50th National Finals Rodeo Coverage | TheFencePost.com

50th National Finals Rodeo Coverage

by Tony Bruguiere
Fort Collins, Colo.

Even Las Vegas, a city that caters to opulence and excess, was showing signs of the economic downturn that has hit the U.S. Although the city still looks like the world’s largest construction site, most of the new building sites were empty and the cranes were silent. I talked with quite a few people that lived in Las Vegas, and most agreed that business was terrible. The most upbeat comment was from a

casino manager, who said, “The casino will be fine; after all, we own the game.” One hotel employee confided to me that bookings in her hotel were off 40 percent.

You could get rooms on the strip for as little as $28 a night or you could stay at one of the newer “NFR host hotels” such as the South Point for only $70 per night. There were still options for those for whom money was no object. They could stay at the Wynn for $600 a night.

The nightmare traffic, especially along The Strip, was gone. This was due (to some degree) to businesses cutting back on the use of the large trucks with lighted signs that cruised throughout the city 24/7. They are being replaced with motor scooters towing smaller signs.

But Las Vegas’ loss was a gain to the thousands of visitors in town for the 50th National Finals Rodeo. Every one that I talked to said how happy they were to see the NFR come to town. Fans of Pro Rodeo were not going to let an economic crisis keep them from celebrating 50 years of top rodeo action. The Thomas and Mack was filled to capacity every night as were the satellite live-feed performances in host hotels throughout Las Vegas. It was a 10-day celebration of rodeo, and for 10 days Las Vegas became the “Cowboy Capitol of the World”.

Cowboy Christmas is a shopper’s paradise for just about anything a cowboy or cowgirl could want. You will find booths featuring custom saddles, feed, trucks, trailers, ropes, designer fashions, western furniture, original art work, jewelry, and even a booth that sells nothing but John Wayne memorabilia and movies. With over 400 vendors and 300,000 square feet of exhibitor space, there is plenty to keep the most dedicated shoppers busy.

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Besides all the parties, clubs, gaming, shopping, and after rodeo events, there is also the “Super Bowl of Pro Rodeo”. One hundred and nineteen contestants who have fought and competed all year to be in the top 15 money winners and earn the chance to compete for the coveted gold buckle converged on Las Vegas. Stock contractors from all over the country brought their best animals to test the roughstock competitors.

The bucking horse line up featured top animals like Coconut Roll, High Motion, Grated Coconut, Blood Brother, Cool Alley, and Miss Congeniality. Any of the bucking horses that make it to the NFR are sure to test even the best cowboys. The bulls that made it to the 50th Anniversary NFR were outstanding. The bull riders had to bring their best when going up against the like of Voodoo Child, Ricky Bobby, War Zone, Q, Twisted T, and Troubadour. You can count on it being a great rodeo when the best cowboys go up against the best stock.

The 50th Anniversary WNFR was a huge success – sell-outs every night, lots of video looking back over the past 50 years, top contract acts during TV time-outs, and 10 days of “edge of your seat” rodeo action. There is nothing like being there in person. That is something that every rodeo fan should do at least once.

Even Las Vegas, a city that caters to opulence and excess, was showing signs of the economic downturn that has hit the U.S. Although the city still looks like the world’s largest construction site, most of the new building sites were empty and the cranes were silent. I talked with quite a few people that lived in Las Vegas, and most agreed that business was terrible. The most upbeat comment was from a

casino manager, who said, “The casino will be fine; after all, we own the game.” One hotel employee confided to me that bookings in her hotel were off 40 percent.

You could get rooms on the strip for as little as $28 a night or you could stay at one of the newer “NFR host hotels” such as the South Point for only $70 per night. There were still options for those for whom money was no object. They could stay at the Wynn for $600 a night.

The nightmare traffic, especially along The Strip, was gone. This was due (to some degree) to businesses cutting back on the use of the large trucks with lighted signs that cruised throughout the city 24/7. They are being replaced with motor scooters towing smaller signs.

But Las Vegas’ loss was a gain to the thousands of visitors in town for the 50th National Finals Rodeo. Every one that I talked to said how happy they were to see the NFR come to town. Fans of Pro Rodeo were not going to let an economic crisis keep them from celebrating 50 years of top rodeo action. The Thomas and Mack was filled to capacity every night as were the satellite live-feed performances in host hotels throughout Las Vegas. It was a 10-day celebration of rodeo, and for 10 days Las Vegas became the “Cowboy Capitol of the World”.

Cowboy Christmas is a shopper’s paradise for just about anything a cowboy or cowgirl could want. You will find booths featuring custom saddles, feed, trucks, trailers, ropes, designer fashions, western furniture, original art work, jewelry, and even a booth that sells nothing but John Wayne memorabilia and movies. With over 400 vendors and 300,000 square feet of exhibitor space, there is plenty to keep the most dedicated shoppers busy.

Besides all the parties, clubs, gaming, shopping, and after rodeo events, there is also the “Super Bowl of Pro Rodeo”. One hundred and nineteen contestants who have fought and competed all year to be in the top 15 money winners and earn the chance to compete for the coveted gold buckle converged on Las Vegas. Stock contractors from all over the country brought their best animals to test the roughstock competitors.

The bucking horse line up featured top animals like Coconut Roll, High Motion, Grated Coconut, Blood Brother, Cool Alley, and Miss Congeniality. Any of the bucking horses that make it to the NFR are sure to test even the best cowboys. The bulls that made it to the 50th Anniversary NFR were outstanding. The bull riders had to bring their best when going up against the like of Voodoo Child, Ricky Bobby, War Zone, Q, Twisted T, and Troubadour. You can count on it being a great rodeo when the best cowboys go up against the best stock.

The 50th Anniversary WNFR was a huge success – sell-outs every night, lots of video looking back over the past 50 years, top contract acts during TV time-outs, and 10 days of “edge of your seat” rodeo action. There is nothing like being there in person. That is something that every rodeo fan should do at least once.

Even Las Vegas, a city that caters to opulence and excess, was showing signs of the economic downturn that has hit the U.S. Although the city still looks like the world’s largest construction site, most of the new building sites were empty and the cranes were silent. I talked with quite a few people that lived in Las Vegas, and most agreed that business was terrible. The most upbeat comment was from a

casino manager, who said, “The casino will be fine; after all, we own the game.” One hotel employee confided to me that bookings in her hotel were off 40 percent.

You could get rooms on the strip for as little as $28 a night or you could stay at one of the newer “NFR host hotels” such as the South Point for only $70 per night. There were still options for those for whom money was no object. They could stay at the Wynn for $600 a night.

The nightmare traffic, especially along The Strip, was gone. This was due (to some degree) to businesses cutting back on the use of the large trucks with lighted signs that cruised throughout the city 24/7. They are being replaced with motor scooters towing smaller signs.

But Las Vegas’ loss was a gain to the thousands of visitors in town for the 50th National Finals Rodeo. Every one that I talked to said how happy they were to see the NFR come to town. Fans of Pro Rodeo were not going to let an economic crisis keep them from celebrating 50 years of top rodeo action. The Thomas and Mack was filled to capacity every night as were the satellite live-feed performances in host hotels throughout Las Vegas. It was a 10-day celebration of rodeo, and for 10 days Las Vegas became the “Cowboy Capitol of the World”.

Cowboy Christmas is a shopper’s paradise for just about anything a cowboy or cowgirl could want. You will find booths featuring custom saddles, feed, trucks, trailers, ropes, designer fashions, western furniture, original art work, jewelry, and even a booth that sells nothing but John Wayne memorabilia and movies. With over 400 vendors and 300,000 square feet of exhibitor space, there is plenty to keep the most dedicated shoppers busy.

Besides all the parties, clubs, gaming, shopping, and after rodeo events, there is also the “Super Bowl of Pro Rodeo”. One hundred and nineteen contestants who have fought and competed all year to be in the top 15 money winners and earn the chance to compete for the coveted gold buckle converged on Las Vegas. Stock contractors from all over the country brought their best animals to test the roughstock competitors.

The bucking horse line up featured top animals like Coconut Roll, High Motion, Grated Coconut, Blood Brother, Cool Alley, and Miss Congeniality. Any of the bucking horses that make it to the NFR are sure to test even the best cowboys. The bulls that made it to the 50th Anniversary NFR were outstanding. The bull riders had to bring their best when going up against the like of Voodoo Child, Ricky Bobby, War Zone, Q, Twisted T, and Troubadour. You can count on it being a great rodeo when the best cowboys go up against the best stock.

The 50th Anniversary WNFR was a huge success – sell-outs every night, lots of video looking back over the past 50 years, top contract acts during TV time-outs, and 10 days of “edge of your seat” rodeo action. There is nothing like being there in person. That is something that every rodeo fan should do at least once.