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April 16, 2014

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2012 National Finals Rodeo:

Rodeo brings big bucks to Las Vegas — no bull

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Rodeo fans dance during the NFR World Champion Awards Show and After Party at the Mirage Saturday, December 11, 2010.

NFR Entertainment

Rodney Carrington. Launch slideshow »

As the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo rides into Las Vegas, expect to see seven MGM Resorts properties going cowboy.

“From retail outlets to restaurants, nearly every aspect of the MGM Resorts Las Vegas experience is enhanced for those 10 days,” said Phil Cooper, executive director of event marketing and sponsorships for MGM Resorts International.

The MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Aria, Excalibur, Circus Circus and Monte Carlo are official sponsors of NFR through Las Vegas Events.

To varying degrees, each resort will create experiences and special offers around the Western lifestyle to cater to rodeo fans, Cooper said.

“NFR brings tremendous incremental visitation and revenue to MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties each December,” Cooper said. “We know that specific counts of room nights and room revenue can be attributed specifically to NFR-related offers.”

Some of the hottest country music artists and “blue-collar comedy” favorites, including Rodney Carrington and Ron White, are booked at lounges and showrooms at MGM properties, Cooper said.

“For the past seven years, the Mirage has gone so far as to redecorate its race and sports book, making the way for its Rodeo Vegas entertainment stage and dance hall,” Cooper said.

The Mirage will present 10 nights of complimentary live entertainment with a collection of established and up-and-coming artists. They include Miss Willie Brown, Josh Thompson, Craig Morgan, Sam Riddle, Daryle Singletary, Justin McBride and Chris Cagle.

The MGM Grand will host Carrington today through Dec. 15 in the Hollywood Theatre.

Cowboy Bill Martin and the comedy team of O’Brien & Valdez will perform Monday through Dec. 16 at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand.

But there’s more than just music and comedy, Cooper said.

“Both MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay have partnered with retailers such as National Ropers Supply and Group W, respectively, to create massive expo-like shopping experiences,” he said.

The resorts also are making sure their restaurants — especially those near the arena action at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center — can accommodate the crowds looking for something to eat after each night’s competition.

“The buffets, cafes and casual dining outlets nearest the rodeo festivities will add special offers to their menus and also stay open later, where warranted, to cater to the partygoers who continue into the early morning hours,” Cooper said.

MGM Resorts also is getting ready for those looking to get spiffed up in a new hat, boots or shiny belt buckles.

In addition to the NRS Experience and Cowboy Marketplace retail expos, retail outlets throughout the Mirage, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay will feature apparel and accessories from their NFR corporate sponsors and partners. They include Wrangler, Stetson, Roper and custom apparel lines from competitors, such as Trevor Brazile’s Relentless and the Rodeo Vegas line from K.C. Jones.

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