March 12, 2005
The ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen April 9, albeit with fewer employees and hours of operation after closing in January to reorganize financially.
The hall, part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, or PRCA, complex off Interstate 25 at Rockrimmon Boulevard, attracts 30,000 to 50,000 visitors a year. Admission will be free for the reopening weekend, and eight-time world champion bull rider and Hall of Fame member Donnie Gay will make an appearance at one of several planned events. Thereafter, ticket prices will remain $6 for adults and $3 for children, though officials said they will announce in early April a discount pricing plan for residents and military personnel. The hall closed and staff was laid off abruptly in January. In its 2003 report to the Internal Revenue Service, the nonprofit organization reported a loss of $244,471. “Through support from various private donors and corporate support, we are very excited to reopen the ProRodeo Hall of Fame,” Troy Ellerman, PRCA commissioner, said in a statement. “We have spent the last few months reviewing the hall’s operations and have developed our plan for the future.” Ellerman was chairman of the board of PRCA, but he left that position in December to become commissioner of the organization after Steve Hatchell departed to become president of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Previously open daily, the hall now will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jason Adams, director of community relations and vice president for economic development and administration, said not all the staff will return. “We’re all at a stage where we have to be a little more lean and mean,” Adams said. According to the IRS filing, the hall brought in $139,720 in ticket sales and made a profit of $110,203 on gift shop sales. Adams, who joined the organization in February, was a professional rodeo cowboy and former wrestling and football coach at Douglas County High School. He said one focus will be on fund raising. The rival Pro Bull Riders contributed $50,000 in January to help the hall reopen. “People want to do what they can to help preserve the heritage and culture of rodeo,” Adams said. “The people who supported us were great. But we’ve never asked anybody for help beyond that.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0250 or email@example.com