COLORADO SPRINGS — The Board of Directors for the 80th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo voted Wednesday to cancel the event this year due to coronavirus concerns.
The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo has been a Colorado Springs tradition since 1937, showcasing top rodeo talent and action. "The only time there hasn't been a rodeo was during World War II. And, when that resumed in 1946, that's when our board decided all the money would go toward military quality of life initiatives," said the President of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, Mike McCoy.
Last year, McCoy said the rodeo raised over $180,000 for the military community.
McCoy also said they have been monitoring the situation closely for months, and tried to develop options to hold the rodeo while still keeping everyone safe. Ultimately, they decided the safest option was to cancel. "It's a hard thing. It's not a decision you ever want to make, it's not something you want to do, but it's a fact of life in this day and age," said McCoy.
Without a rodeo, Colorado Springs will miss out on the tourists it brings, the vendors will lose their chance to sell their products, and contestants no longer have the opportunity to win big. "There's a lot of contestants that make their living rodeoing, and when there's no rodeos, you can't make your living," said Casey Colletti, who has won the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in the past.
Colletti also said the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is one of many that have been canceled this year. "They've canceled somewhere along the lines of 250 PRCA rodeos across the country," said Colletti.
Colletti also pointed out that the rodeo may be lacking sponsorship money from supporting businesses this year because of the pandemic. "When they've been closed down for three, four months, with no income coming in, they can't have any money going out... So, there may be hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions and millions of dollars brought to the community. Which the community, small businesses, local businesses, they all look forward to every year, that's why they donate to the rodeo in hopes of getting it back during the rodeo. And when they're closed for three months, then they cancel the rodeo, they're losing that big one weekend revenue of the year, which is terrible," said Colletti.
At the end of May, new dates were announced for the event to take place between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22. The event's website states online tickets were going on sale Thursday for the rodeo.
The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo typically takes place at the Norris-Penrose Event Center and it is now being planned for July 14 through July 17 of next year.
The Norris Penrose Event Center will be issuing refunds for people who have already purchased tickets. If you need a refund, call them at 719-635-1101 or email email@example.com.