Hotel rooms for the Canadian Finals Rodeo on people’s minds

Last year in Edmonton it attracted 90,000 visitors

Moving the Canadian Finals Rodeo to Red Deer has people thinking about available local accommodations.

Gil Valee, general manager of Sheraton Red Deer, said Red Deer’s largest hotel with 241 rooms, has already started receiving calls.

“We’ve had lots of inquiries and we’re handling the inquiries as they come in. We’ve had a lot of interest from parties that have participated in the CFR in the past that are looking to secure accommodations and space for this year’s edition in Red Deer,” Valee said Thursday.

It was just one week ago the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association announced the ENMAX Centrium would be the new home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo for the next 10 years starting with the 45th CFR Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.

Last year, when Northlands hosted the CFR, it brought 90,000 visitors to Edmonton.

“I’m really excited its coming to Red Deer. If we can do this right Red Deer will benefit from this for a long time to come,” Valee said.

“It goes hand-in-hand with Agri-Trade and just helps bolster our agriculture roots in our community.”

He said Billy Bobs Saloon and Dancehall at the Sheraton is also going to be busy, which is another reason he’s happy.

“We need these kinds of city-wide (events) and Hotels Red Deer has been instrumental in working towards getting a lot of city-wides that can help build our economy back up in our community.”

The CFR is expected to produce $20 to $30 million in economic spin-offs annually.

Events at the CFR feature: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The rodeo will be held the week before the annual Agri-Trade Equipment Expo takes over the Westerner.

Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park put in a joint bid to host the CFR.

Red Deer was the first city to put forward a bid for the rodeo last year.

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