Glenn Rogers of Aledo watched his grandsons cavort on a Kubota in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall.
“We’re just letting the kids play,” said Rogers, who has a ranch in Palo Pinto County. “This is their favorite thing to do at the Stock Show.”
Now and then, Rogers grappled with Braden, 5, or Caleb, 3, as one or the other found himself slipping or tripping on parts of the $72,549 track loader they picked to explore. Also in the Zimmerer Kubota booth was a tractor — called the M6-131 — that goes for a mere $87,580.
There are high-dollar deals made all the time at the Fort Worth Stock Show among the 300 vendors in the exhibits hall, Richardson-Bass Building, cattle barns and in outside booths, said Ashley Davis, commercial exhibits manager.
“There’s just about anything you want, from candy to combines, here,” Davis said.
Indeed, sale prices are prolific and bargains can be had at the Stock Show, especially on high-ticket items. The MSRP on the M6-131 is $103,000 — a difference of $15,500 over the Stock Show price. Then, there’s the really big mama that had to be left outside. The M7-151, a 150-horsepower monster, lists for $181,282. But during the Stock Show, you can have one for $157,275.
And if you want it and don’t buy it, well, maybe next year.
Buy a building
“I’d say 5 to 10 percent of the people come in to buy,” said Bud Matus, a salesman for Mueller Inc. Metal Buildings, Roofing & Components. “But it definitely develops leads. They see it now and think about it for months, then buy. Or, they may buy at the next Stock Show.”
Mueller sells buildings that go for up to $130,000, but Matus has been busy showing a new product at the Stock Show — Homesteads, kits for metal structures that can become houses, that start at $25,995 for 1,500 square feet under roof.
“We just introduced this product at the Stock Show,” Matus said. “It’s a shell with a porch that you build on your slab.”
Carol and Preston Lawless of Joshua were checking out the Homestead plans.
“We didn’t know this was here,” said Carol Lawless, who added that her husband just put a large metal building on their ranch, and may wish he’d waited. “We only come to the Stock Show about every five years.”
Jewels of the show
Many of Debbie Fanning’s customers are a lot more frequent Stock Show visitors. The lady behind B Scene Jewelry and Gifts — one of the Richardson-Bass Building vendors — said her one-of-a-kind pieces attract shoppers like horses attract cowboys.
“I have a wonderful return customer base,” Fanning said as she showed a Navajo-made, multi-stone necklace, earring, ring and bracelet set that lists for $8,800. “The Fort Worth Stock Show price for the set is $4,400.”
A stone’s throw from Fanning’s booth, Clay and Wendy Miller run Ramblin Trails Custom Boots.
Now, it isn’t unheard of for boots off a rack to run into the hundreds of dollars. But if you’re the type whose feet are hard to fit, that ain’t an option. And if you just love expensive leather and detailing, and have more than a few pretty pennies, you, too, can wear bodacious boots.
“Hand-tooled tops on alligator bottoms can cost $8,500,” Wendy Miller said. “The reasons people will buy these is: one, for show; two, they can’t find boots that fit; and three, they can’t find the style they want.
“These are the folks who wear their jeans tucked into their boots so you can see the hand-tooled tops.”
Top-notch travel trailers
It’s a pretty safe bet that the majority of Stock Show visitors aren’t going to drop eight grand on boots or jewelry. But Jimmy Thomas at Longhorn Trailer of Mount Pleasant knows that a bunch of them are going to look seriously at his inventory.
“These trailers are made for show people,” said Thomas, whose desk was surrounded by combination stock and living quarters trailers.
The top-of-the-line model sells for $42,900.
“You can carry up to five head of livestock, and sleep four people,” he said. “It has a kitchen, bath with shower, couch, TV, DVD, AC and heat. It’s like a 68-square-foot motel room. It’s definitely better than a tent.”