Round-Up financial report shows expanding enterprise

William Jons of Hermiston rides into the arena carrying the U.S. flag during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Pendleton Round-Up.

The Pendleton Round-Up Association has been trumpeting that 2017 was one of its best years. Last week it officially released the numbers to back it up.

The Round-Up released its financial statement for the fiscal year — Nov. 1, 2016 to Oct. 31, 2017 — at its Feb. 27 stockholder’s meeting. The statement shows the nonprofit rodeo organization in a good financial standing going into 2018.

• After tallying all the revenue and expenses, the Round-Up made $295,846 in 2017. Although the rodeo show itself lost $311,585, other sources of revenue like royalties and trademarks, the Professional Bull Riders event and the kick-off concert helped the association turn a profit.

• The $1.1 million in revenue the Round-Up brought in last year from ticket revenue surpassed the previous high water mark in 2010. While the centennial still sets the record for overall attendance across all four days, Round-Up Office Director Jason Graybeal said the Saturday 2017 rodeo was the best attended day in Round-Up history.

• Tickets produced $889,046 in net income, the highest revenue generator for the Round-Up, closely followed by $876,365 in net income from royalties and trademarks. Graybeal said “99 percent” of royalty and trademark revenue came from Pendleton Whisky.

The financial report gives the Round-Up some positive news after a turbulent end to 2017.

Following a few year’s worth of delayed financial reports and other complaints, a contingent of stockholders nearly rejected the Round-Up Board of Directors’ pick for president at an unusually raucous meeting in November. The board’s choice for president, Dave O’Neill, ended up narrowly ascending to the position, but directors assured stockholders that changes were coming.

The directors said that turnover in the Round-Up’s accounting department was the reason that financial statements for 2015 and 2016 weren’t released until November 2017.

In a Thursday interview, Graybeal said the board wanted to make sure the budget numbers were properly reviewed before they were put in front of stockholders.

“The stockholders have a right to an accurate position,” he said.

According to Graybeal, the Round-Up altered the way it presented its financial statement to make it more informative and streamlined.

“They’re cleaner, more accurate,” he said. “Without a more accurate picture, you don’t know where you are.”

Expenses and revenues are now aligned under the same budget category and the net revenue is included with gross revenue figures.

The Round-Up’s financial statement also reflected the association’s continued interest in expansion.

The Round-Up spent nearly $500,000 on purchases in 2017, including the Frontier Tavern property and a couple of residential properties.

Graybeal said that figure also included a $25,000 “good faith” payment to the prior owners of the Albertsons property before the deal closed in January.

The final sales figure remains unknown. Both sides declined to reveal the purchase price and it is not included in Umatilla County records.

Graybeal said the purchase price won’t be revealed in the 2018 financial statement either because the property will be transferred to Round-Up Holdings LLC, a holding company that owns most of the association’s property.

He said the Round-Up’s financial committee is considering the cost of developing the Albertsons property, ranging from full renovation to demolition.

Back in the Round-Up arena, Graybeal said the organization is on track to pay back its loan on the western grandstands by May 2019, about 18 months early. Once done, the association will have nearly $1 million extra to spend per year.

While the association looks to expand outward, Graybeal said the Round-Up doesn’t have big plans to alter the arena. The Round-Up could look to expand the 1910 Room and the Double D Bar, sections that replaced the eastern grandstands. Each section generated about $30,000 in profit last year and have proven popular with attendees.


Contact Antonio Sierra at or 541-966-0836.

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