Admission A will be on partial turf which allow blankets and low-backed chairs like our regular facility, what we do there. Then the track we’ll allow any kind of chair because obviously the grandstands are there so everyone can see over. We’ll be able to accommodate all people, people with disabilities or handicaps.”
Hansen says the gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with Stephanie Quayle performing at 7:05 p.m. Granger Smith is expected to perform at 8:30. North Logan is hosting their own Pioneer Day celebrations on Friday, July 23rd, and Hansen says the concert will end just in time for concertgoers to enjoy the fireworks the city will ignite at dark.
For additional details or questions about the concert change, Hansen encourages everyone to visit skicpr.com.
Hansen says details about upcoming concerts (including Scotty McCreery on August 5th and Air Supply on August 19th) are still being worked out.