Its the biggest event of the year in the Santa Maria Valley, the annual Elks Rodeo brings tens of thousands of visitors to the area and the Elks Unocal Event Center many of whom need a place to stay and eat when they’re here.
The Best Western Big America hotel on North Broadway in Santa Maria rolls out the welcome mat every year for Rodeo fans.
“These guys will start coming in on Thursday night and some of them will leave the next day”, says Best Western Big America front desk clerk Jerry Caswell, “some will stay until Monday, so we have a lot of business out of the Rodeo.”
The Boot Barn at the corner of Main and Broadway in the heart of downtown Santa Maria is expecting a surge in sales from Rodeo visitors and local fans alike.
“People ask what’s the best restaurant in town, we’re one of the first one’s out of their mouth, we like that”, says Shaw’s Steakhouse kitchen manager Chad Reynolds about their Santa Maria-style barbeque which is one of the stars of Rodeo week, “we’re going to see a lot of out of town people that we don’t normally see unless they come in for the rodeo, kind of like our rodeo regulars, so we’re anticipating that for sure.”
Local hotels and motels are expected to be full or near full when the annual Elks Rodeo kicks off on Thursday.