Between the October blizzard and the frigid temperatures, attendance expectations for the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo were shaky. So how does 2014 stand?
Jerry Galloway has been in the custom spurs business at the Stock Show for 17 years. "I had a busy Friday and Saturday," said Galloway. "It was the best first day I've seen."
But Galloway and other vendors agree mother nature did anything but "spur" sales during the mid-week."The weather had a lot to do with it," said Galloway.
But the cold weather wasn't the only obstacle freezing attendance this year. Galloway says splitting events between the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and James Kjerstad Events Center hurt sales. "You lose some people that spend more time down there," said Galloway.
Ron Jeffries, Black Hills Stock Show general manager, says having two venues does affect traffic. "But it's our hope and our belief that by the end of the week they will go to both," said Jeffries.
And although the cold weather and split venues affected traffic during the week, Jeffries says this weekend will bring out more people. "As the temperature goes up, I think the foot traffic will as well," said Jeffries. "It's going to be busy for our last weekend of the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo."
The same thing goes for rodeo ticket sales. "Only thing wrong with the rodeo is there's only one Saturday night in the week," said Jim Sutton, owner of Sutton Rodeo.
Sutton says this weekend will help the rodeo finish with a bang. "I think we're going to finish strong with tonight and the two shows tomorrow," said Sutton.
And that's something Galloway is banking on. "Overall it will be a good show," said Galloway.