Lazy E Rodeos Proving To Be A Cash Cow For Guthrie

Thursday, July 23rd 2020, 4:37 pm
By: Brian Mueller

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -

While many businesses have closed or reduced operations, the Lazy E Arena has become the rodeo capital of the country since the pandemic started.

It's massive amount of space has made the arena the most attractive venue for competitions.

While businesses are hurting across the country, rodeos have helped Guthrie buck the national trend.

"Some of our restaurants have said they're going to survive because of the influx of dollars from Lazy E visitors," said Guthrie Tourism Director Justin Fortney. 

There have been a lot of them visiting Guthrie lately. This week it's the National High School Finals Rodeo, one of ten events that have been relocated to Lazy E because of coronavirus concerns. 

Lazy E estimates the last two events have wrangled $70 million from visitors, the impact of it felt throughout the state as competitors and their families explore Oklahoma after competitions at the arena.

"For a town like Guthrie that depends on tourism for a lot of revenue, our restaurants and hotels, it's been great to have some of the Lazy-E folks do some shopping here," Fortney said.

Fortney said he can't put an exact number on the economic impact for Guthrie, but step inside a local restaurant, count the cowboy hats, and you get the idea.

"It's brought a lot of business to us. They keep us here to about 2, I mean right up at 2, working," said Ailene Siharath.

Siharath owns Katie's Diner in Guthrie. Like most other businesses, times have been tough, but about two weeks ago, she noticed the rodeos were steering more business her way.

She estimates the rodeo revenue has resulted in an increase of $500 to $600 per day at her restaurant.

"And that's substantial, because we're here seven days a week, so if you spread that out across a couple weeks that they're here, it's substantial for a small business," she said.

With Lazy E Arena booked through the rest of the year, business should continue to be booming in Guthrie.