MetraPark's Sue DeVries

MetraPark Assistant Manager Sue DeVries talks about secure ticket sales for concerts at the Rimrock Auto Arena.

LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

During her regular monthly briefing to Yellowstone County commissioners on coming events, MetraPark Assistant Manager Sue DeVries on Tuesday slipped in another announcement — her retirement.

After 30 years at MetraPark, DeVries said she is retiring, effective Dec. 15.

DeVries referred commissioners to her Sep. 29 resignation letter to MetraPark Manager Bill Dutcher.

DeVries said she’s watched MetraPark grow over the years and called it a joy to be part of it. MetraPark staff and county employees are like family, she said.

Commission Chairman John Ostlund thanked DeVries for her service, saying, “You’re part of our family too. You’ve done a fantastic job.”

DeVries started working part-time for a friend in MetraPark’s box office in 1987. About a year later, the box office manager’s job opened.

“I applied, and the rest is history,” DeVries said.

DeVries, who became assistant manager in 2008, said, “When I started, not one of these parking lots was paved, not one.”

The box office was not computerized, and people called in or walked up to buy tickets, she said.

When she started, DeVries said 80 percent of the box office business was with cash or checks. Now, MetraPark doesn’t take checks, 90 percent of the business is done with credit cards and most people buy tickets online.

Calling the job “a relationship business,” DeVries said it’s important to develop relationships and to take care of the county’s residents along with promoters. “We have a lot of good promoters out there,” she said.

DeVries is looking forward to traveling with her husband, enjoying her 10 grandchildren and finding out what it’s like “not to work a Saturday,” she said.

“I don’t think many of us have the opportunity to do what they love to do, serve the public and work with people who have become family over the course of 30 years. And I got paid for it! It has been such a big part of my life and so rewarding,” DeVries said in her letter.

“I will continue to be one of MetraPark’s greatest cheerleaders,” she said.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.