The National Western Center is putting down roots as home of the “New West” – and what better place than where old and new meet at the National Western Stock Show stockyards?
“We’re all so excited for the future of the National Western Center,” Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kelly Brough told the sellout crowd of 1,220 guests – the largest audience to date at Boots ‘n Business. “Where country meets city is where the magic happens. That’s what this event is about.”
The event – hosted by the Chamber and National Western Stock Show, and presented by U.S. Bank – kicks off the start of the 114th Stock Show. And, the 16-day show is big business, said Stock Show President and CEO Paul Andrews, noting that people from 45 states and dozens of countries are here just to take part in the livestock show, and that’s not counting the dozens of rodeos and other entertainment that locals and visitors alike will enjoy.
“That’s how we got to be the Super Bowl of livestock shows, and it’s right here in Denver,” Andrews said.
Boots ‘n Business guests got a preview of the entertainment of the Stock Show, courtesy of Entertainment Sponsor Hensel Phelps.
That fun – and business – will continue year-round with the opening of the National Western Center in 2024, said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
A Look at the ‘New West’
With partners Colorado State University, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, History Colorado and the Stock Show, visitors of the revitalized National Western Center can expect to learn and see innovation and be entertained.
“We are planning for the next 100 years,” Hancock said. “They will see the sights and sounds and flavor that we believe represent the new west, and we’re very excited about it.”
Learn more about the progress at the National Western Center:
Our food and agriculture industry continues to be a critical part of Colorado’s economy, Brough said, noting that it employs 116,000 Coloradans and contributes $1.6 billion in exports each year, from beef to sweet corn.
The beverage industry, and the local barley and hops grown to support it, also have an impact, said David Coors, vice president of next generation beverages at Molson Coors Beverage Company, our Innovations in Agriculture Sponsor.
“We’ve always been grateful for these farmers who work hard day in and day out to give us the high-quality, top-notch ingredients that go into our beers,” Coors said. “And we’ve also been working with them and spending tens of millions of dollars to help future-proof their businesses with sustainable farming practices so they can go on for generations and generations.”
Connecting with Future Ag Leaders
A portion of the proceeds from this and other Stock Show events support National Western Trust scholarships for future farmers, ranchers and veterinarians.
Gov. Jared Polis applauded that effort, adding that the state’s focus is “to make darn sure that ag isn’t just a storied part of Colorado’s heritage, but it’s a dynamic and growing and exciting part of Colorado’s economic future.
Guests met one scholarship recipient, 2019 Youth Equestrian Showcase Grand Champion Halley Moak.
She is a student at Front Range Community College and is studying equine science and equine business management. Growing up in Estes Park, she was always around horses – and her grandfather was an equine veterinarian.
“(My family) put me on a horse at 3 years old and I’ve been riding for the 16 years since,” Moak said.
Students will compete this season to be named the 2020 Y.E.S. Grand Champion – one of many events that will in total draw an estimated 700,000 people to the Stock Show and create $120 million in economic impact.
“It’s huge economic impact for Denver,” said Hassan Salem, Colorado Market President for U.S. Bank.
The National Western Stock Show runs Jan. 11-26. Buy tickets at nationalwestern.com.
Sara Crocker is the communications manager for the Denver Metro Chamber.