By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins celebrated the news on Tuesday that Cheyenne Frontier Days helped generate more than $40 million in economic activity in Cheyenne and Laramie County in 2021.
An economic impact report released Tuesday showed that economic impacts resulting from direct visitor spending related to CFD in 2021 totaled approximately $40.3 million, up from $27.1 million in 2018 and $28 million in 2015.
“Anecdotally, we felt the 125th ‘Daddy of ‘Em All’ was a big success,” Collins told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “Everything felt back to normal last July. After the heartbreak of cancelling CFD in 2020, it brought a smile to my face seeing our large crowds return to celebrate the world’s largest outdoor rodeo.”
“CFD’s economic impact report goes to show our anecdotal thoughts were right on point,” Collins continued. “The economic impact grew from previous studies and once again shows the importance of this event for the city, county, state and the Rocky Mountain region. The 125th ‘Daddy of ‘Em All’ was one for the books and one I’ll never forget as it was my first as Mayor. I can hardly wait until the 126th ‘Daddy of ‘Em All’ this summer.”
A total of 272,896 tickets for all events were sold.
The report said that visitors spent approximately $7.9 million on food and beverages in Laramie County restaurants and bars, $7.6 million on overnight accommodations, $12.7 million on entertainment and recreations, including tickets to rodeos, concerts and other events, and $12.1 million on retail purchases, including gas and groceries.
“We saw large crowds almost every day on Frontier Park and around the community,” Cheyenne Frontier Days Chief Executive Officer Tom Hirsig said Tuesday. “We were happy to see so many people wanted to come out and celebrate the anniversary year with us and the Cheyenne community. The number of visitors this year surpassed our wildest expectations.”
Other direct economic impacts included approximately 509 full and part-time jobs paying $9.6 million, $920,400 in local tax revenue and $1.5 million in state tax revenue.
The majority of those attending Frontier Days, about 75%, did so to attend a night concert, the study showed, while around 55% attended the rodeo. Thirty percent of the attendees went to both a concert and the rodeo.
A large portion of visitors, 64%, attended CFD during a previous year.
“Our volunteers really stepped up to support Cheyenne and Laramie County with our celebration this year, and we had even less time to prepare than ever,” said Jimmy Dean Siler, the rodeo’s general chairman. “We are proud of our collaboration with city and county officials to host visitors who came to experience a taste of the American West.”
Most of the overnight guests during the 10-day rodeo held the last week of July — 81% — came to Cheyenne for the rodeo. An even bigger share of daytime visitors — 98% — were in Cheyenne for the rodeo.
Just over half of the overnight visitors, 51%, stayed in a hotel, motel, lodge or bed and breakfast. Most of the remainder stayed in private homes with friends and relatives or in campgrounds.
Cheyenne Frontier Days attendees also traveled to or through a number of Wyoming communities and places including Laramie, Casper, Yellowstone National Park, Jackson, the Snowy Range and Cody.
“We had tremendous support from our city, county and state leaders to help us produce our event during a confusing and constantly changing pandemic landscape. We could not have done it without their guidance and support,” Hirsig said.