To the Editor:

In response to the letter, “Why was the road closed” in the March 7, 2020, edition, author Don Jones questioned the safety of traffic control decisions surrounding the recent Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo weekend. 

While we thank Mr. Jones for his concern, we want him and others to know that it actually was concern for the safety of participants and the public that resulted in the event’s traffic control patterns. 

The Winnemucca Convention & Visitors Authority (WCVA) and Agricultural District #3 are happy to report that the Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo events drew a record number of attendees, generating a sizeable economic impact for the community of Winnemucca.  

The RHR weekend is the second largest event held on the facility each year. With the large number of spectators, participants and vendors—many pulling trailers up to 40 feet long—we found it necessary to control traffic for many important reasons. 

It does not take long for several pickup trucks pulling long livestock trailers to block roadways, parking spaces, building access and fire lanes. By controlling access to various parts of the facility, we were able to maintain order in the parking lots and keep roadways open for emergency vehicles. 

We even hired attendants to be on duty on the major gates, to control access and to be available, in case of emergency, to open up gates and direct traffic. Due to our control of the parking lots, access by emergency vehicles was not a problem. We actually had an ambulance on standby during both days of the rodeo, and were visited by the sheriff’s department, city police and city fire throughout the five-day event. 

Additionally, a letter was sent to the City of Winnemucca in early February advising officials of the street closure during the event. 

We appreciate Mr. Jones’ prior service on the rodeo board; however, events on the Winnemucca Events Complex are much larger now than in the past and this type of traffic control is necessary for the safety of all.

Kim Petersen

Director Winnemucca Convention & Visitors Authority