Gillette, Wyoming: Cowboys, Coal and Everything In Between

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It probably sounds a little like someone describing an old western movie: beautiful blue skies stretching in every direction, rolling hills and mountains visible in the distance, long grasses waving gently in the breeze. In fact, it is so idyllic as the sun moves slowly overhead that you can almost hear the clip-clop of horse hooves or you may even catch yourself wondering where that aroma of rawhide is coming from. And while the classic icons of horse hitches on every corner are not exactly accurate anymore, Gillette, Wyo. continues to embody the lifestyle and personality that are a hallmark of The West: open space, relaxed living and plenty of things to do.

One of the most popular events in Gillette throughout the summer months is the rodeo. From May until Labor Day there is some sort of rodeo-related activity going on at the fairgrounds every week. You can actually catch a glimpse of some of the best cowboys and cowgirls from around the country showing off their skills as they compete in team roping, barrel racing, bull riding and plenty of other events.

And Gillette has even more to offer. Each year, Gillette, also known as the Energy Capital of the Nation, hosts the Energy Exposition (http://energyexposition.com/). The event attracts thousands of people who want to immerse themselves in the latest energy production technology that is available and explore the future of the industry. Believe it or not, Gillette is located in the Powder River Basin, which produces more than 140 million tons of coal each year – enough to power all of the households in New York and Texas. Visitors can even schedule a free coal mine tour through the Visitor Center (www.visitgillette-wrightwyo.org) while they are in town so they can get a first-hand account of where energy production begins.

Once you’ve had a chance to visit the mine and the rodeo has wrapped up for the day, make sure you plan a trip outside of town to see Devils Tower or Keyhole State Park. Whether you want to hike, camp, go horseback riding, or just enjoy the scenic drive, you will find yourself getting lost in the incredible views and natural environment that dominates Northeast Wyoming.

No visit to this former frontier region is complete without a stop into Elite Dining’s “Neighborhood Favorite”, Prime Rib Restaurant and Wine Cellar, where they have offered the finest hand-cut U.S.D.A. Choice steaks for over twenty years. Enjoy one of the private dining rooms, the 3500 bottle wine collection or your favorite sporting event in the Blue Martini Lounge.

Daily flights in and out of Gillette make it simple and convenient to enjoy this incredible destination. You can fly directly from Salt Lake City, Utah with Delta Air Lines or Denver, Colo. on United Airlines. Book your tickets today at www.Delta.com or www.United.com — and get ready for an unforgettable experience.