Cultural tourism may be a hot ticket in some parts of the West, but
a troupe of singing cowboys is looking for a new home after their
failed theater proposal divided a small northern Utah
The Bar-K Wranglers, a six-man ensemble
that performs a dinner theater show, wanted to build a permanent
venue for the group's act in Oakley, about 20 minutes east of Park
City. The Wranglers were eyeing a piece of city-owned open space at
the edge of town along the Weber River. Their proposal included a
large barn to serve as an indoor theater, an amphitheater and a
"Western village" of shops.
Some Oakley leaders
were eager to accommodate the Wranglers, saying they felt the
cowboy dinner theater would augment the town's rural character. "I
think it would be an asset to the community," said Planning
Commissioner Zane Woolstenhulme.
didn't want to see important wetlands and moose habitat turned into
an amusement park. Skeptics also doubted the viability of a tourist
attraction so far out of the Salt Lake-Park City
"I continue to be concerned about the
financial viability of this," said Planning Commissioner Amy Regan.
"The general feeling we've gotten is it's really going to be a
stretch to get people out here." Regan added she didn't want to see
the town stuck with an abandoned barn and parking
In late March, the Wranglers backed away
from the Oakley site due to financial risks of investing in the
property. But band member Steve Taylor says the group is still
convinced that it can attract 400 people per month to see its show
in a remote location, largely by busing in tour groups. The Bar-K
Wranglers are continuing to search for sites in the pastoral
valleys between the Wasatch and Uinta
"Part of the cowboy supper show is the
ambience," Taylor says. "People want to have something where they
get out of the city."