The Bucking Horse Stampede down Joseph’s Main Street kicks off the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo week, when Joseph’s population grows significantly and businesses prepare for the influx of visitors. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
Businesses see increase in revenue during busy week
JOSEPH — The line of traffic into Wallowa County started last weekend, evidence that the thousands who come for the 69th annual Chief Joseph Days Rodeo are making their way toward Joseph.
According to a report compiled by Silje Christoffersen, 2011 Chief Joseph Days Court queen, approximately 15,000 visitors swell the population of the Wallowa Upper Valley the week of the rodeo.
Visitors’ Association reports that the average person stays three days and spends $316. This one week alone contributes one-fifth of the county’s tourism. The event kicked off Tuesday with the Bucking Horse Stampede down Main Street in Joseph and wraps up Sunday with a Cowboy Church Service at the Harley Tucker Memorial Arena.
Troy Berglund, owner of Mt. Joseph Family Foods, said when he moved to Joseph from Pomeroy, Wash., he was asked to sponsor the saddle bronc event.
“It was more than my entire budget in Pomeroy for community events,” he said.
He agreed to have his store’s name promoted four nights in a row in front of almost 20,000 people.
“I have not blinked writing that sponsorship check since,” Berglund said.
For the full story, see Wednesday's issue of The Observer