Cheyenne Frontier Days brings in more than 400,000 people each year with an economic impact of close to $40 million to the state. The impact of the cancellation will also be felt here in Colorado as many of the visitors travel through Denver International Airport and make the event part of a vacation.
Tom Hirsig is the CEO & President of the Cheyenne Frontier Days. He said, "It's kind of like a lot of things in this day and age, it does not seem real. Our world just doesn't seem real. You kind of wake up every morning and wonder if this is all a bad dream or is this really happening. It just adds to that feeling... it just does not seem real."
"Our community is going to struggle. Our volunteers are going to struggle with what their purpose is... it's just a feeling that's hard to describe. It's just kind of an empty feeling," Hirsig said.
Hirsig said the final straw in the decision was the "huge volunteer force" of twenty-five hundred. He had to ask if they could be kept safe. "How do you make a parade, a carnival, a beer tent work with social distancing and keep people safe? You can't."
And with 250,000 tickets for night events, that's a lot of people coming into a community of six thousand people. Visitors come to Cheyenne Frontier Days from every state in the U.S. and 31 different countries.
The hope now is to be able to create a tremendous 125th anniversary celebration in 2021.