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Flathead Rodeo viewing showcases KwaTaqNuk's capabilities

By Lailani Upham

POLSON — It’s more than gaming.

Indian National Finals Rodeo announcer Ray Champ leads the night as M.C. A delectable buffet of prime rib, salmon, potatoes, salad and rolls made the rounds to the tables of guests. (Lailani Upham photo)Indian National Finals Rodeo announcer Ray Champ leads the night as M.C. A delectable buffet of prime rib, salmon, potatoes, salad and rolls made the rounds to the tables of guests. (Lailani Upham photo)

This past weekend the Best Western KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino hosted a first time Flathead Rodeo Viewing Party recap and relive the excitement for those who may have not had a chance to go to the award-winning rodeo.

The Indian National Finals Rodeo crowned the Flathead River Rodeo as the INFR Tour Rodeo of the Year for 2013 – and it took the bragging rights last year as well.

Guests received a bottle of KwaTaqNuk’s choice of Riesling wine from the Mission Mountain Winery with a Player’s Club keychain and a Flathead River Rodeo vest. (Lailani Upham photo)Guests received a bottle of KwaTaqNuk’s choice of Riesling wine from the Mission Mountain Winery with a Player’s Club keychain and a Flathead River Rodeo vest. (Lailani Upham photo)

The viewing party was the first of it’s kind – a sports viewing with a full-course gourmet dinner and live music.

The focus was not to only “show” the summer’s biggest rodeo event on the Flathead Reservation, but to exhibit the capabilities of what KwaTaqNuk has to offer to the community.

“I feel it was a success. This is the first time we used this concept here,” stated Pete White, Salish and Kootenai Gaming Chief Marketing Officer.

David Whitmoyer (a.k.a Danger Dave) of Helena skyped in live to the Flathead River Rodeo showing Friday night to say hi and give kudos to sponsors and fans on jumpstarting his Professional Rodeo Entertainer career at the Flathead River INFR Rodeo. (Lailani Upham photo)David Whitmoyer (a.k.a Danger Dave) of Helena skyped in live to the Flathead River Rodeo showing Friday night to say hi and give kudos to sponsors and fans on jumpstarting his Professional Rodeo Entertainer career at the Flathead River INFR Rodeo. (Lailani Upham photo)

The idea was to bring to light what the KwaTaqNuk Resort can offer the people of the community and businesses in entertainment in all aspects of resort attractions.

White says S and K Gaming wanted to display the new audio/visual capabilities of the resort of the rodeo action on three projector screens.

More events will be offered in near future with the projector screens and more at the upcoming Superbowl party on February 2.

Dooms Productions captured the rodeo action for the first time this year and was aired on the Horse Racing Television Network this past fall. White says it was rated the number one show by DISH on HRTN.

Steph Gillian, with her husband, Ross, is the grand winner of the three-day and two-night stay at the 2014 Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Gillian says it will be her time attending the Vegas INFR. (Lailani Upham photo)Steph Gillian, with her husband, Ross, is the grand winner of the three-day and two-night stay at the 2014 Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Gillian says it will be her time attending the Vegas INFR. (Lailani Upham photo)

Live bluegrass, western swing and contemporary country music by western Montana band Sho Down got handful of guests burning their calories to some high energy, fun beats and swings.

Chef Dave Bournstein is a big hit at the catering menu, says White.

“He does outstanding work. He makes his own menu and it is phenomenal.”

Ten sets of 2014 Flathead River Rodeo weekend tickets were given out as door prizes and one grand prize of entrance and hotel stay for two nights at the 2014 INFR in Las Vegas.

Guests lined up and dished out on each side of the banquet room. (Lailani Upham photo)Guests lined up and dished out on each side of the banquet room. (Lailani Upham photo)

The Flathead River Rodeo INFR action is available on DVD. For copies contact Pete White at (406) 883-3636, ext. 460.

Sponsors for the 2013 FRR were: CSKT Tribal Council, S and K Gaming, Pistol Creek, Polson Fairgrounds Inc., M3 Technologies, Inc., Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Gray Wolf Peak Casino, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Glacier Bank, S and K Technologies, 106.3 The Bear, Missoulian, Luxor Las Vegas, Cadillac Jack, Pepsi, Summit Beverage, Midway Rental, and Rocket Gaming Systems.

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