Rodeo ticket sales top $100,000 mark |

Rodeo ticket sales top $100,000 mark

Steve Benson

Ticket sales for the Snowmass Village rodeo have topped $100,000 for the season, and there are still two rodeos left.

Sales for this year’s series, which includes 20 rodeos, are expected to top the previous two years.

“We had a slow start in June, but July and August have picked up dramatically and we expect to conclude with a banner season,” said Chris Kelly, executive director of Snowmass Western Heritage Association, in a press release. The group is running this year’s rodeo series.

The increase in ticket sales has occurred despite a decrease in ticket prices.

Children 12 and under are now admitted free. Last year, the cutoff was 6 years old.

“It was our goal to make the rodeo as family-friendly as possible,” Kelly said. “We have [more than] 100 kids every night coming in free.”

He said strong promotion in print, TV and on the radio was behind the event’s increased popularity.

Still, Kelly said making ends meet continues to be a struggle. The rodeo’s nightly operation ” providing stock, prize money and paying for insurance ” totals about $275,000.

“Putting on a rodeo is an expensive proposition,” Kelly said. “Fortunately we’ve had strong support from local individuals and businesses to the tune of $135,000.”

The town has also provided a $40,000 loan.

“Without that support, we wouldn’t have a rodeo,” she added.

The final two rodeos of the season are Wednesday and Saturday. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the rodeo starts at 7.

Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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