Fair Manager, Board Oppose Potential Bigfork Summer Rodeo

first_img Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. A proposed summer rodeo in Bigfork is facing opposition from the Flathead County Fair Board and fairgrounds manager Mark Campbell, who say the July event would impede ticket sales and sponsorships for the Northwest Montana Fair rodeo in August.The potential Bigfork rodeo would be a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) event, which Campbell said was the basis for his objection against it.“We don’t oppose Bigfork having a rodeo at all, we really don’t,” Campbell said. “We’ve objected to the PRCA that another PRCA event would be held less than 40 days in the same community, in the same market and the same geographic area.”The Northwest Montana Fair takes place Aug. 15-19, and the Bigfork Summer Rodeo is scheduled for July 6-7. Rob Brisendine of Road Creek Events, the organizer behind the Bigfork rodeo, said the county’s reaction to the new rodeo was disappointing.“Obviously this rodeo is not going to take away from anything the fair is doing; it’s really targeted toward the Bigfork community and how that community quadruples in size over the Fourth of July weekend,” Brisendine said. “It’s over a month and a half away (from the fair rodeo) in a three-month tourism window.”The PRCA, based in Colorado Springs, is expected to make a decision on Jan. 20 about the Bigfork Summer Rodeo. Campbell sent the PRCA a letter objecting to the new event, noting that the events would be fewer that 20 miles from each other, the fair’s rodeo has been PRCA-sanctioned for 64 years, ticket sales for the fair rodeo begin in May, and sponsorships could be split if both events exist.“If it was a population base of a million or two million people in the immediate market, there would be plenty of room for both rodeos,” Campbell said.Any organization with ongoing PRCA events has the right to object to another potential PRCA-sanctioned event in the same geographical area.Brisendine disagreed with Campbell’s population assessment.“Our community has grown enough that it can support two rodeos in a summer,” he said.Campbell said the PRCA fair rodeo brings in much-needed revenue for the fairgrounds, so it doesn’t have to dip into taxpayer funds to pay for operations. A second PRCA rodeo could put that in jeopardy, he said.The Bigfork Summer Rodeo is an attempt to give the people of Bigfork another summer event to attend, Brisendine said, and to capitalize on the massive July 4 crowds. Campbell said he supported those causes, but objected to any PRCA labels.“I want the best for Bigfork and I want the best for this community — I’m not opposed to another tourist event,” Campbell said. “But when it has the PRCA tag on it, that’s the one thing I object to.”last_img read more