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Granite Shoals approves October rodeo in Quarry Park

Todd Fox at Granite Shoals City Council meeting, March 28, 2023

U.S. Junior Steer Wrestling Championship founder Todd Fox gave a presentation to Granite Shoals City Council on Tuesday, March 28, asking if the city would be interested in hosting the 2023 championship at Quarry Park. The council approved the deal later that night. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The U.S. Junior Steer Wrestling Championship will be held in Quarry Park in Granite Shoals on Oct. 8. The Granite Shoals City Council approved the event during its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 28.

The council’s decision came after a lengthy discussion on the terms of the deal with the event’s founder, Todd Fox, who gave a presentation to the council on Tuesday night at City Hall. Fox is a resident of Granite Shoals.

Fox’s team will produce the event, including assembling a temporary arena and grandstands at Quarry Park. The council approved a maximum budget of $40,000 to be pulled from the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax funds for intended improvements to the park and to potentially provide security, fire protection, and emergency services.

Negotiations between the city and Fox will continue leading up to the rodeo. The exact terms of the deal are yet to be determined.

“Thank you very much,” Fox told the council after its unanimous approval. “We’re going to have us a rodeo.”

The Granite Shoals event will be the third for the Junior Steer Wrestling Championship. Fox put on the first championship in 2021 in Wimberley. The 2022 championship was held in Marble Falls. National and state steer wrestling champions participated in the previous events, and Fox said he expects this year to be an even bigger draw.

The championship is expected to be broadcast live on the Cowboy Channel, a network that airs 24-hour content related to rural and western lifestyles. The channel reaches approximately 42 million homes around the world. Last year’s championship was also aired on the channel.

“We’ve got such a great facility here at Quarry Park. I think the more things we can do to highlight that, the better it’s going to be for the whole city,” Mayor Pro-tem Ron Munos said. “I’d like to showcase it and figure out a way to monetize it.”

While all members of the council expressed interest and approval of the event, questions were raised regarding the cost to the city.

Granite Shoals is looking at installing windscreens in the park to improve the view and close the area so non-paying visitors can’t walk in. The city may also provide security, fire protection, and emergency services support.

City Attorney Joshua Katz made the preliminary determination that costs associated with the rodeo could be covered by the Hotel Occupancy Tax fund, which is set aside for fostering tourism and hospitality in the city. This would likely include the windscreen improvements and the ability to pay city employees working the event.

“I’ll have to look at this a little further, but it does look like you could use HOT tax money for police overtime, fire protection, and EMS protection,” Katz said.

Councilor Samantha Ortis moved to approve the event with a $40,000 budget from the HOT fund. The motion was seconded by Councilor Phil Ort, which led to unanimous approval from the council. Any amount over $40,000 will have to be brought before the council for further approval.