Summer time often seems sort of low key in Laramie. That’s true of most college towns, of course. Even the influx of vacationers headed for outdoor adventures don’t fill the gap left when most students are gone for the summer.
But that isn’t true of early July when the Jubilee Days Rodeo and all the related activities attract more visitors as well as residents. That’s good for Laramie businesses and they tend to do a good job on capitalizing on this opportunity.
The rodeo events are the main attraction. And all of the volunteers involved in making it a quality series of performances should be complimented. Even those who don’t know a lot about rodeo events can enjoy the skills shown by the cowboys and cowgirls. And nobody can resist mutton busting where kids do their best to stay on running sheep.
The rodeo events are part of our Western heritage and offer a great spectacle of skill and courage. Unlike many sports, few spectators have any desire to try their hand at events such as bull riding or barrel racing.
But Jubilee Days has more to offer to break up the summer than the rodeo performances. And a lot of the secondary events are tied to downtown Laramie. That’s as it should be, even though some business owners in the past have grumbled about the inconvenience of closed streets, street dances, parades and the carnival.
We are glad that proposals to move those activities out of the downtown area were overruled by the Jubilee Board of Directors in past years. Those activities belong downtown and are a benefit for stores, restaurants and bars in that area.
Some residents don’t venture downtown enough to realize what Laramie has to offer. That’s why events such as Jubilee Days and the Downtown Laramie Farmer’s Market have a value far greater than the actual business generated on the day of the event. Jubilee Days might not translate into increased sales during the event proper, but it gives more people a better idea of what downtown has to offer — and will hopefully make them think twice about going out of town for future shopping.
But there is another aspect of the influx of new customers to Laramie businesses that is worth considering. This is an opportunity for Laramie to shine for visitors as well as newer residents.
Many of these folks will base their opinion of Laramie on the hospitality and customer service they receive at hotels, restaurants, bars and stores. If they are treated well and staff are cooperative and friendly, there is much more chance those customers will return at another time.
The same goes for the rest of us. Sometimes the smallest gesture can go a long way, whether it’s simply helping with directions or striking up a casual conversation. And in the case of tourists, many of their friends and relatives will base their opinions of Laramie on what they are told. That all makes a difference when people are deciding where to visit or just where to stop when traveling.
Jubilee Days offers a great chance for Laramie to put its best foot forward.