Loss of NFR Will Impact Local Businesses - 8 News NOW

Loss of NFR Will Impact Local Businesses

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LAS VEGAS -- The National Finals Rodeo doesn't just carry with it years of tradition, local businesses have built relationships and trust with repeat customers for almost 30 years. The NFR has helped boost the Las Vegas economy during the slow month of December.

Many local businesses depend on the rodeo and they go all out for it by offering sales and specials to get the more than 175,000 NFR visitors through their doors. The announcement by the NFR it plans to leave Las Vegas has businesses owners worried.

Cowtown Boots is a place any true rodeo fan can find just what they're seeking. Manager Mark Akers has been at the business for more than 20 years and has helped the same people who return time and time again.

"It's been here for so long and they've come here and it's been like a second home to them. They know their ins and outs around town. These people aren't going to go to Florida to their amusement parks. I mean, seriously?" Akers said.

Cowtown Boots  sees a 50 percent jump in business in the 10 days the NFR comes to town. Events like Cowboy Christmas, which caters specifically to NFR, also generates much needed revenue. It's still unclear what would happen to that event.

"It's hard to believe that after what 29 years of being in Las Vegas, and what we have to offer, it would go to Florida.

Local economists say Las Vegas has benefited from the rodeo for the last three decades.

"That's particularly important because in December it used to be really a dead period in terms of the Strip and Las Vegas. The rodeo boosted economic activity at a time when we really needed it," said Mary Riddell with UNLV Lee School of Business.

Las Vegas would have to come up with an extra $4 million to match Florida's offer for the rodeo. That would result in a 40 percent increase in ticket prices. The Las Vegas Events group says it would price fans right out of the Las Vegas market.

Economists say the NFR is the only one of its kind in the world so fans just might pay more for it.

Las Vegas has 90 days to counter the offer.


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