CHEYENNE – Standing on the roof of the new Cheyenne Frontier Days headquarters building at Frontier Park, activity related to the 123rd annual “Daddy of ’em All” bustles down below.
From the rooftop, spectators can see the cowboys and cowgirls competing for the famous belt buckles and prize money.
This is a new view for spectators this year, as the new headquarters and event center building was finished in an 11-month time frame between last year’s rodeo and the present. The building stands right next to the arena, just inside the main gate, whereas the previous headquarters was tucked away by the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum.
People couldn’t even see the arena from the old headquarters, Cheyenne Frontier Days General Chairman Jimmy Dean Siler said.
“When we built that place over there, we had about 300 to 400 volunteers; now we’re up to about 3,000. So that was one of the reasons we needed a new headquarters area,” Siler said, adding, “We wanted to also have a place for year-round meetings for our volunteers ... we plan for this (event) all year round.”
Frontier Days is the second-largest tourism revenue source in the state behind Yellowstone National Park – and that’s federally owned, Siler said.
The rodeo’s leaders wanted to do something that also benefits the city, and this building serves as an event center that can cater to the community.
CFD didn’t receive any tax money or major donations to cover the cost of the new facility. The $7 million required to build the new space came primarily from the organization itself.
The idea to build a new headquarters building first arose around 15 years ago, Siler said. The rodeo was expanding, and volunteers, staff and others needed a bigger building. About three to four years ago, CFD started drawing up the plans for the new facility.
The headquarters is now 33,000 square feet of livable space, Siler said, with plenty of room to grow built inside the building’s layout.
Walking through the facility, it’s a mix of western-themed decor within a modern industrial-style building. People are still setting up their new office spaces, and the final touches are being added – such as paint touch-up and TV installation – before the “Daddy of ’em All” officially kicks off Friday.
The CFD headquarters office space also includes rooms sitting empty and available future storage needs or expansion.
The main floor of the building is about 13,000 square feet, and during the rodeo will serve as an area for sponsors, who previously had a tent by the sidelines of the rodeo arena. In the new building, the main-floor room has two bars, a warming kitchen, plenty of seating and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
When it’s not rodeo season, the main floor can be rented out for other events by businesses or individuals. The room can be split up into three different sizes to meet a variety of needs.
“It’s also a place where our volunteers can hold their meetings year-round,” Siler said. “It’s a space that was set up to bring in additional income through Cheyenne because our volunteers are constantly saying we need to do something to keep Frontier Days more than just 10 days.”
The space was also designed with hotels in mind. Some hotels downtown don’t have an event center space, and Frontier Days doesn’t have a hotel, Siler said, so hopefully the space can help bring the two entities together.
There isn’t a set price yet for space rentals, but CFD has already gotten inquiries from several businesses.
But the main floor isn’t the only area where there are venue opportunities for the community.
On the third floor of the new headquarters, there is a rooftop bar. Standing out on the roof, spectators have a perfect view of the rodeo competitors below.
During Frontier Days, people can buy a ticket to get access to the rooftop. During the rodeo, tickets sell for $55 apiece, and children are allowed. For the night shows, tickets run $100 apiece, except for the Post Malone concert, where tickets are $200 and admittance is only for those 21 or older.
“It’s a paid venue now, and it can be rented out during the year,” Siler said. “We’ll sell 65 tickets this year. We can probably fit about 115 up here, but we need to start out small and learn. We’ve never done this before.”
Cheyenne Frontier Days now has a liquor license, so they’ll be able to sell liquor at the bars in the new facility and also provide liquor for anyone who wants to rent out a venue.
Under the three levels, there’s also what’s called The Chute. It’s a private lounge area for CFD chairmen. The area will serve as a place for private parties, any visiting rodeo committees or other special events.
With the new building actualized, Siler said he would like people to know its available for rentals. The pricing will be posted on CFD’s website in the near future, and there will be events there throughout the year.
“I like to tell everybody I could envision it, I was a part of this team that helped put it up and stuff – but I had no idea,” Siler said. “It took me by surprise.”