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April 16, 2014

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NFR — Vegas cash cow:

Even cowboys like luxury wear sometimes

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Steve Marcus

A view of the Pinto Ranch Western wear store in the Fashion Show Mall on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.

Pinto Ranch Western Wear Store

Connie Smith, a ladies department manager, displays boots at the Pinto Ranch western wear store in the Fashion Show Mall Monday, November 19, 2012. Smith is holding a Old Gringo Eagle Crystal ladies boot, left, and  Lucchese Classic mens boot with a crocodile belly foot and a hand-tooled shaft. Launch slideshow »

Pinto Ranch has made a name for itself by doing things different than other Western wear retailers. That won’t change during the 2012 Wranglers National Finals Rodeo.

As a high-end retailer, Pinto Ranch will continue to sell items at its Fashion Show mall store and will participate in special events at the LVH and Hard Rock Hotel. But don’t bother looking for the company’s goods at Cowboy Christmas or Stetson Country Christmas.

“A lot of times, people want to go there to find deals, and that’s not what we’re about,” Marketing Director Bea Garcia said. “We carry high-end, top quality merchandise for those who appreciate the finer things.”

Pinto Ranch sells premium clothing, hats, belts, buckles, jewelry and boots. Its Lucchese boots, for example, start at about $700 a pair and can cost as much as $3,000. The boutique also offers gifts and luggage, including a $795 American bison briefcase.

The company is named after an actual working ranch in the West, but owners won’t reveal its location because they don’t want people to show up there looking for a store.

“We pride ourselves on carrying quality items that reflect traditions of the Old West,” Garcia said. “We only carry handmade boots and products from select silversmiths that work by hand. A lot of our clothing and apparel is designed by very small mom-and-pop shops. It’s unique and one-of-a kind, so once you get it, it’s gone.

“Most of the things we have are legacy items that last forever, things you’d pass on to your grandchildren.”

The Pinto Ranch retail shop started in Houston in 2004, expanded to Dallas in 2007 and entered the Las Vegas market last year, a few months before the NFR and as Southern Nevada was just beginning to emerge from the recession.

“We were very aware of the economy at the time,” Garcia said. “But we felt like Las Vegas was a great location because part of what’s attractive about Pinto Ranch is the authenticity, and Las Vegas is really an iconic Western town. There’s so much tourism that goes through (here). The first year has been great.”

With about 70 percent of the Las Vegas store’s sales attributed to tourists, Pinto Ranch sees business pick up when certain events or performers are in town.

“We saw spikes of traffic whenever Garth Brooks was in town,” Garcia said.

About 15 percent of the Las Vegas store’s annual sales are rung up in December, and NFR customers make 56 percent of those purchases.

Pinto Ranch also has capitalized on the live runway shows that Fashion Show mall hosts.

“Vegas has an entertainment value, and the mall’s no slacker there,” Garcia said. “We had the opportunity to do our first runway shows, and basically in Western wear, you never see runway shows.”

The local store comprises 8,100 square feet, has 13 employees and boasts 30 brands unique to Nevada.

The company is bringing in extra staff from Houston to help local workers with rodeo promotions. The company will partner with the LVH for Pinto Ranch Rodeo Central, featuring country music, drink specials and big-screen viewing of the rodeo. Pinto Ranch also will team with the Hard Rock for apparel giveaways.

At the mall, leading Western silversmiths, jewelers and designers will be on hand, and trunk shows promoting Old Gringo and Lucchese boots are scheduled.

“If you want a certain type of boot, they’ll help you design it then and there,” Garcia said.

Some of the Cinch rodeo team riders also will appear in the store to sign autographs.

“People can meet a real cowboy,” Garcia said.

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