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      Ag events saddle up Amarillo economy

      The City of Amarillo recently renewed contracts with three of the biggest agriculture events to come to the Texas Panhandle, ensuring Amarillo's economy will continue to get a boost for the next three years.

      According to Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council Director of Communications Eric Miller, the World Championship Ranch Rodeo, Adequan Select and the Farm and Ranch Show bring a total revenue of about $5 million to Amarillo.

      "That renewal success for Amarillo is unprecedented," Miller said. "It speaks to the quality that we can bring to the table for those show producers."

      Many feared Amarillo would lose the bid for the Adequan Select to Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Las Vegas or another city.

      "To be successful competing with those nationally-recognized destinations- that's a feather in our cap," Miller added.

      Perhaps the attraction to Amarillo is its value, venues and people. It does not hurt to be in the middle of the agriculture belt, as well as one of the nation's largest cattle-producing regions.

      Miller said city officials, the Chamber of Commerce and others are hoping the contract renewals will catch the eyes of other major events.

      "Certainly, with our success, maybe some of the other shows that are out there will start looking at Amarillo and say, 'Hey, look what they did in the last month with these organizations. There's something to Amarillo that we need to investigate."

      Most important of all, Miller said, is the relationship that is built between an event and its venue- and it appears Amarillo has made quite an impression.

      "I think all three of those shows value the idea that maybe they started out as clients, but now they're really friends. And they value those relationships more than anything."