Across its rolling plains, mountain ranges, National Parks, and amidst its iconic rodeos and ranches, Wyoming is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Up in the northeast of the state, Campbell County is home to an impressive allotment of attractions – fresh local cuisine, museums, historic downtowns, and an array of sports arenas. The Campbell County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a county-wide tourism organization continually working to bring this destination to the next level. Of that county, the organization markets the charming towns of Gillette and Wright.
In recent years, the organization has been increasing their focus on sports tourism, ensuring visitors have the best possible experience during their sporting event. Thanks to their adventurous spirit, the Campbell County CVB is bringing in new facilities, sports, and tournaments to their area. “The city and county continue to build new places to play and bring in new sports. The great thing about this county is we are open to trying just about anything. If anyone wants to bring in something here, we will make it work,” Jessica Seders, Executive Director at Campbell County CVB says.
Things to Do
For history buffs, the Campbell County Rockpile Museum offers an inside look into local Wyoming history. For antique cars and all things Americana, check out the Frontier Auto Museum. Curated by one local Wyoming family for decades, this is a private classic car collection like no other. The museum features a drive-in movie theater and a store offering snacks and drinks. “It’s one of the most incredible collections,” Seders says.
The Energy Capital Sports Complex is equipped with 4 215′ softball/baseball fields with bullpens and 4 batting cages with electricity. The complex also features a mist station, outdoor lights, a state-of-the-art playground, and concessions. Also known as the “Field of Dreams”, this spacious venue is a premier spot for hosting tournaments and games, with 28,000 square feet of protected spectator seating and plaza viewing for additional fans. The fields are located near the Cam-Plex event facility as well as several hotels and local restaurants.
Gillette is home to CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities, where a large majority of the county’s events are held. CAM-PLEX is the cowboy state’s premier multi-use facility. The space encompasses over 1,000 acres of land and features a fine arts theater, a convention/exhibit hall, two multi-purpose pavilions, a racetrack, rodeo grounds, five campgrounds and a 21-acre park and picnic area. Thanks to its top-notch customer service and flexibility, the event options at CAM-PLEX are endless. Whether you are organizing a conference, trade show, theater performance, livestock show, or rodeo, CAM-PLEX has you covered.
The Campbell County Recreation Center is a whopping 189,000 square feet, featuring 3 basketball courts, volleyball, 4 racquetball courts, a free weight area and a cardio and Cybex weight area. The Field House offers a 200m indoor track and 5 tennis courts that can also be used for indoor soccer. On the second floor, a second walking track is available. Inside, a Devils Tower replica climbing tower marks the entrance. Guests can also enjoy hot tubs, a leisure and lap pool, 2 water slides, a lazy river, tanning beds, locker Rooms, sauna and steam rooms, concessions and party and meeting Rooms. This space truly has it all, serving as an intersection between competitive sports and recreation.
The largest event currently in the works for Gillette is the International Pathfinder Camporee, set to bring 60,000 people to Gillette for a week in August 2024. “This is the biggest thing we have ever done,” Seders says. Hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the International Pathfinder Camporee is held every 5 years with over 55,000 Pathfinder youth around the world who come to play and learn together. The weeklong event will be held at CAM-PLEX in Gillette, where attendees will stay in campers/tents and engage in a range of activities, both on and offsite.
The Gillette-Wright area attracts lots of softball, baseball, and basketball, and increasingly more soccer. With such a large selection of multi-sport courts, virtually any sport can be played here. Sports are only continuing to grow here, with new high-level teams and organizations coming to town. The Wyoming Mustangs, a professional indoor football team based in Gillette, was just announced as a 2021 expansion team within Champions Indoor Football. The Mustangs home turf is at CAM-PLEX Wyoming Center.
Also new to town this year is horse racing. “We have a brand-new organization called 307 Horse Racing. They did skijoring in the winter out at CAM-PLEX. They’re working to bring in Indian horse relays this summer and regular live horse racing out at CAM-PLEX almost weekly,” Seders shares.
Those visiting the area can fly directly into Gillette at the NE Wyoming Regional Airport. Other convenient major airports include Denver, CO and Rapid City, SD. If traveling by car, Gillette is located on I-90, just 64 miles from Devils Tower. Why not make it a road trip? These towns are just an hour from Devil’s Tower Monument, 2 hours from Mount Rushmore, and 7 hours from Yellowstone National Park.
Gillette and Wright boast 2,200 hotel rooms and tons of camping and RV space. At CAM-PLEX, their own RV camp is a hot spot for those attending events at the facility– especially rodeos. This summer, 4 large RV rallies are being held at CAM-PLEX.
Up and Coming Foodie Destination
Gillette offers an authentic Western dining experience, making a name for itself as a foodie destination. “We have tons of great food. We have Wyoming’s first meadery. Mead is a honey-based alcohol infused with different flavors. Vikings used to drink it out of horns. So, you can go to Wyoming’s first meadery (Big Lost Meadery) and drink mead out of the traditional horn. They recently just expanded into a larger space, and they have a really cool permanent food truck called Ranch & Roost,” Seders shares. Ranch & Roost offers smash burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and hand cut fries made with local ingredients and prepared daily.
Also in Gillette, Pizza Carrello is a local gem. Women-owned and sustainably operated, Pizza Carrello crafts wood fired pizza made with fresh, hand tossed crust. Even the wood used in the oven is ethically harvested. Check out Pizza Carrello if you’re a pizza lover or are passionate about sustainable efforts and quality ingredients.
The Coop, another women-owned success story, is a fresh rotisserie house serving high quality, innovative chicken recipes. From chicken wings to chicken taquitos, the entire menu is a mouth-watering masterpiece. For dessert, stop by the Ice Cream Café, a specialty ice cream shop with 24 homemade flavors. “People travel from all over the world and they can’t stop talking about this ice cream, so it’s not just us who think it’s good,” Seders laughs. “You could eat for days here. We are fortunate for such a small community to have so many great restaurants,” she continues.
It’s clear why Wyoming draws visitors from around the world. In this little slice of paradise at the edge of the West, Campbell County is the perfect spot to call your home base during your stay. As a growing sports destination, there is no better place to host your next tournament than here.
For more information, head to Campbell County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s profile here!