Craig’s rodeo bid falls short | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig’s rodeo bid falls short

Lamar chosen as host site for next two years of high school finals

Joshua Gordon

The Colorado State High School Rodeo finals, which took place June 15 to 19 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, won’t be returning to Craig after Lamar was awarded hosting rights for the next two years. Dave Fleming, an organizer who helped bring the finals to Craig, said the selection of Lamar came down to money and location for the majority of athletes involved.





The Colorado State High School Rodeo finals, which took place June 15 to 19 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, won't be returning to Craig after Lamar was awarded hosting rights for the next two years. Dave Fleming, an organizer who helped bring the finals to Craig, said the selection of Lamar came down to money and location for the majority of athletes involved.
Joshua Gordon

Quotable

"(In the first year) the rodeo was definitely a benefit to the community and I think it was something people felt good about having here. This year, the economy had people spending not quite as much money, but having traveled to rodeos before, I know it does cost money."

— Dave Fleming, an organizer who helped bring the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals to Craig, on the economic benefits the rodeo provided

The Colorado State High School Rodeo finals has brought an estimated 300 people to Craig each year for the last two years, providing an economic boost and another entertainment option to the community.

The same won't be said for next summer.

On June 19, the last day of this year's finals, rodeo organizer Dave Fleming was notified the rodeo would not return to Craig. His bid for hosting the next two years fell short.

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The Colorado State High School Rodeo Association awarded the finals to Lamar, where it took place before coming to Craig.

"The past two years we have come up with $12,000 and provided the use of our (Moffat County Fairgrounds) to the CSHSA," Fleming said Monday. "Apparently, Lamar offered $17,000 and it was about money. I don't think it had to do anything with gripes about our facilities because they liked all that we offered."

Location was another factor that played in the decision, Fleming said.

For more than 30 years before the finals came to Craig in 2010, the rodeo took place on the Front Range.

Fleming said the selection of Lamar as host site had more to do with the number of athletes in each location.

"There are simply more Eastern Slope rodeo athletes than there are Western Slope," he said. "I know some of the people didn't want to travel all the way to the Western Slope, so I believe that played into their decision to return to Lamar."

Fleming said CSHSA approached him in April about bidding for the next two years.

Each year, Fleming said, it was estimated the rodeo brought in $25,000 to $30,000 to the local economy through food, fuel, lodging and other expenses.

"(In the first year) the rodeo was definitely a benefit to the community and I think it was something people felt good about having here," he said. "This year, the economy had people spending not quite as much money, but having traveled to rodeos before, I know it does cost money."

Fleming said he would not have matched the $17,000 put up by Lamar had he been asked.

"When you get into that price range, it is hard to justify the overall benefits that would come from hosting the rodeo," he said. "It wasn't a total surprise, but I think they are going to look at a rotating schedule between different places."

Fleming said he feels it's a good thing for athletes to compete in different places.

While athletes were able to bowl and utilize the Craig Swimming Complex, he said, the first year was more exciting because things were "different."

"If the rodeo is in the same place too long, it can become a little stagnant for the athletes," he said. "Having the finals in Craig gave people who don't usually come here an opportunity to see what we have to offer, and if the occasion arises in the future to bring it back to Craig, I think it is something that will definitely be looked at."

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Quotable

“(In the first year) the rodeo was definitely a benefit to the community and I think it was something people felt good about having here. This year, the economy had people spending not quite as much money, but having traveled to rodeos before, I know it does cost money.”

— Dave Fleming, an organizer who helped bring the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals to Craig, on the economic benefits the rodeo provided

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