The most talented cowboys in the country are returning to Las Vegas in two weeks and this time they’re going to make a lot more money at the National Finals Rodeo.

Under a 10-year deal that starts this year, Las Vegas Events will be doling out $10 million in prize money to the 120 cowboys competing in seven categories at NFR, considered the Super Bowl of rodeo events and sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

As I touched down in Tacloban for what felt like the nth time this past month, and travelled through its main streets, I was newly struck by how unremarkable it all looks today compared to the total devastation of three years ago. Most buildings and roads have been repaired, the sidewalks are bustling with urban activity, and business is booming, if one judges by the new establishments that have popped up on almost every corner. The city, it would appear, has gotten back on its feet.


Yet, just outside downtown Tacloban, in the coastal villages that suffered the most from the deadly storm surges that Typhoon Haiyan triggered, thousands of displaced families are still in limbo, waiting to know whether they can be relocated to safer areas or if they should carry on as they are, barely making a living in these ‘danger zones’.


the National Retail Federation (NFR)’s online arm. The Cyber Monday was push to encourage people who missed the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales events as well as when people returned to offices where they had high-speed Internet connections. Since then, the sudden boom of mobile smartphones and other WiFi-equipped handheld devices has given consumers perpetual Internet access and now the Cyber Monday is being used by retailers to offer deals to shoppers.

Since Typhoon Haiyan decimated Tacloban’s coastal villages, the city government has classified all areas located less than 40 meters from the coast as ‘danger zones’ because they are prone to flooding and deadly storm surges.

That’s a big jump from the $6.375 million the contestants split during the 10-day finals in 2014, when tens of thousands of western/country culture enthusiasts and rodeo fans visited Las Vegas and spent $74.5 million on nongambling items such as hotel rooms and food.

Las Vegas Events, the event promotional arm of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), pumped up the prize money to keep the NFR in Las Vegas and to deter the PRCA from moving it to either the Orlando area or Texas.

With the new Las Vegas Events-PRCA deal kicking in this year, Las Vegas Events will go from making about $1 million on the rodeo to losing about $2 million a year. But the LVCVA will make up the loss to Las Vegas Events, said Pat Christen

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