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National Western Stock Show: Cattle Q&A with Paul Andrews

Progressive Cattleman Editor David Cooper Published on 22 December 2017
Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews is president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Colorado’s largest Western trade show, and the most prominent livestock show in the country.

Dating back to the first stock show in 1906, NWSS has evolved into a 16-day event held every January, attracting more than 650,000 visitors each year.

More recently, NWSS partnered with the Western Stock Show Association, the city and county of Denver, Colorado State University, the Museum of Nature and Science, and History Colorado to rebuild NWSS’s aging facilities and re-imagine the campus for the next 100 years.

Progressive Cattleman’s David Cooper asked Andrews a few questions regarding the renovation and how long construction will last.

Q. Why was it important to preserve this specific site and its history with the stock show?

A. ANDREWS: It is important for the rich history and tradition this area represents in hosting the “Super Bowl” of livestock shows and honoring our Western heritage since 1906. It was also the desire of Denver voters who passed ballot measure 2C allowing the funding of the National Western Center.

Q. What will long-time attendees of the NWSS expect to see that is new about the stock show experience when the project is complete?

A. ANDREWS: The National Western Stock Show experience for the consumer and exhibitor will be significantly improved once the master plan is complete. We will have world-class facilities for our livestock show, world-class facilities for our horse shows and rodeos, and the site itself will allow consumers a chance to experience agriculture education exhibits like never before.

The ease of walking the site and having a great experience along the way will be part of the fun of the NWSS once the site plan is complete.

Q. Will there be new facilities in the yards?

A. ANDREWS: Yes. The yards themselves will be brand-new and expanded to allow for growth of our yards show. We will also have a new structure in the center of the yards that will be used for auctions with increased seating capacity and amenities for the public to enjoy.

Q. What are the plans for the historic 1909 arena?

A. ANDREWS: Currently, a feasibility study is underway to test the business plan to make it into an open air market, featuring Colorado products from across the state. The outside of the building will be renovated and put back to its original luster. We would also like to keep a portion of the arena open to parade through the Grand Champions of each species as they are crowned in January.

Q. How would you describe the local support for this project, and what it might say about preserving Denver’s agricultural heritage?

A. ANDREWS: The local support has been tremendous starting with all our neighbors in Elyria, Swansea and Globeville. We have been working with them over the past five years on a monthly basis so we better understand their needs and how those fit into the master plan. All of Denver has been very supportive from the business community to the residents that passed ballot measure 2C that allowed funding for the project.

We could not be more appreciative of the community, business leadership and our equity and programming partners on the project, led by Mayor Michael Hancock and his staff, Colorado State University and their great leadership, as well as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and History Colorado.

Q. Will construction last an entire 10 years? Or will it be on a shorter timeline for National Western attendees?

A. ANDREWS: Construction is being planned as to minimize aggravation for stock show attendees and keep the event going without hesitation each year. We are confident that the experience across our grounds will continue to be an exciting one as consumers watch the redevelopment of the site each year.

As far as length of time to complete the project, it is impossible to provide a firm answer as of today, due to many factors that need to be explored in the near future. We are confident that it will be built in a responsible way that provides Colorado with facilities that will be celebrated by the world as the site becomes the “Global destination for agricultural heritage and innovation.”  end mark

PHOTO: Paul Andrews, president and CEO, National Western Stock Show. Courtesy photo.

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