WILD RIDE: PBR stars Joe Polkinghorne, David Mason, Guy Ford, Dave Kennedy and Fraser Babbington.
WILD RIDE: PBR stars Joe Polkinghorne, David Mason, Guy Ford, Dave Kennedy and Fraser Babbington. Contributed

PBR to boost Emerald economy

THERE'S only one place to be this Saturday night and that's fastened to the edge of your seat at the Rural Weekly and CQ News Emerald PBR event.

Bulls from the wild west and seasoned riders will go head-to-head and the local economy is set to gain some big bucks.

Central Highlands tourism development officer Peter Grigg said "it's a one-of-a-kind event".

"It's fantastic for us and it will help local business so much," he said.

"People need accommodation, meals, and they will be filling up at servos too. They won't just be from Emerald, people will be coming in across all major roads.

"And they will have time to look around in the area."

Mr Grigg said events like this really spurred a great deal of economic activity in the region at a time when it was greatly needed.

"There are opportunities for money to be made," he said.

He encouraged locals to saddle up for the action too.

"Sometimes people say there isn't a lot to do around here but there certainly is," he said.

"People just need to get away from the TV and the couch."

"Tourism is everybody's business," Mr Grigg said.

The event's catering will be done by Emerald business Crave and owner Jody Haylock was grateful for the business.

"Events like this inject money into the town," Ms Haylock said.

"Things have been a little slower as everybody has to watch their dollars... we are all sharing the hardship."

Jim Lees from Direct Hotels and Apartments, which runs Villas on Rivergum, said they warmly welcomed an increase in bookings for this weekend.

"Events like this are the lifeblood of our business… they are very necessary," Mr Lees said.

With many clients also linked with the mining industry, Mr Lees said "it has been a lot quieter".

The PBR boasts a beefy line-up of events with the unridden Gotcha Rockin and 2014 Troy Dunne Champion Bucking Bull, The Hump, confirmed to be in the Championship Round of the competition.

Event manager Dianne Hallam said "we are very excited to be bringing a PBR event to Emerald".

"It has attracted interest not only from regional Queenslanders but also interstate visitors," she said.


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