National Western Stock Show wraps up with near record attendance

DENVER -- As snow pounded the Denver metro area on Sunday, thousands traded in their snow boots for cowboy boots, filing into the National Western Stock Show.

Organizers say more than 700,000 people visited the show over 16 days.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” stock show president Paul Andrews said. “For only the second time in our history, we’re going over 700,000 attendees. This will end the second-highest of all time once we shake the numbers out.”

Last year’s show saw about 685,000 visitors.

Sunday’s snow didn’t scare thousands from taking advantage of guest appreciation day.

“We’re from Colorado so you learn how to take your time in it and drive and be safe,” Mike Hanson said. “It wasn’t going to stop us from coming today, that’s for sure.”

Organizers will spend the next few months planning for next year. One major change for 2019 will be more parking.

“We’re rebuilding the National Western Center project, so next year you’re going to have a whole lot more parking,” Andrews said. “We’re going to have a lot of the buildings torn down around us, so you’ll be able to park in those areas next year so people will have an even better experience.”