The Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo will be held May 30 through June 1 at the Old Spanish Trail Arena, but not without some hard work to raise the necessary money during the past year.
Danette Johnson, spokeswoman for the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo Club, said it will cost about $48,000 to stage the event this year. That includes $27,000 to get the animals from stock contractor Bar T Rodeo Inc., she said.
Other costs include $3,500 for rodeo announcer Jody Carper and $3,000 for rodeo clown Justin Rumford, who was named the 2012 PRCA Clown of the Year.
The club must chip in $9,000 toward the winning cowboys’ prize money, even though entry fees help pay part of the purse.
“Those are just some of the costs, not all of them,” Johnson said. “This isn’t some free thing that happens and we are making money hand over fist.”
The club receives $30,000 each year from the Grand County Recreation Special Service District, she said. Beyond that, some of the expenses are offset by money from local businesses that purchase sponsorships.
Sponsors get publicity in a variety of ways, depending on the level of sponsorship, Johnson said. That includes having logos or names on banners in the arena, businesses’ names being announced during performances, and recognition during the Saturday morning parade.
Johnson said ticket revenue “is huge for us.” The amount varies from year to year, depending on what other events are being held at the same time, she said.
Last year and this year, the Thursday night show conflicts with Grand County High School graduation, according to Johnson. The Thursday session features lower ticket prices for veterans, seniors and families, she said.
Traditionally, rodeo organizers have sold beer during the shows, but Johnson said the club sold liquor last year to boost revenue. Organizers plan to do the same thing this year.
The sale of T-shirts and caps is another way to bring in revenue, Johnson said.
She explained that, in addition to reimbursing the recreation district for money it provides, the rodeo club wants to invest in the event by doing such things as updating its website. Being visible in the community is an important way to keep the rodeo, and its financial needs, in the community’s consciousness, Johnson said.
“The rodeo is for Moab people,” she said. “We’re the one event that mostly local people attend. It’s a lot of year-round work. There are no paid positions. We want to get the message out to people that we are a nonprofit, all-volunteer event.”
Johnson emphasized that costs to stage the rodeo are rising at the same time that many sponsors want to make in-kind contributions rather than donations of cash. It’s not too late to sign up for a sponsorship or to make a financial contribution, she noted.
Business owners who want information about becoming a sponsor can get details by emailing Info@MoabCanyonlandsRodeo.com. More information about the rodeo events is available on the club’s website at www.MoabCanyonlandsRodeo.com.