Last year, the Livestock Show and Rodeo attracted 2.5 million visitors over its three week run and had an indirect economic impact of nearly $500 million on the Houston area. It begins again on Tuesday and runs through March 23rd. Longtime show Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Leroy Schafer says they need every one of those days to get things done. He was a guest on Houston Matters.
"We're a livestock show first and it takes at least 20 days for us to get the commercial exhibitors in here, those are the professional ranchers who have the purebred cattle that come in from all over the United States. Then we have two weeks of junior shows, when those 4-H and FFA kids come in. It just takes that much time to get it all in."
Jorge Franz is with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau and says the Livestock Show and Rodeo is a magnet for people who don't live in Houston.
"You see about 688,000 people that come from outside of Houston to go see the rodeo. For us, that's amazing business because that impacts the hospitality industry. The latest research shows that 317,000 room night are generated by visitors when they come to Houston, so that's music to our ears."
The rodeo will give out more than $12 million in scholarships this year.
Previewing the 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo