Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Erwin addressed the issue of what appears to be a shrinking rodeo, compared to years past at the annual Pahrump Fall Festival, which concluded its four-day run this past Sunday.
“I’m sorry, but it seems the excitement just isn’t there for us to sell enough tickets,” he said. “When you compare that to the cost of the livestock and bringing in the riders and competitors, along with the prize money, it’s not working because we’re barely breaking even. I am an internet marketing guy, and for the last two years, I’ve really been trying to sell rodeo tickets on Groupon, Facebook and other social media sites. We had to switch it up a little bit, so instead of it being a full rodeo, we have team roping, barrel racing and bull riders. We also added the motocross events.”
An additional issue Erwin noted, is the costs associated with putting on a full rodeo.
Also, Erwin lamented the lack of available hotel rooms in town as one reason the Fall Festival is not attracting more out-of-town visitors.
“There’s only 400 hotel rooms in town,” he said. “So when we do a festival, if we average two-and-a-half people per hotel room, we’re at about a thousand give or take. We are trying to get 30, 40, or even 50 thousand people into town for the Fall Festival and the only way we are going to do that is by targeting the Las Vegas area and bringing people in.”
As a result, Erwin and other chamber officials are brainstorming to discover a tried and true method to draw in more visitors to the annual event.
“I’m not saying that this year’s lineup is the best, but I think it’s worth trying to figure out a formula on how we can create and draw more people from Las Vegas because we are dependent on those visitors. It would be kind of like a day trip for them.”
Looking on the brighter side, Erwin said at least this year, there were more vendors in the park, compared to the 2017 Pahrump Fall Festival.
“Due to this being an election year, we definitely have more politicians and candidates participating as opposed to off-election years, which obviously is a good thing,” he said. “A lot of them are local politicians and candidates. I can come up with very few reasons why having them out there to engage the public and answer questions is a bad thing.”
This year’s event ran from Sept. 27 through Sept. Sept. 30.
Erwin estimated approximately somewhere between 25,000 and 35,000 attendees visited Petrack Park throughout the four-day event, give or take.
“I think it depends on the year, the economy, the weather, and all of the other factors,” he said.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @pvtimes
A closer look
See pvtimes.com, the Oct. 3 edition of the Pahrump Valley Times and our Facebook page for more on the Fall Festival, including photos and videos.