Cam-Plex Preps for Major International Religious Fest

Extensive dirt work, including moving dozens of trees, needs to be completed at Cam-Plex Park three years ahead of a commitment made by a large-scale religious festival scheduled for Gillette, a Cam-Plex official said Tuesday.

The International Pathfinder Camporee festival is a five-day religious event predicted to bring thousands of people and millions of dollars in revenue to the local community. As such, the facility will need appropriate space for staff and attendees to stay during the festival that’s slated for 2024, according to Cam-Plex Executive Director Jeff Esposito.

Inquiries have also been made as to the number of hotel rooms available in Gillette with the organization leaning towards utilizing all of them for the event, according to City Administrator Patrick Davidson who addressed the Gillette City Council regarding the event last month.

Cam-Plex is a good location for the event, but a large area running from South Garner Lake Road to Fox Park will need to be leveled for tent use, which will require moving around 100 trees, Esposito told Gillette City Council during their meeting on Feb. 16.

Additionally, lighting will need to be installed for nightly performances associated with the festival, as well as a massive stage that will be delivered in pieces on 25 separate semi-trucks, Esposito said.

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“It’s a tremendous amount of work,” Esposito said, adding that while the event is three years out, it is important to get any renovations done a Cam-Plex Park as soon as possible, which would ensure the park is ready in time for the festival.

The cost of proposed renovations at the park and when the renovations will start still needs to be determined, according to Esposito.

When the Pathfinder Camporee festival comes, it will be an opportunity for a huge, positive, economic impact, according to Jessica Seders, executive director of the Campbell County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In other communities, the festival has resulted in $25 million flooding into the economies of communities that have hosted past Pathfinder Camporee events, Seders said.