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Rodeo rarin’ to go at Beaver Creek

Matt Zalaznick

But that’s the plan on Beaver Creek Mountain. The rodeo that has been held Thursday nights at Berry Creek, east of Edwards, has lost its home and is moving east to the upscale ski resort.

This summer, the rodeo will be held at the bottom of the mountain in the West Day Lot, a parking area along U.S. Highway 6, said Tony O’Rourke, executive director of the Beaver Creek Resort Company.

Next year, however, the plan is to move the bulls, broncos and mutton-busters up the slopes to Red Tail Camp, O’Rourke said.



“We’re getting our cowboys lined up, we’re getting our stock lined up and we’re ready to roar,” he said.

For years, the rodeo for most residents has been one of the valley’s lingering connections to the Old West. And the first Beaver Creek rodeo, scheduled for June 27, will run every Thursday night until the last Thursday in August. The doors will open at 5 p.m., and the rodeo starts at 6 p.m.



There will not be a rodeo on August 1 so as not to interfere with the much larger Eagle County Rodeo, O’Rourke said.

The rodeo will move up to the mountain in 2003. A patch of land at Red Tail Camp – where Grouse Mountain, Larkspur Bowl and the Birds of Prey downhill course all meet –is being leveled out to prepare for the rodeo, as well as a string of concerts similar to the Hot Summer Nights series in Vail.

“It’s just going to be a gorgeous site,” O’Rourke said. “It’ll be like a natural amphitheater.”



Some homeowners, however, have sounded less than thrilled about horse trailers barreling up Village Road every Thursday evening. One homeowner at a recent Beaver Creek town meeting called the idea “ridiculous.”

“I have a horse and I would never bring it up to Beaver Creek,” said the homeowner, who didn’t want his name used. “They keep talking about reducing traffic and now they want to bring in horse trailers.”

But O’Rourke said the rodeo won’t be a nuisance.

“Red Tail Camp is over a mile from any residential properties,” he said. “It shouldn’t cause any problems whatsoever.”

A site near the Haymeadow beginner’s slope was rejected as a spot for the rodeo after nearby homeowners complained, O’Rourke said.

This summer, rodeo-goers will be able to park in the East Day Lot and catch a shuttle down Highway 6 to the West Day Lot. For Beaver Creek residents and hotel guests, there will be a shuttle that goes from the covered bridge down to the rodeo, O’Rourke said.

Holding the rodeo in the parking lot is good transition between Berry Creek and Beaver Creek Mountain, he said.

I think the west lot is a good intermediate stop,” O’Rourke said. “I think it’s a win-win for everyone, and we’ll still be able to retain the tradition of the Berry Creek rodeo.”

When the rodeo moves up to Red Tail Camp, shuttle buses will take rodeo-goers up Dally Road.

“I think the setting will be the reward for a short bus trip,” O’Rourke said.

Beaver Creek Rodeo this summer:

Dates: Every Thursday at 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., from June 27 to Aug. 29 (except Aug. 1)

Schedule:

Pre-rodeo events 5 p.m.

Rodeo Events 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Grand Entry 6 p.m.

Bareback 6:15 p.m.

Calf Scramble 6:30 p.m.

Team Roping 6:45 p.m.

Mutton Busting 7 p.m.

Barrel Racing 7:15 p.m.

Burro Racing 7:30 p.m.

Bull Riding 7:45 p.m.

(NOTE: The July 4 rodeo is from noon to 3 p.m.)

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.


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