The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is most known for its livestock, auctions and rodeo competitions. Vendors also travel from all over the country to sell their goods. But they say there’s a new cash–cow this year: flashier clothes, equipment and accessories.
“It’s nice to come in here and see something a little bit new, a little different and we’re definitely seeing that this year with the bling,” said Brian Maliske, General Manager of Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
“That is very much the theme. When I went to market it was all about glitz,” said Susan Schale, a jewelry vendor.
Even hat vendors were able to add a little pizzazz to a Midwestern classic.
“We had a lot of requests last year for some new styles of hats and some new and different colors,” said hat vendor Curtis Mortensen. “We’ve been able to do that and get some new, fresh, fun, exciting styles.”
Vendors say shoppers are more eager to spend money this year because the price of commodities such as wheat and corn is on the rise. Loren Cuny a trailer vendor says that’s “because the fact is the cattle market is a big influence to that.”
It’s an influence that’s translating into an increase in foot traffic and revenue.
“I’m just way up from last and we really feel like the weather has made the difference,” Schale said.
So vendors are hoping the sun comes out for the remainder of the stock show along with more shoppers.
Maliske says he anticipates the stock show and rodeo will generate close to $45 million. In previous years, the event brought between $35-40 million to the Black Hills economy.