KALISPELL (AP) - Several investors plan to build a world-class equestrian center on 220 acres off U.S. 93 between here and Whitefish.

Plans call for a 110,000-square-foot indoor arena, a 65,000-square-foot outdoor arena, a veterinary clinic and 182 indoor stalls. Groundbreaking at the site of Majestic Valley Arena is planned for the coming week, and the investors expect to open the center in January.

The partners include former Whitefish Mayor Jimmy Welsh, Bob Parker, John Glenn, Mike Wright and Jan Gellein.

Parker, a Whitefish plumbing contractor, said the arena will be built to fill the growing need for a northwestern Montana horse facility suitable for rodeos, horse shows and team-penning events.

"We're working very hard to meet our schedules so we can participate in the winter roping season and winter clinics," Parker said.

The arena will be a place where people can learn to ride horses, and train and board them, he said. The partners also expect Majestic Valley Arena to attract professional rodeos.

A Flathead Equestrian Foundation figure cited by Welsh indicates the Flathead Valley has about 17,000 horses.

Immediate seating for about 3,000 people is planned at the arena, with possible expansion to 10,000 later.

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