Return of CNFR Brings Excitement for Businesses Across Casper
With the return of the College National Finals Rodeo in June, after it was cancelled last year due to coronavirus, many businesses in Casper are excited for the boom in business the rodeo will bring.
Brook Kaufman, the CEO for Visit Casper, said an analysis from 2018 showed that the event produced $1.8 million dollars in estimated revenue for Casper, along with around 7,000 unique visitors and just over 25,000 ticket sales to the Ford Wyoming Event Center.
Kaufman said they usually spend $60,000 to $80,000 per year on advertising for the event, and this year they are also spending $12,000 on influencers within the rodeo community to help promote the event.
Kaufman said the town is hopeful that because of the rodeo cancellation last year, more people will be coming into Casper this year.
"We're hopeful that we'll see more robust attendance this year. Obviously there's are a lot of people that are ready to be out at events and take advantage of things our community is offering. I anticipate we'll see a nice increase in visitation. It went away for a year and now it's back and it's something that's been in the fabric of our community for over two decades."
Renee Penton-Jones, Regional Director of Operations for Regency Hotel Management, said they are happy that the rodeo is back on this year and have already sold out several days.
"We are so relieved the rodeo is a full go this year...We anticipate that we will sell out for the entire event as parents and supporters find out which teams have made it. It is a great time for Casper and our team really looks forward to it. We are also seeing very strong reservations for July for the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo (CWFR)…It's an opportunity to help us and the hospitality industry get back to normal."
While many businesses see increased revenues with the crowd coming in for the rodeo, some don't see the same kind of windfall.
Angela Berry, Director of Marketing & Promotions for Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo, said the fairground doesn't make much money from CNFR.
Their electric bill increases by about $16,000 for the 10 days the event is going on, which is offset by the approximately $16,000 they get in revenue from camp spots and stall rental for horses.
Jason DeWitt, president of the Casper Chamber of Commerce, said he is excited that hotels and retail stores will be able to get a boost in business, especially after the toll coronavirus took over the past year.
"In its absence our members suffered that hit. It is something very many of these hotels, restaurants, and retail look forward to every summer, it is in some cases what keeps them afloat for the rest year. The idea of losing that could be devastating, but luckily the federal and state government stepped in and took take care of some of these folks. The excitement is through the roof and think all members and all businesses are gearing up extra special to make things extra special for people coming in to enjoy Casper."