The sports tourism effort has taken a major step forward this week with the announcement that Gillette will be the new home of the Cowboy State Games.
The games are part of the National Congress of State Games, Olympic-style events in which athletes compete for the opportunity to compete in the bi-annual national tournament.
The first event, a pickleball, darts, and indoor softball tournament, has already been scheduled for the end of January. Getting the Cowboy State Games was a group effort by the Campbell County Convention and Visitors Bureau and TBH Athletics.
“The combined application of Campbell County Convention and Visitors Bureau and TBH Athletics demonstrated overwhelming support by community organizations that will work together to strengthen and ultimately grow future participation in the Cowboy State Games,” said National Congress of State Games President Eric Engelbarts, in a press release.
The Cowboy State Games were started in 1986 in Cheyenne and were hosted in Gillette in 1991 and 1992.
Planning is still in the early stages, according to CCCVB Sales and Event Coordinator Christen Burdette, but the goal is to have two major multi-sport events per year as well as additional events throughout the remainder of the year.
“We are thrilled with the outpouring of community support to bring the games back to Gillette and showcasing our incredible facilities,” Burdette said in a press release. “Gillette is a community that comes together like no other and having the opportunity to host such a prestigious event is a challenge that I know they will knock out of the park.”
For the last three years the Cowboy State Games has been house in Casper.