- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The Laramie economy has benefited from a resurgent University of Wyoming football team, business owners and community leaders said.

The Wyoming football team surged to an 8-4 record this fall, including a 6-1 record on its home field. The football program last had a winning record in 2011.

Saturday night, Wyoming hosted the Mountain West Conference Championship game, losing to San Diego State 27-24. It was the first postseason game held in the 67-year-old War Memorial Stadium.

Casey Campbell, owner of the Brown & Gold Outlet store, said fall sales this year could be the best in the store’s history, which goes back about 20 years.

“We’re selling a lot of Cowboys stuff now,” Campbell told the Laramie Boomerang (https://bit.ly/2g2B7zP ).

The Hilton Garden Inn, which sits just to the east of War Memorial Stadium, was booked full this past weekend, said Mark Pearce, director of sales and marketing.

When Cowboys football struggles, Pearce said his business doesn’t do as well. But this year, he said the Hilton filled its rooms for all seven home games.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “If we could have this kind of season every year, it’d be great.”

Gary Crum, president of Western States Bank in Laramie, said the economic boost combined with the jubilation that comes with a winning UW team work in tandem.

“The economic development Wyoming football creates and that good feeling that’s in town and around the state makes people want to do more business,” Crum, a UW alumnus and former football player, said. “Our bank - frankly, just a small part of the community - sees remarkable growth on weekends when Wyoming plays a football game, and especially when it wins a football game.”

With UW struggling through a $41 million reduction in its budget, Crum said the success of UW athletics should be felt all across campus.

“Whether it’s the English department, engineering, business or education - whatever you want to say - they’re all going to benefit because we’ve had a good football program,” he said.


Information from: Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com

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