Canadian Finals Rodeo puts local businesses back in the saddle
'We count on the rodeo ... it's like Christmas'
The latest edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo just rode out of town, leaving behind some much needed cash for local businesses feeling pinched by a soft economy.
For the past five days, Northlands played host the 43rd annual CFR, drawing more than 87,000 people to the Coliseum.
The Farmfair International drew a record 95,500 guests to the Edmonton EXPO Centre.
Those throngs of visitors provided an up-tick in sales for businesses.
"The rodeo is very important to us," said Barry Lammle, president of Lammle's Western Wear & Tack. "That's the heart of our business. We count on the rodeo. It's like Christmas to Lammle's."
Those throngs of big spenders will likely be riding back into the city next year. In late October, the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Northlands made a surprise announcement, confirming they had signed a short-term deal ensuring the rodeo will return to Edmonton until at least 2018.
"Once again this event acted as a strong bridge between rural and urban," Tim Reid, president and CEO of Northlands, said in a statement.
"As an agricultural society, we are proud to see the continued strength and activation while respecting the fact that many farmers and ranchers are still having to spend time in the fields harvesting their crops."