LIVINGSTON – With the Livingston Roundup Rodeo being the order of the day due to the pandemic, almost every business in town has been hit financially in some way.
Thankfully, 2021 is a whole different story and the local economy is getting a much-needed boost over the weekend of July 4th.
“I don’t know the numbers right now, but I know that I and everyone else here are working harder than ever, and that’s a good thing,” laughed The Mint Bar & Grill owner Richard Lowe. “It’s the best problem that one can have. “
“It’s just wonderful for our economy,” said Leslie Feigel of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our stores are fully open at this time. To have an event like this where you now have two months to clean up the kinks is what you need on your wallet. “
For a city of just 8,200 people, the Livingston Roundup draws over 10,000 visitors each year to its arena alone.
With the annual parade and the Art-in-the-Park Festival also held on the same weekend, companies didn’t see as much foot traffic on July 4th.
“It was obviously a shame,” added Lowe. “This is the two or three busiest days. To see this go away, we watched months go away. It was tough, but luckily there were many programs available to companies.”
The city of Livingston is estimated to raise about $ 3.4 million in these three days.
“Fortunately, we had enough cushion in our bank accounts to make it through the year,” said Bruce Becker, president of the Livingston Roundup Association. “We were able to hold the fireworks last year without damaging our finances too much.”
To shed some light on why this rodeo is making so much money in the city, the Livingston Roundup falls in the top 10 percent of the 650 sanctioned PRCA rodeos in the United States.
“We’re number 39 by purse, so we’re in the top 10 percent of all rodeos in the United States by purse,” said Becker. “
“You know, it’s been a really horrible year and it’s getting off to a really good start,” added Feigel. “Shops are slowly opening and ready for all visitors, so come here and visit Livingston, Montana. It happens to us and we are not a tourist city, we are just a city that tourists like to come to.