LINCOLN, Mont. — For 70 years, cowboys and cowgirls have traveled to Lincoln to compete, entertain crowds and hopefully cash a check at some point during the weekend. With seven decades of experience, many would likely assume that the rodeo and its partners are pulling in significant revenue from the event, but according to the Lincoln Rodeo Club's Denny Creech, that's not exactly the case.
“If we break even every year, we're happy. We do a couple little scholarships at the school. We do a little charity deal, if we can afford it, and maintenance on this place,” said Creech.
Creech said this year will be his 30th year working on the rodeo as they get set to put on a few more days of fun for Montanans of all walks of life, but he says the rodeo understands that costs associated with travel and entertainment like the rodeo can be a burden for some families, which is why they've set out to make the Lincoln Rodeo affordable for all.
“We've always kept our gate admission at $10 for adults, $5 for like high school kids, five and under free; because we know people coming out of town they have a choice. They're gonna spend a lot of money coming to Lincoln just for the rodeo,” said Creech.
According to data from AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas is approximately $4.97, with a gallon of diesel fuel averaging $5.90 statewide; meaning it will cost visitors a lot more to drive to and from Lincoln for the rodeo. Creech says that's certainly a worry for the rodeo, but they're thankful for everyone who comes out to not only support the rodeo but the town of Lincoln.
"We think about everybody else because we go to Helena and Great Falls too, and what's left?" said Creech regarding costs associated with travel. "There isn't enough money. Everybody's got to really — to budget going here and we appreciate everybody that comes out to the rodeo."
Creech told MTN that the Lincoln Rodeo is the biggest event for the town each year, and they're excited to welcome everyone back to join them on the hillside overlooking the Blackfoot Valley.
"That's kind of unique. That's a big thing for us. The hillside. People love the hillside. You know, it's beautiful up on top of there. And you know the only bad thing is; you run out of beer, you got to come down and get another one. You know, that's the only bad thing, we don't have delivery service," said Creech with a laugh. "It's going to be a great weekend, I'm sure."