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CFR had positive impact on Red Deer businesses

Local businesses benefitted from the Canadian Finals Rodeo coming to town last week.
The Canadian Finals Rodeo, which ran from Nov. 2-5, was a boost to local businesses, say the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce’s CEO and Tourism Red Deer’s executive director. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Local businesses benefitted from the Canadian Finals Rodeo coming to town last week.

Canada’s top rodeo stars filled into Red Deer’s Westerner Park for CFR 48, which ran from Nov. 2-5. Heading into the event Westerner Park anticipated it would create an economic impact in excess of $35 million within the community.

Rene Rondeau, Tourism Red Deer executive director, said hotels were packed during the national championship professional rodeo.

“Hotels saw an increase in numbers and we’re happy to see that traffic coming through,” Rondeau said.

“The turnout was pretty evident – it was a good crowd that came out. It was nice to see the parking lots busy. Even the storm didn’t slow down traffic in that realm.”

The CFR is the final event of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association season.

Scott Robinson, Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the increased crowd size at CFR bodes well for local businesses.

“Certainly the event generated a lot of excitement,” said Robinson.

“The spinoff of course is people are in town and spending money in various places: hotels, restaurants, etc. I think overall from what we know, it was a pretty successful week with CFR.”

On Wednesday, the Agri-Trade Equipment Expo began, which is another major event for central Alberta.

“They’re two different events, with different clientele and different customers. But Agri-Trade is also going very well,” Robinson said while at the equipment expo at Westerner Park on Thursday.

“It’s very exciting and very busy down here (at Westerner Park). We’re anticipating great numbers overall based on what we’re seeing the first two days.”

Rondeau added Agri-Trade, which has 500 exhibitors and 31,000 attendees, is one of the bigger events for Red Deer each year.

“We’re pretty fortunate for that event to be here,” he said.

“The economic impact it has on our community, from restaurants to hotels to even gas stations (is huge).”

Agri-Trade continued Thursday and is set to wrapup on Friday. For more information on the annual equipment expo, visit

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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