Snowmass history: Saving the rodeo from extinction |

Snowmass history: Saving the rodeo from extinction

Community members roped in to western tradition

Aspen Historical Society
A barrel racer at the Snowmass Rodeo in August 1997, photographed by John Russell.
Aspen Historical Society Russell Collection/Courtesy photo

In 1996, the Snowmass Rodeo was near extinction, but in the spring, Silvertree Inn and Wildwood Lodge president Bill Burwell announced “he has a new company to run the long-running summer attraction which started in 1972,” according to a March 20, 1996 article in the Snowmass Sun.

“‘We want to take the experience and bring it back to the rodeo glory Snowmass Village once had,’ Burwell said. Burwell said he got into the rodeo business to save the attraction for the resort [sic] but he’s now finding the business ‘a hoot,’” the Sun reported.

Other people roped in to help the new Snowmass Rodeo Co. in 1996 included Snowmass Chapel chaplain Edgell Pyles, Owl Creek Ranch manager Jim Snyder and arena manager Barb Peckler. Their one-year experiment has now brought the rodeo to a 50-year run.

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