The ten days Calgary Stampede began on July 7 and is an indicator the city’s economy is now improving. Held every July in Calgary, Alberta, the event attracts over one million visitors a year and features what is billed as one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, stage shows, concerts, and other exhibitions and competitions.
Alberta has seen a downturn after low oil prices led companies to lay off workers. The unemployment rates in the city remain high, with many commercial spaces remaining vacant.
Attendance at the stampede was low last year, due to the weak economy and rainy weather. However, many experts have said things are looking up, and this year is bound to be better.
The economic downturn has cost the city, but the economy is now beginning to turn a corner, Scott Crockett, from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, recently told a media organisation.
Stampede related business have reported having seen an increase in orders and interest recently. For example, the biggest hotel in the city, the Westin Calgary, is already sold out for Calgary Stampede days and its officials said the stampede was undoubtedly doing better this year.
Advertising purchased at an auction for chuckwagon tarps too saw an increase this year with about $2.4 million being raised. While this figure is still lower than the $4 million raised in 2012 when oil prices were much higher, it is still a reason to remain optimistic.
Last year’s Calgary Stampede was marred by rain however ticket price promotions and good weather this year are expected to bring in huge numbers of people to the stampede.