The Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyo., today announced that it has been selected by the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) to host the National High School Finals Rodeo through the 2015 season. The 64th Annual National High School Finals Rodeo, the first hosted by the Sweetwater Events Complex, takes place July 15-21, 2012.
The 10-day event, dubbed the 'World's Largest Rodeo,' features more than 1,500 cowboys and cowgirls from 43 states and three countries - the U.S., Canada and Australia. Competitors vie for national titles, prizes and their share of thousands of dollars in college scholarships. In addition to the cowboys and cowgirls, the Sweetwater Events Complex will also host 1,800 performance horses, 130 bulls, 260 rough-stock horses, 140 goats, 500 cutting cattle, 120 steer wrestling cattle, 120 team-roping cattle, 120 breakaway roping calves, and 120 tie-down calves.
Larry Lloyd, executive director of the Sweetwater Events Complex, says the National High School Finals Rodeo will have a tremendous economic impact on Rock Springs and the other communities throughout Sweetwater County. "A study on the 2011 rodeo showed that more than 12,000 visitors spent more than $9 million over the course of the event in a single year. That translates to nearly $40 million over four years," says Lloyd. "That's good news for our local businesses, campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, retail shops and banks." He adds, "We are excited to roll out our western welcome mat for this one-of-a-kind event!"
Lloyd says about $4 million in improvements have been made at the events complex to accommodate the rodeo, including the addition of one thousand campsites; power, water and sewer upgrades; and new arenas and holding facilities. NHSRA executive director James Higginbotham says the improvements played a part in Sweetwater Events Complex being selected.
"The shooting facilities in Green River and Rock Springs have been upgraded for our event, as the shooting program has become an important event for our members," says Higginbotham. "The people of Sweetwater County and the towns of Rock Springs and Green River have made us feel very welcome. We appreciate very much the support shown by Governor Mead, county and city officials, Larry Lloyd and his staff, and the entire community."
In addition to the NRA-sponsored shooting sports program, the National High School Finals Rodeo includes traditional rodeo performances, talent shows, a queen contest, volleyball tournaments, and more. For a tentative schedule of events visit http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/Upload/File/2012NHSFR%20ScheduleTentative.pdf.
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