DENVER (CBS4) – The National Western Stock Show wrapped up after a record year, packing more than 670,000 people into the complex and bringing in an estimated $100 million.
Plans for the future include making the event even bigger, as a major expansion at the complex is expected to rope in more horses and bigger bucks.
Like a sheep dog out of the gates, the National Western Stock Show is on a mission: an expanded 240-acre complex will herd in an estimated $200 million a year — double what it does now.
Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show, described the idea of “redeveloping the site that we’re currently on, in a master plan that has 365-days-a-year worth of agricultural, educational, entertainment, the arts.”
The city’s master plan includes a new arena, new stockyards, and an outdoor event center; something most visitors and vendors are looking forward to.
“We don’t have that in Iowa,” said one attendee. “I think it will make it a little bit more competitive for the vendors to be all in the same area instead of spread out so far,” said Terry Ray of Dane’s Western Wear.
Marie Kidd, also known as Miss Rodeo Colorado 2015, said, “I think it’s great. I definitely think it’s time to expand the National Western Stock Show, and make it a competitive market for world shows.”
Sheep owner Maryann Cothren displayed a winning sheep.
“He was the junior supreme champion ram down at state fair for my daughter,” she said.
She has been showing sheep like ‘Ammo’ for more than a decade at the century-old complex, “And to think of it with brand new wood, it’s kind of sad, but I would much rather stay here than to go to a whole new place that has no history.”
Renovations could take more than a decade to finish, but some say it’s a hurdle worth jumping.
The city expects to finalize plans for redevelopment next month, and will also announce a decision on a funding source at that time.