The historic Mesquite Rodeo has a new owner with big plans for improvements to the venue and new development on the property around it.
The Mesquite Rodeo celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, according to Mesquite Mayor Stan Pickett.
"We're one of the few continuous running rodeos in the country," Pickett said.
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Pickett is more excited about the future with the plans from developer Mehrdad Moyadi. It is not his first rodeo as a developer.
His firm, Centurion American Development Group, is already working on a 1,000-home project south of Interstate 20 at the edge of the Mesquite city limits for which the company has requested annexation into Mesquite.
In October, Moyadi completed a $350 million renovation of The Statler Hotel in Downtown Dallas.
"We're very excited to have him here," Pickett said. "We're very excited for the future of Mesquite."
At the rodeo site west of Interstate 635 LBJ Freeway at Scyene Road, Pickett said Moyadi has a contract to purchase 50 acres of vacant land where apartments and new entertainment attractions are planned.
Pickett said he served on the Mesquite City Council for a decade before becoming mayor, and development of that prime vacant property has been a city goal for all of that time.
"A number of different developers have looked at that property, so yes, we've had a big interest in trying to get something done. The city at one time, 15 years ago, looked at an entertainment district ourselves that didn't materialize," Pickett said.
At the rodeo arena, the developer plans to install a concrete floor that would make the venue more than just a rodeo arena. Dirt could be trucked in for the rodeo season.
"Changing the arena floor into a hard surface will allow for lots of different things here in Mesquite," Pickett said.
Work is already underway at the arena.
A Hampton Inn Hotel and Convention Center adjacent to the Mesquite Rodeo has separate owners.
Hotel general manger Scott Cape said renovation was already underway at his property, too. He welcomed news of the rodeo improvements.
"I think it is an exciting thing," Cape said. "I think any development for the city of Mesquite and the surrounding area is going to be a positive thing."