Craig City Council gives money to help land rodeo finals for 2 more years

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At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, March 8 meeting minutes.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of a hotel and restaurant liquor license for the Galaxy Restaurant at 524 Yampa Ave. No cause was shown for denial.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of a tavern liquor license for the Popular Bar at 24 W. Victory Way. No cause was shown for denial.

• Approved, 7-0, a proclamation designating April as month of the young child.

• Approved, 7-0, purchase of four, three-quarter ton pickups, a one-ton cab and chassis and two, one-ton pickups for the road and bridge department from Dellenbach Motors totaling $133,457.

• Approved, 7-0, purchase of a flatbed with hoist and service body for the road and bridge department from Frontier Truck Equipment for $12,988.

• Approved, 7-0, purchase of two stationary flatbeds for the road and bridge department from Layton Truck Equipment for $9,750.

• Heard a monthly report from city finance director Bruce Nelson.

• Heard January and February reports from water and wastewater director Mark Sollenberger.

Dave Fleming said last year was the first time the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association finals have been hosted on the Western Slope in more than 30 years.

Last June, that rodeo came to Craig and will again this summer.

However, Fleming presented the Craig City Council with information Tuesday indicating Craig may be able to host the rodeo each summer through 2013.

“We perhaps have a chance to have them for four years in a row,” he said.

At it’s regular Tuesday meeting, the city council approved, 7-0, to donate $2,500 to Fleming to put toward Craig’s bid to host the high school rodeo finals for another two years at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The Moffat County Commission also agreed at its Tuesday meeting to waive the fee for the rodeo to use the fairground, as it did for last year’s and this year’s event, if Craig was awarded the bid for 2012 and 2013.

Fleming said he heard the rodeo association president said to “find out if Craig would want to host the finals again and if they do, we’ll just give it to them.”

“I’m not sure what the deal is, but at this point in time, apparently they haven’t gotten either adequate bids or haven’t had anybody step up to the plate enough that they are getting a little bit concerned to make sure they get this in place,” he said.

In total, Fleming said he needs to raise $12,000 to bid on the rodeo and will soon go before the Moffat County Tourism Association to request $5,000 for the bid — the same amount MCTA awarded him to get the rodeo last year.

The rest of the money would need to be raised through sponsorships and other avenues from the community, he said.

“I believe that if I am able to put together a bid that would be exactly the same as we did before that we would more than likely get the finals again for another two years,” he said.

Last year, the rodeo brought more than 100 competitors to the area and about 300 people total, Fleming said. The rodeo association estimates, he said, the event raises an average of $25,000 to $30,000 in sales tax and other revenue to its host city.

Fleming also said having the rodeo finals in Craig gives local high school competitors a bit of home field advantage.

“It is a huge deal really,” he said. “The kids who practice here and train their horses here and their horses are used to the facilities, it gives them some advantage.”

The five day event was previously hosted in Lamar, but people seemed to be impressed with Craig, Fleming said.

“But, based on the experiences last year, we were told that our facilities were as good as any and probably the smoothest run finals they had in several years,” he said.

“There were a lot of people that came last year to the finals and they weren’t sure what to expect because they have never been over here because they don’t travel this far,” he said. “We had a lot of good compliments. We have a lot to offer.”

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