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AirBnb Lodgings Up 200% For Cheyenne Frontier Days; Houses Going For $1,800 Per Night

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

“There aren’t many places left in Cheyenne, so now’s a good time to book,” the top of the AirBnb website reads on Tuesday morning.

With less than a month to go until the 126th annual “Daddy of ’em All,” hotels and AirBnbs are nearly booked solid for the 10-day rodeo and concert event and bookings have increased dramatically from previous levels.

The 24 available listings on AirBnb from July 22 to July 30 will cost Cheyenne visitors thousands of dollars for a weeklong stay. Even one night could cost up to $500, when taxes and various AirBnb fees are added in.

“Prices, supply and demand are all up across the board when compared to the same time in 2021 and 2019,” Chloé Garlaschi of AirDNA told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “It looks like Cheyenne Frontier Days will attract a big crowd in 2022.”

AirDNA tracks short-term rental data analytics for Vrbo and AirBnb.

Most of the available listings on AirBnb in Cheyenne are full homes with anywhere from one to four bedrooms open for visitors. These homes could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for eight days at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

“Peaceful and centrally-located place. The house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, 2 family rooms and laundry. Cheyenne Frontier Days park is just a little over a mile away!” a listing for a house that would cost almost $9,000 for eight days of stay reads.

“Half mile from Frontier Park! This fully furnished and equipped home sleeps 8 with three bedrooms, a queen pullout couch and two full bathrooms. Minutes walk to enjoy Cheyenne Frontier Days without the hassle of parking or getting to and from places. Includes a 2 car garage for parking (with additional front parking), outdoor patio w/ bbq and cornhole. Home will be fully functional to cook and entertain in!” a listing for a house that would cost around $9,300 to stay in for eight days reads.

Cheyenne resident Chris Karajanis told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that he would be renting his home, which sleeps 10 people, and a condominium out on AirBnb for the first time this year.

“We were thinking, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ and we may end up doing this every year,” he said. “I haven’t missed a Cheyenne Frontier Days in my life and I’m 53, but also, I’m 53 and I’ve kind of done it.”

The 4,000 square foot home is being rented on AirBnb for $1,800 per night. So far, he has the two weekends booked up at his home, as well as some dates for his condo.

Next year, he may even consider renting his camper out, but he and his family will be using it during the portion of CFD when they’re in town.

“I’m not worried about the liability, because AirBnb takes care of a lot of things, plus my dad lives across the street and my neighbors are all friends,” Karajanis said. “They can’t party any more than we have. We’ll have 125 people over for Christmas, so a group of anywhere from four to 10 people will be fine.”

Garlaschi said that as of Tuesday, bookings are up 188% for the week of July 18 compared to the same time in 2019 and 40% higher than last year. Cheyenne Frontier Days was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available AirBnb listings in Cheyenne have been added over the last three years, Garlaschi said, and the supply is up by 155% compared to 2019 and up 47% compared to 2021.

“The average daily rate is also up between 35% and 37% through [the week of July 18] and [the week of July 25] compared to the same time in 2019, with a slightly minor hike when compared to 2021 data, 19% for week 29, 28% for week 30,” she said.

Even staying in a camper through AirBnb could rack up a bill of nearly $4,000, although a $500 discount is available for committing to a week-long stay.

“Come stay on the Prairie! See the Wyoming sunsets! We have our 2020 40 ft 5th wheel all set up for you and your guests to stay in right next to our home,” the listing reads. “Complete with inside privacy. Free parking. Full shower and bath. We welcome pets. The 5th wheel has two full bedrooms and a loft. All cooking and camping supplies provided including outdoor chairs. Large awning. A master bedroom with a king bed. A twin bed bunk room and a queen loft. 3 large TVs. High speed Wi-Fi. Cooler available.”

This year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days will run from July 22 to July 31 and will feature its world-famous rodeo, the carnival, food and retail vendors and concerts featuring some of country’s biggest acts, including Brooks and Dunn, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley. Kid Rock and Nelly will also perform at different concerts during the event.

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Brooks & Dunn, Jason Aldean To Headline 2022 Cheyenne Frontier Days’ Night Shows

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Country music superstars Brooks and Dunn and Jason Aldean will be just two of the headliners at this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days night show.

Tickets for the Frontier Nights concerts will go on sale March 16.

The concert lineup, which was announced Thursday by CFD officials, will be:

July 22: Jason Aldean with Gabby Barrett

July 23: Dierks Bentley with Chancey Williams

July 24: Parker McCollum with Ian Munsick & Brett Kissel

July 27: Kid Rock with Night Ranger

July 28: Koe Wetzel, Jelly Roll and Nelly

July 29: Sam Hunt with Russell Dickerson

July 30: Brooks & Dunn with Elvie Shane

Barrett, the opener for Aldean, finished third place on the 16th season of “American Idol.” She has released one album, “Goldmine,” and has had a major crossover hit with her song “I Hope,” which was the most streamed-country song of 2020 and considered one of the best songs of the year by The Associated Press and Billboard.

Aldean has been one of the biggest artists in country music since his debut in 2007. He has been awarded the Academy of Country Music’s biggest awards and named Entertainer of the Year three times. Several of his albums have sold more than 1 million copies. Some of his biggest hits include “Dirt Road Anthem,” “You Make It Easy,” and “Night Train.” This will be Aldean’s fifth time performing at CFD.

Williams is a Moorcroft native and only one of two men to have performed both in the CFD rodeo and on the main stage at the CFD concert, the other being the late Chris LeDoux. He has released five albums, the most recent of which being 2020’s “3rd Street.”

Bentley has been a staple in country music for almost 20 years, gaining notice with his self-titled debut album in 2003. Some of his biggest hits include “Come a Little Closer,” “Drunk on a Plane” and “What Was I Thinkin’.” This will be his fourth time performing at CFD.

Kissel has gained a following in his home country of Canada, but is now breaking through in the United States with songs like “Airwaves.” He has previously opened for artists such as Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley.

Like Williams, Munsick is also a Wyoming native playing on the main CFD stage. His album “Coyote Cry” was his major label debut, with the single “Long Haul” getting a good amount of attention.

McCollum has been declared an artist to watch by the “Rolling Stone” staff and made his debut performing at the Grand Ole Opry last year. Some of his most popular songs include “Pretty Heart” and “To Be Loved By You.”

Night Ranger has performed on more than 4,000 stages and have sold more than 17 million albums over their decades-long career. They have recorded some of the biggest hits of the 1980s, which are still played today, including “Sister Christian,” “Don’t Tell Me Your Love Me” and “Four in the Morning.”

Kid Rock has been performing and entertaining crowds since the late 1990s, both as a singer and an actor. He has sold more than 26 million albums over his career, and released hits such as “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” “Picture” and “All Summer Long.” This will be his third time performing at CFD.

Jelly Roll is a rapper/vocalist/songwriter who is particularly popular on social media. He has worked with rappers such as Juicy J and DJ Paul from Three 6 Mafia, as well as Lil Wyte and Haystak. His music mixes genres, like Southern rock, R&B and country music.

Nelly is one of the biggest-selling artists of the 2000s, and although he is a rapper, he is no stranger to country music. The rapper has worked with Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line throughout his career to much commercial success. Some of his biggest hits include “Country Grammar,” “Hot In Herre” and “Shake Ya Tailfeather.”

Koe Wetzel is known for fusing outlaw country and rock music, and has released four albums during his career. He has accumulated more than 100 million views and streams across various platforms.

Dickerson is a singer-songwriter who has been making waves in the country music scene since 2017. He has received several award nominations, and has released singles such as “Never Gets Old” and “Love You Like I Used To.”

Hunt is a multi-platinum selling artist who has coupled this with significant critical acclaim. His album, “Southside,” was named one of the best albums of 2020 by publications such as “The New York Times” and “Us Weekly.” His biggest hits include “Body Like a Back Road,” “Kinfolks” and “Hard to Forget.”

Shane also has “American Idol” roots, but was eliminated early on in the contest. Since he was signed in 20020, he has gained one major hit, “My Boy,” and released an album last fall. His influences are Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam.

Brooks and Dunn are legends in country music, and have been for years. They got their start in 1990 and have churned out hits for more than 15 years before the duo retired in 2010. However, they reunited five years later and have been playing music ever since. They have won several Grammy awards and even helped re-popularize line dancing in the 1990s with their massive hit, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” Some of their other biggest songs include “My Maria,” “Ain’t Nothing ’bout You” and “Hard Workin’ Man.” This will be their fifth time performing at CFD.

Concert ticket prices range from $54 to $105, with rooftop seats starting at $175.

Daily rodeo tickets range from $18 – $43, rooftop starts at $80. Professional bull riding tickets range from $25 to $105 with special elite seating and V.I.P. tickets also available at various prices.

A $3 discount is offered on rodeo tickets and $5 discount on concert tickets purchased before July 1. 

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Report: 2021 Cheyenne Frontier Days Generated $40M In Spending, Mayor Celebrates

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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.

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Californian Gets Destroyed By Bull in Bike Race

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Cheyenne Frontier Days may want to consider adding an event this like this to its lineup as it would certainly be a crowd-pleaser.

Although this won’t top the woman getting de-pantsed video in the infamous “biker vs. bison” showdown from Custer State National Park in 2020, in the spirit of the Olympics, this deserves a strong silver medal.

At the so-called “Rock Cobbler” bike race in California this weekend, at least one unlucky cyclist tempted fate by attempting to ride past a bull which was standing on the bike trail.

The cyclist lost.

Tony Inderbitzin, the victim of bull encounter, told Cowboy State Daily that the bull attacked four cyclists altogether. Tony’s spill with the bull, however, was captured in full video and audio glory.

As Inderbitzin neared the bull, the bull squared up reminiscent of NBA bad boy Bill Laimbeer in the paint. No one crossed without going down.

And the biker went down not only once but twice.

As he began to recover from the first collision, the bull went after him — again like Laimbeer — scooping the poor guy up and then flipping him.

Onlookers were horrified but at the same time, it sounded like the Professional Bull Riders at CFD.

“Hey, hey, whooaaa!” they screamed.  “Hey now, wow, whoa. Dammit. Wow!”

As for Mr. Inderbitzin, he’s hurting — just like a bull rider.

“I’m sore all over, mostly the neck from the second throw, I got whiplashed,” Inderbitzin told Cowboy State Daily on Sunday. “The list of what doesn’t hurt is my left arm and head.”

“I was worried I would be sorer today, but pretty much the same as yesterday, so that’s a relief,” he said.

Konrad Ribeiro, another cyclist in the race, told Cowboy State Daily he saw the bull attack and said Inderbitzin was not faring well.

“He was in shock and not doing so hot,” Ribeiro said. “We chose to wait a while until Mr. Bull went on his way.”

The whiplashed cyclist also said he’d welcome the chance to move to the Cowboy State.

“Do you need me to come to Wyoming?? I’d love to get the hell out of Cali!!” Inderbitzin said.

Cheyenne Frontier Days, understandably, did not return a call for comment.

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Cheyenne Frontier Days CEO Explains Crowd Control To Keep People Safe At Big Concerts

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The deaths of eight people at a concert in Houston over the weekend has Cheyenne Frontier Days officials looking at ways to improve their own security at the rodeo’s night shows.

Frontier Days CEO Tom Hirsig told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that he has been studying the Texas incident. He added his team has always worked to spread out members of the crowd attending the event’s concerts to keep their attention focused on the stage.

“Security changes all the time and if you don’t look at situations like this and evaluate your own events, you shouldn’t be in this business,” Hirsig said.

On Friday night, a surge in members of a crowd of 50,000 people attending a concert by Travis Scott’s during the AstroWorld Music Fest led to eight people being killed and dozens being injured. Investigators are still attempting to determine the cause, but reports indicate there were issues with crowd control during the evening.

According to CNN, at least 18 lawsuits related to the festival had been filed by Monday evening in Harris County District Court in Texas. Event organizer Live Nation Entertainment was named as a defendant in all but one of the suits, while Scott was named in most.

Hirsig said since all 50,000 people were focused on Scott performing on the stage, they crowded too closely together and crushed and trampled people.

“For us, our standing room is split into four quadrants, with 1,500 people in the smaller two and 5,000 on each side of the track,” he said. “Due to COVID last year, we added another screen down the track, so everything’s not totally focused on the artist in the middle on the stage.”

Hirsig said CFD officials intend to expand the “party zone,” the area closest to the stage, so people do not feel that they need to push forward to see the artist better. CFD will add at least one more screen in time for next year’s rodeo and intend to add more food and water options as well.

While there are times when people get rowdy in the party zone, CFD employs Cheyenne police officers, trained volunteers and private security guards to keep the crowds from getting too wild, Hirsig said.

Hirsig noted that in 2021, despite record attendance, concert-goers seemed to be on their best behavior. But, he also knows that security issues can arise at any moment, so he and the rest of the organizers ensure that safety is their top priority.

“You don’t want to see anyone get hurt, but also, if you don’t do everything possible to make it safe for people out there, you’re liable for it,” he said.

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New Lane Frost Documentary Announced; Film To Be Released This Winter

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A documentary about the life of late bull-rider Lane Frost is in the works and a trailer for the film was recently released.

“Our team is humbled to present to you the first official trailer and title of the Lane Frost documentary,” said the documentary’s producers, listed on IMDB as Out of Order Studios and Tough Draw. “Combining the details of his life, the legend he became, and the legacy he left behind brought us a heartwarming story of the impact Lane had on the sport of bull riding, the rodeo community, and fans around the world.”

“Lane: Life, Legend, Legacy” will be released sometime soon, although neither the trailer nor video description give a release date.

The documentary features interviews with some of Frost’s closest friends, including bull-rider Tuff Hedeman and Frost’s widow, Kellie Macy.

Frost was killed in 1989 during the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo after he was injured by the bull he had just finished riding, Takin’ Care of Business. He was 25.

Hedeman was at the rodeo when Frost died, and he discusses the horrific event in the trailer.

“Lane’s a world champion,” Hedeman said in the trailer. “You don’t expect a world champion to die in one of the biggest, most prestigious rodeos in the world.”

Frost’s mother Elsie said in the trailer that her son did more in his 25 years than many people do in their entire lifetimes.

“He had a full life, he did exactly what he wanted to do,” she said.

Country singer Cody Johnson is also interviewed in the film, discussing Frost’s influence on his life and why it is important to continue telling his story.

The final moments of the trailer show an interview with Dr. Skip Ross, a Cheyenne physician who was the arena doctor at the rodeo when Frost was killed.

Despite Frost’s young age when he died, he has been memorialized in various media over the last 30 years. The film “8 Seconds” was based on his life and starred the late Luke Perry as Frost. Garth Brooks paid tribute to him in the 1990 song “The Dance.”

Frost has a commemorative statue at Cheyenne Frontier Days, as well.

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Garth Brooks Cancels Remainder of Shows Due to COVID

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Sometimes it’s good to be ahead of the curve.

Wyoming residents who got to see Garth Brooks in concert are fortunate that Cheyenne Frontier Days is held in July.

The country superstar announced on Wednesday that he is canceling the remainder of his stadium tour dates due to COVID concerns.

“I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us. Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part,” Brooks said. “So, it is with a heavy heart we announce the decision to cancel all 5 shows but with a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us.”

The five affected concerts include stops in Nashville, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Baltimore, and Boston.

As for his appearance in the Cowboy State, Brooks has said that Cheyenne Frontier Days is his favorite place to play and reiterated that after the July 23 show in Cheyenne.

“Still the ‘Daddy of ’em all’ Cheyenne. You are forever THE KING. all my gratitude, love, and respect,” Brooks tweeted.

Reactions to the cancellation were mixed on social media channels, from those who said they understood why Brooks made the decision to those who seemed convinced he was part of a conspiracy, and even to those who still believe COVID is a hoax.

“I respect your decision to cancel the Gillette Stadium show and help keep us fans safe, I will be definitely getting tickets again when you do come back,” tweeted Caitlyn Sherry.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. Garth Brooks knew damn well he was going to cancel these shows weeks ago. No way he should have played the last 2 in KC and Lincoln and re evaluate” He did it for money and zero other reason. Plain and simple,” Justin Goodman said.

“This all over a little cough? I will never listen to his music again, no thanks,” wrote Walt Ferguson.

Brooks would probably disagree with Ferguson’s “diagnosis” of COVID. His wife, Trisha Yearwood, told People magazine that he was very concerned over her well-being when she came down with the virus.

“He would not stay away from me,” Yearwood said. “You have to go quarantine on the other side of the house [but] he would not do it. He was really worried about me. He took really good care of me, but he drove me crazy.”

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Cheyenne Frontier Days Sees Dramatic Increase In Attendance This Year

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Cheyenne Frontier Days new headquarters

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Attendance at Cheyenne Frontier Days events this year increased by almost 23% over the last year the rodeo was held, the organization reported on Sunday.

A record number of 267,369 rodeo and concert tickets were sold over the 10-day period, an increase of 22.6% over the 2019 rodeo and rivaling the 100th anniversary in 1996. Both Saturday rodeos and the Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton concerts were sold out.

“After missing a year, it was amazing to see how our volunteers and everyone involved came together to produce a fantastic event,” said Jimmy Dean Siler, CFD general chairman. “I can’t say thank you enough to the fans, competitors, performers and volunteers and most of all this great Cheyenne community.”                                              

Rodeo attendance through nine performances was 111,617 compared to 97,373 in 2019, an increase of over 14%. Total attendance for Frontier Nights concerts and events was 155,618 compared to 120,518 in 2019, a 29% increase.

The total number of people entering Frontier Days Park increased as well, but official numbers were not immediately available because there was no cost to enter the rodeo grounds during much of the event.

The 2021 rodeo had 1,403 contestants competing for over $1 million in prize money.

At the championship final rodeo on Sunday, 14,925 fans witnessed history when reigning all-around champion Stetson Wright won his second consecutive title, the first time in more than 60 years a cowboy competing from the bucking chutes has done that.

Frontier Days officials said the week’s four parades through downtown Cheyenne were extremely well attended and two of those parades were broadcast by the Cowboy Channel. In addition, the three pancake breakfasts held near the Union Pacific depot saw 19,025 meals served and approximately 50,000 people visited the Indian Village on the rodeo grounds. 

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed Wednesday over F.E. Warren Air Force Base to a crowd of approximately 5,756 people in attendance on base. 

This year’s Frontier Days was dedicated to Chris LeDoux, the country music star who competed in Frontier Days rodeos before making it big in music.

Garth Brooks and Ned LeDoux, LeDoux’s son, spoke at the dedication of the bigger-than-life bronze statue of LeDoux titled Just LeDoux It that was added to Frontier Park this year to commemorate the event’s 125th anniversary.

This year, CFD organizers introduced a clear bag policy, encouraged the use of digital tickets and increased sanitation stations to make the event as safe as possible for everyone involved. 

An estimated 6,000 animals made their way through the rodeo arena, parades and the bull riding. All animals are checked multiple times throughout the day with their health and welfare being of primary concern.

CFD veterinarians treated seven animals and all but two were expected to make a full recovery. 

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Cheyenne Serves Up Thousands Of Pancakes At CFD Breakfasts

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By Ellen Fike, For the Wyoming Tribune Eagle

There were still 30 minutes to go before the first Cheyenne Frontier Days pancake breakfast began, but people streamed through the Cheyenne Depot Plaza to get in line. 

It had been two years since anyone could gather in the plaza for breakfast and everyone was anxious to be back. 

By the time the first pancakes were served at 7 a.m., hundreds of people from all over the country and even the world gathered in a line that stretched all the way past the depot and for many blocks back on 15th Street. 

Families with young children rubbing the sleep from their eyes lined the street, craning their necks to get a better look at the handful of chefs flipping hundreds, if not thousands, of pancakes early Monday morning. 

Wil Tenacchio, who recently moved to Cheyenne, decided to come to the pancake breakfast following his workout Monday morning. This was his first time attending a breakfast, and intended to report back to his wife and daughter (who are moving to the city next month) about it. 

“I love pancakes. I mean, it’s cake and it’s free,” he joked. “It’s really interesting to see how quickly the line has been moving, considering how many people are in it.” 

Tenacchio intended to bring his family to Frontier Days next year so they could experience all of the events together, such as the parade, Military Monday and of course, the pancake breakfast. 

“I think [the breakfast and Frontier Days] is a great opportunity to meet your community,” he said. “I know some of us are coming from out-of-state, but this is just a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and experience a little bit of what Cheyenne has to offer.” 

The closer a person could get to the plaza, the more they could take in: the smell of the pancakes cooking on the large griddles, the music, the excited chatter of the people around them, the questions from young children about how many pancakes they could have. 

Once in line, the process of getting breakfast is streamlined: you’re given silverware wrapped in a napkin, three pancakes, then two pats of butter, then syrup, then ham, then either coffee, milk or water. 

This year, there was an added bonus of a small container of blueberries for breakfast. 

Once inside the plaza, scores of benches filled the area, giving the audience plenty of seats to sit back, eat their breakfast and watch the band perform songs such as Garth Brooks’ “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).” 

By the end of the week, volunteers from the Cheyenne Kiwanis Club and the local Boy Scouts will have served more than 100,000 pancakes, 630 pounds of butter, 475 gallons of syrup, cooked 3,000 pounds of ham, served 9,200 cartons of milk and 520 gallons of coffee.

Melinda and Ethan Morton of Alabama were also attending the pancake breakfast for the first time on Monday. The family attended CFD as a military family, and even participated during the first parade on Saturday morning. 

Melinda Morton had a souvenir program in her hand, noting she wanted to collect more of them to send to her friends back home. She had even bought a pair of cowboy boots and a hat to get more into the western spirit. 

“Some of them have [Frontier Days] on their bucket list, so I want to mail these to them and say that they definitely have to make the trip out here,” she said. “I would definitely love to come back here and bring more people, bring more family.”

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Cowboy State Daily Tries Unique Foods At Cheyenne Frontier Days

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Cheyenne Frontier Days carnival food

In keeping with Cowboy State Daily’s tradition of educating its readers to fine culinary opportunities, here is a look at some of the more unique fare available at the 2021 Cheyenne Fronter Days Rodeo as sampled by Ellen Fike.

Person Run Over, Killed At Cheyenne’s Frontier Park

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A person was run over and killed Tuesday at the park where Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo is held.

The Cheyenne Police Department said the incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and happened when a male passenger was attempting to exit the bed of a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The vehicle’s driver entered Gate V12 from the Hynds Street and slowed to a stop with the flow of traffic.

As the truck was stopped, the male passenger began to exit the truck bed, lost his footing and fell to the ground.

The driver moved forward with traffic, running over the passenger.

The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver remained on scene to assist officers with the investigation.

The gate will remain closed on Tuesday as officers continue to investigate the incident.

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Cheyenne Airport Won’t Open For Cheyenne Frontier Days

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Cheyenne’s airport will not be open for the the 2021 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, airport officials announced Tuesday.

Nathan Banton, the airport’s deputy director, said a cement shortage has left the airport unable to complete a runway reconstruction project in time for Frontier Days, which runs from July 23 to Aug. 1.

Airport officials had hoped to complete the project in time for the rodeo, but the shortage of cement has pushed back that timeline.

“What nobody could have predicted is a national supply issue with the low-alkaline cement needed to finish the runway project safely,” Banton said.

The news came after United Express, SkyWest Airlines, the airport and Frontier Days had reached a deal to bring three flights a day from Denver to Cheyenne throughout the rodeo. Each jet making the trip would have a capacity of 50 people.

“We were going to run some volume and the bookings were already looking good,” Banton said.

News of the airport’s closure is disappointing, but still a minor development compared to last year’s cancellation of Cheyenne Frontier Days because of the coronavirus pandemic, said Tom Hirsig, CEO for the rodeo.

“In the big picture, it’s not as disappointing as not being able to have a show,” he said. “I’m glad we get to have a show.

The extra flights would have brought a maximum of 150 visitors to the event, Hirsig said.

“That’s not a great impact,” he said. “It’s disappointing they can’t make it work, but I don’t ever second-guess anybody.”

The Cheyenne Airport has been closed since mid-April, when the reconstruction project began.

The closure came about five months after service between Cheyenne and Denver launched in November. Prior to that, the airport served only Dallas-Fort Worth, a route that was closed last spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of people flying to Cheyenne for past Frontier Days rodeos was not immediately available. However, during 2019, a total of 16,696 people boarded airplanes at the Cheyenne Regional Airport, according the Federal Aviation Administration.

The runway reconstruction project is part of a $60 million improvement project which includes full-depth pavement replacement, lighting enhancements, repairs and other upgrades.

Airport officials now hope to resume service by Labor Day, Banton said, adding officials are working to determine how service might be resumed at the airport after the reconstruction is completed.

Airport officials now hope to resume service by Labor Day, Banton said, adding officials are working to determine how service might be resumed at the airport after the reconstruction is completed.

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Blake Shelton Sells Out Cheyenne Frontier Days Concert

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A second Cheyenne Frontier Days night show concert has officially sold out, officials announced Monday.

No tickets for Blake Shelton’s concert were available as of Monday, following the example set by ticket sales for fellow CFD headliner Garth Brooks, whose concert sold out in under an hour when tickets went on sale last month. CFD officials announced this update on their Twitter account.

The shows are bookending the return of Frontier Days, which was canceled last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. Brooks will open the night shows on July 23 while Shelton will close the series on July 31.

Shelton was originally slated to perform at the 2020 “Daddy of ’em All” along with headliners Eric Church and Thomas Rhett, but ultimately the show was rescheduled due to the pandemic.

Those in Cheyenne or Laramie County still have the opportunity to get tickets, though. The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department is offering two tickets to each of the night shows (except for the Brooks show) in a raffle for those who get vaccinated against the coronavirus in May and June.

Tickets are also available for all the other night shows, which include:

  • July 24: Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins, the singer’s father
  • July 25: Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
  • July 28: Maren Morris with an opening act to be announced
  • July 29: Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
  • July 30: Kane Brown with Restless Road

CFD intends to return to full capacity this summer with no mask requirements for attendees.

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Laramie County Health Dept Offers Cheyenne Frontier Days Tix to Vaccinate People

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department is using the lure of live music to encourage people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The department and Cheyenne Frontier Days have partnered to offer, through a raffle, a free pair of Cheyenne Frontier Days concert tickets to one person who gets vaccinated sometime between May and June. Everyone who gets vaccinated through the Health Department will be entered in the drawing.

The raffle winner will be drawn June 30.

It wasn’t clear which concert the tickets would be for, or if the winner would have a choice. And we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to see Garth Brooks this way.

However, there are tickets available for all the other night shows, which include:

  • July 24: Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins, the singer’s father
  • July 25: Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
  • July 28: Maren Morris with an opening act to be announced
  • July 29: Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
  • July 30: Kane Brown with Restless Road
  • July 31: Blake Shelton with John King

The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department raffle follows the lead of other cities and states that have offered all types of incentives to get people vaccinated against the coronavirus, including offering free donuts, alcohol and even scholarships or $1 million, as is the case in Ohio, according to CNN.

A Walmart in Georgia offered a $200 gift card to employees who got vaccinated by a certain date. The University of Wyoming has also entered its vaccinated employees into drawings for free AirPods, iPads and an Apple Watch and given employees who report their vaccinations an extra personal day off.

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Garth Brooks Cheyenne Frontier Days Concert Sells Out In Minutes

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

If you were hoping to be one of the lucky people to get a ticket for Garth Brooks’ concert at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2021, unless you acted within seconds of the time they went on sale, you’re out of luck.

Tickets for Brooks’ concert officially sold out minutes after they went on sale.

Not everyone was celebrating this, however, as many social media users claimed there was an issue with the ticketing system, causing them to be kicked off the page where they would purchase tickets.

Some commenters on CFD’s Facebook page even offered money to anyone who bought an extra ticket, hoping to be one of the people who will get to see Brooks’ return to Cheyenne this summer.

Some tickets will likely become available through scalping websites, but CFD officials have warned against buying tickets from anywhere other than the official CFD website or office.

Brooks has been teasing this concert for nearly a year, announcing last July that he would be one of the headliners for the rodeo’s concert series.

If you didn’t manage to get a ticket for Brooks, there are tickets available for all the other night shows, which include:

  • July 24: Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins, the singer’s father
  • July 25: Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
  • July 28: Maren Morris with an opening act to be announced
  • July 29: Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
  • July 30: Kane Brown with Restless Road
  • July 31: Blake Shelton with John King

Opening for Brooks will be Ned LeDoux, son of late country singer and rodeo cowboy, Chris LeDoux.

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Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton to Headline Cheyenne Frontier Days’ Night Shows

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton are among the headliners for this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days’ night shows.

The entire headlining lineup was announced Thursday evening, just one day after CFD officials announced the “Daddy of ‘Em All” would be returning this summer at full capacity with no mask mandate for attendees.

The night show concert series will consist of:

  • July 23: Garth Brooks with Ned LeDoux
  • July 24: Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins, the singer’s father
  • July 25: Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
  • July 28: Maren Morris with an opening act to be announced
  • July 29: Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
  • July 30: Kane Brown with Restless Road
  • July 31: Blake Shelton with John King

“We are so glad to be sharing this lineup for 2021 tonight,” said Randy Krafft, chairman of the rodeo’s Contract Acts Committee.  “It has been a long year for all of us and we can’t wait to welcome our fans back to Frontier Park.”

Shelton, Church and Rhett were all rescheduled from the 2020 rodeo, since CFD was ultimately canceled last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s 125th celebration is dedicated to the memory of late country singer and former rodeo cowboy Chris LeDoux. A bronze statue of LeDoux will be added to the sculpture collection at Frontier Park.

Additionally, there will be nine days of professional rodeo, culminating in the championship on July 31.

The event will also feature hundreds of vendors, a full carnival, artists, food and music to celebrate the history and culture of the American West.

Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. on April 15 and can be purchased at or by calling 307-778-7222. The ticket office won’t be open for in-person sales at this time.

Concert ticket prices range from $49 to $94, with rooftop seating starting at $150. Daily rodeo tickets range from $18 to $35.

A $3 discount is offered on rodeo tickets and $5 discount on concert tickets purchased before July 1. Professional Bullriders performance tickets range from $25 to $105, with special Elite Seating and VIP tickets also available at various prices.

Fans can upgrade to a Frontier Nights® Fast Pass for early admission to the Party Zone, a voucher for best-available same-day rodeo tickets and a souvenir rodeo program. For a full events schedule and profiles of musical acts, go to

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Cheyenne Frontier Days Is Back; 125th Anniversary Event Will Be Open at Full Capacity

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

People who lived in Cheyenne 45 years ago may remember the old Cheyenne Frontier Days theme song playing on the radio: “Cheyenne Frontier Days, here we go again. A big Wyoming showdown where the cowboy is the king.”

You could say the event is even more special now because the largest outdoor rodeo in the world was canceled for the first time in 124 years in 2020 due to the pandemic.  But it’s roaring back in 2021 for its 125th anniversary.

Gov. Mark Gordon made the announcement on Wednesday alongside Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins and Frontier Days CEO Tom Hirsig that the “Daddy of ‘Em All” is not only back, but at 100% capacity.

“Our big message that we want people to hear loud and clear today is that Wyoming is back and we are open for business,” Gordon said.

“It’s just good to see it back,” he said. “It’s just back stronger than ever. It feels like Wyoming is coming back to life.”

The 10-day event scheduled from July 23 to August 1 is a bucket list item for rodeo fans across the world and it appears as though the upcoming celebration will be pretty close to normal.

Hirsig said there would be some modifications in the interest of safety, but there will be no required face mask use, which is a significant announcement in itself. 

He said the organizations that contribute to Cheyenne Frontier Days, from night shows to the carnival to the rodeo itself, have all agreed to “vigorous” safety protocols.

“All of our events of Cheyenne Frontier Days take place on our 83-acre park in the clean, fresh air of Wyoming. Some days fresher than other days,” he said. “Cheyenne Frontier Days [will be a] very safe outdoor event,” he said.

“We are excited to get back to fulfilling our mission of economic impact to the community, and we look forward to safely welcoming our fans back to Frontier Park this summer,” Hirsig said.

The sizable bump to Cheyenne’s economy from the return of the rodeo was not lost on Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins who during last year’s mayoral campaign pledged to work closely with the organization.

“We are proud to welcome rodeo fans and visitors back to Cheyenne this July,” Collins said. “Our businesses look forward to hosting guests and locals alike as we work together to support our summer season.”

CFD officials said details about ticket sales and concert performers will be revealed Thursday evening, April 8.

Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place each summer during the last full week in July and features the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, drawing top professionals competing for more than $1 million in cash and prizes.

In addition to the daily rodeo action, fans can also enjoy Frontier Nights concerts featuring the biggest names in country music, the Native American Village, the old frontier town, free pancake breakfasts, an art show, a carnival midway, professional bull riding shows and downtown parades featuring antique carriages and automobiles. 

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Spot Check Shows Most Hotels, Campgrounds Refunding Cheyenne Frontier Days Reservations

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By Ellen Fike and Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Even though Cheyenne hotels and campgrounds rely on the Frontier Days Rodeo for a large part of their annual income, most contacted by Cowboy State Daily are allowing people to cancel or change their reservations in the face of the event’s cancellation.

“It wasn’t the customer’s fault,” said Dave Nelson, an owner of Cheyenne’s KOA Campground. “We didn’t feel we had a choice.”

In late May, officials with six major Wyoming rodeos including Frontier Days announced the events would be canceled for the year because it would be impossible to maintain social distancing among crowds during the events.

Frontier Days, one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the world, brings thousands of visitors to Cheyenne in the last full week of July, many of whom reserve their accommodations a year in advance.

Nelson said he and his family didn’t feel they could hold their customers, including several who have stayed at his campground for multiple years, to their reservations in the absence of Frontier Days.

As a result, he said he contacted all of the customers who had reserved spaces for Frontier Days and told them they could get a full refund for their stay, come to Cheyenne and stay on the same days at a lower rate or roll their reservations forward to next year.

Nelson said while many people accepted the refund, others decided to take advantage of the lower rate and stay on the dates they had planned this year.

The arrangement is the same at Cheyenne’s Little America Hotel, a popular option for lodging during the rodeo.

Bradley Cannon, the hotel’s front office manager, said Little America’s management didn’t feel it was fair to charge people the full rate when the rodeo was canceled.

“We recognize so many of our guests are coming year after year, we didn’t feel it was fair,” he said.

Little America is offering guests with reservations the option of canceling for a full refund, staying at Little America for reduced rates this year or rolling their reservations over to 2021.

Cannon said about half of the guests decided to move their reservations to next year, while about 25% decided to visit Cheyenne as planned and about 25% canceled their reservations.

A.B. Camping and the Red Lion in Cheyenne are also offering full refunds and Brandi Voigtsberger, sales director for Red Lion, said most are simply accepting the refunds.

“Some people are wanting to move reservations to next year’s, but we’re doing more refunds and just telling people they can reschedule when they’re ready,” she said. “In my opinion, it’s just the right thing to do.”

Jane Harrington, who owns A.B. Camping with her husband Mark, said all the people who had reserved spots for Frontier Days have canceled and been given full refunds.

“So anybody coming in during that time is a brand new reservation and those are pretty slim,” she said.

One campground’s policies against refunds have met with some criticism, however.

Pat Jenkins, a Rock Springs resident who said he reserved five spaces for four days at the Terry Bison Ranch’s RV park, said he was not able to get a refund, stay at the ranch for a reduced rate or move his reservations to next year.

Terry Bison Ranch officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but the ranch’s website does specify it does not grant refunds.

The website also shows that the ranch’s overnight rate for the RV park more than doubles during Frontier Days, from $48 per night to $110.

“Nobody’s booking reservations for CFD dates for two and one-half times the original prices just to stay at the RV park on the interstate,” Jenkins said.

He added his group will lose a total of $2,500 to $2,700 on the reservations and would have welcomed the opportunity to move its reservations to 2021, but was not given the opportunity.

“We’re upset because this is an act of God, this pandemic,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “It’s not about the money, this is Wyoming, this isn’t how you treat people. It’s no one’s fault that this happened.”

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