Golden viewing opportunity

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The Gold Buckle Experience, seen in the upper right corner of the image, offers a great viewing platform for patrons who wish to have that type of atmosphere during this year's Rooftop Rodeo.

Rooftop Rodeo offers patrons the chance at a Gold Buckle Experience

ESTES PARK, Colo. – The most honored prize in rodeo is a world champion’s gold buckle. It’s the wearable trophy the epitomizes many hours of hard work, tens of thousands of miles driven and excellence in the arena in a given year.

It’s a celebration, too, which is one of the reasons behind the newly dubbed Gold Buckle Experience at this year’s Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Monday, July 8-Saturday, July 13, at Granny May Arena in Estes Park inside the Estes Park Fairgrounds.

This is the reincarnation of the VIP Experience for the annual rodeo, with a jazzed-up name to go along with the type of offerings available to those that wish to be part of it.

“The Gold Buckle Experience is going to allow people and our VIPs to enjoy our rodeo in a special way” said Mark Purdy, chairman of Estes Park Western Heritage Inc., a group of volunteers that works with the town of Estes Park to produce the annual rodeo.

“The town of Estes Park really opened up something great for our rodeo with the additions they did last year, and it’s going to be the same type of atmosphere with a great name.”

The Gold Buckle Experience allows patrons a tour of the rodeo grounds before the show, access to the exclusive VIP patio at the west gate, dinner in the hospitality area, drinks and the opportunity to utilize the padded seats in the grandstands.

“We sell our Gold Buckle Experience tickets at $100 apiece, and those people will have a permanent host for the evening,” said Rob Hinkle, the community services director for the town of Estes Park. “This year in the Gold Buckle area, we have a stage that we will be able to convert into an elevated viewing area with its own bar.

“By doing this, it allows us to put this really nice viewing platform in position, which we hope will enhance the experience for those patrons.”

Over the years, Rooftop Rodeo has been recognized as one of the premier stops in rodeo. Much of it has to do with the picturesque setting of Estes Park, but it also has to do with the hospitality provided and the nature of the competition. Cowboys and cowgirls have marveled at the fans who make their Rooftop Rodeo experience even better.

That’s why the event has been named Rodeo of the Year six time.

“What we love about our rodeo is that it’s the highest altitude of any rodeo in the country, and it offers a beautiful setting,” Purdy said. “This community welcomes our visitors, and that hospitality rings true to the cowboys and cowgirls that come to our town to compete.”


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