POCATELLO, Idaho - This year's annual high school state rodeo is now under way, and event coordinators expect the week-long competition to bring at least half a million dollars into the local economy.
Tamara Code, a rodeo volunteer coordinator through the Pocatello Rotary Club, said she expects close to 9,000 people to trample through the fairgrounds this week, including the locals who just love coming to watch the rodeo competitors.
"They are staying in hotels, they are eating the (local) restaurants, they are doing everything we are doing every day, except they are bringing money in from the outside," Code said.
Perkins Family Restaurant General Manager Stan Hales said he is also feeling the impact from the event coming to town, although local restaurants and diners are not seeing as much of a business boost as they should with as many people as there are coming into town.
He said this is because the spirit of this particular rodeo is unique, where these competitors need to live frugally for the week.
"The culture is a little differet," Hales said. "These are rural background people, and it's a pretty expensive sport for these kids to pull a big trailer and have an expensive horse while spending a week here. So they cut a lot of their expenses of eating out by cooking in their trailers and so forth."
With the fairgrounds lined with more than 100 trailers and tents, Code said more people are opting to stay in their trailers instead of hotels since they have horses they need to tend to and hotels just can't cater to that need.
But, both Code and Hales said the money circulating throughout the community from this event comes from other aspects besides solely hotels and restaurant expenditures.
"You will see them gassing up, you will see them at Winco, you will see them at Costco, etc. So, it's a great event to have in our community. It brings a lot of revenue to us as well," Hales added.
Code said in 2013, the rodeo took-in roughly $19,000 just in gate receipts alone.
The rodeo will run all week until the finals, which are held on Saturday.
A ribbon cutting will be held Monday night at the fairgrounds which takes place at 6:45, and the final event of the night is expected to run until 10 o'clock.