With Winter Storm Looming, the Oil City Prepares to Welcome Student-Athletes and Their Families

Tuesday, February 21, 2023—Casper, Wyoming—Each year, Casper has been the host location for eight of Wyoming’s state high school championships and these events deliver an economic impact of approximately $15 million dollars annually throughout the community.  

These events include state marching band, state volleyball, state cheer and dance, state wrestling, state 1A/2A basketball, state 3A/4A basketball, state track and field championships and the state art symposium.

While it seems like these events are just an integral part of Casper, Proud to Host the Best — which is a committee of Casper-area residents who work to support bringing Wyoming High School Athletic Association (WHSSA) championships to Casper — has been diligently and strategically working to ensure Casper remains the host location for these events for more than 20 years.

Proud to Host the Best submits bids to bring these events to town every four years, competing against other communities within Wyoming each time around. Some communities want to host specific championships like state wrestling, or state volleyball, and submit bids for individual events. Each event that comes to Casper brings a substantial influx in profits for businesses throughout the Oil City, from hotels to gas stations and restaurants to retail stores.

Over the years, Proud to Host the Best works with various entities, organizations and businesses — including the City of Casper, the Economic Development Joint Powers Board, The Daniels Fund, The McMurry Foundation, the Natrona County Recreation Board and Visit Casper — to help deliver successful and memory-making events, which in turn helps position Casper to continue to be the location for these events.

In 2022, Proud to Host the Best raised over $225,000 to support state tournaments and events. In addition, numerous local partners that include Qdoba, Rib and Chop House, Johnson Restaurant Group restaurants, Occasions by Cory, The Hangar, Wendy’s, Hat Six Travel Plaza, The Hampton Inn, The Ramkota Hotel, Jersey Mikes, Olive Garden, Best Western Downtown Casper Hotel and many other local eateries raised and donated over $60,000 worth of food to care for athletes, officials, volunteers and staff at each event.

“Enjoying the immense economic impact that stems from these events is only due to the extraordinary generosity and hospitality of our community,” said Justin Farley, Chair for Proud to Host the Best.

The organizations, businesses and restaurants, as well as the individuals who volunteer, continue to see the immense positive impact these events have on our community. State wrestling, which was slated for this weekend, will now bring 1,000 student-athletes to Casper today and tomorrow, as schools throughout Wyoming do their best to beat the incoming winter storm.

“Here in Wyoming, we’re used to tough and ever-changing conditions,” said Luke Gilliam, Administrator for Proud to Host the Best. “And while we’re prepping for what could be over a foot of snow, we’re asking locals and businesses to welcome our student-athletes to Casper with open arms and thank them for being here, while also knowing that we may have out-of-town visitors here for longer than their typical stay. With that in mind, let’s show them why Casper is Proud to Host the Best.”

For more information about Proud to Host the Best, visit proudtohostthebest.com.