Sandhills Rodeo Brings in Big ''Bucks''

By Michael Stafford
Newswest 9

75 Years and counting.  The Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo continues to get bigger and better each decade.  But it's not just the cowboys and cowgirls 'kicking up their heels'.

Many area businesses and the Odessa Convention and Visitor's Bureau have a lot to smile about thanks to all the 'trickle down' business that helps the Basin's economy.

The annual Sandhills Stock show and Rodeo always provides enough excitement to keep you on the edge of your seat, but when we say 'buck', we don't mean off the horse. We're talking big bucks in the local economy. 

This year alone there are 900 rodeo participants, and that doesn't count their family members who come in from out of state.

Odessa hotels have been jam packed all week long and the phone lines have been ringing off the hook.  Veronica Abila says it's like this every year.

"We get a lot of cowboys calling in probably about 25 calls a day which is really good and about 35 calls a night.  They're scrambling to find a room, because they can't find any vacancies."

Hotels aren't the only ones to benefit.  Local restaurants and area stores also see a big increase in sales.

It's estimated that rodeo week brings in about two-and-a-half million dollars initially to the Basin's economy, and then there's that so called trickle down that keeps money hopping all over town.
"It brings so much money into our community everybody benefits from the rodeo to shopping and hotels, restaurants.  We estimate that it trickles down two point five times before it ever leaves the community," says Linda Sweatt with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau. 

There's also talk of once again getting national television coverage for the annual event and if that happens, it will only bring more attention to the Basin and more dollars for the economy.