Special Hotel Rate, Events and Attractions Available During 

Annual Mental Fitness Challenge Held Aug. 10-11, 2012

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (March 6, 2012) - Visit Cheyenne for a SPELL as the city hosts the 17th annual AARP National Spelling Bee August 10-11, 2012, at The Little America Hotel and Resort. Open to anyone age 50 or older, the Bee offers a mental fitness challenge to spellers from all over the United States who compete for gifts and prizes.

"A group of AARP members created the AARP National Spelling Bee 17 years ago as a fun way to challenge their peers," said AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers. "Some spellers call themselves ‘word nerds' and others say they come just to meet other like-minded people."

In celebration of the competition, Cheyenne is offering city-wide, weekend events and attractions, as well as a special hotel rate. In addition, a free pre-Bee workshop, Gray Matters: Training the Grownup Brain, features interactive sessions for participants with a neurologist, gerontologist, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. The workshop is held Friday from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Little America.

What's Happening in Cheyenne During the Bee

  • Ø Friday, Aug. 10
  • § Gray Matters: Training the Grownup Brain workshop at Little America (noon to 3:30 p.m.)
  • § Fully narrated historic trolley tour of the city, 90-minute narrated tours with stops at top attractions operate weekdays at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, & 4:00 pm, ($10.00 pp, $5.00 for children ages 2-12);
  • § Afternoon tea served in period costume in true English tradition at the elegant historic Nagle Warren Mansion (2:00-4:00 p.m., $9.95 pp, reservations suggested); 222 E. 17th St., Cheyenne, 82001.
  • § Thirty-minute horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown with a narration on Cheyenne's history (Friday-Sunday afternoons, free);
  • § Solar-powered Botanic Gardens and wind-powered Children's Village tours, admission free;
  • § Concert at the Depot Plaza (5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. free);


  • Ø Saturday, Aug. 11
  • § Spelling Bee competition begins at 8:30 a.m. (free to spectators);
  • § Fully narrated historic trolley tour of the city, 90-minute narrated tours with stops at top attractions operate at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ($10.00 pp, $5.00 for children ages 2-12);
  • § Afternoon tea at Nagle Warren Mansion (2:00 to 4:00 p.m., $9.95 pp);
  • § Horse-drawn carriage rides, downtown (afternoon, free).


In addition to these events, visitors will enjoy exploring historic museums and hotels, and nearby attractions; shopping at western-themed stores; or finding a special treasure among the many art galleries.  The Laramie County Library, named Best Library of the Year in 2009 by Library Journal magazine, is a popular attraction for spellers. Visitors will receive a special rate at Little America Hotel and Resort, which includes a free round of golf, by calling the hotel directly at 800-445-6945 (rate NOT available online).  Details of all Cheyenne events and attractions, and additional lodging options, are available online at

About the Spelling Bee

The AARP National Spelling Bee was created in 1996 by a group of AARP members in Cheyenne, Wyoming, who wanted a fun way to challenge their peers to keep their minds sharp as they age.  The competition has been held every year since and always in Cheyenne.  A group of dedicated volunteers select the words, write the sentences, organize and promote the event.  Spellers travel from across the United States to showcase a lifetime of knowledge and to celebrate their years of experience.

Registration is available at or by calling 1-877-926-8300.  Pre-event registration is $40 for spellers before Aug. 6 or $50 for walk-ins, which includes lunch. A complete schedule for the two days, sample word lists, contest details and official rules, can be found online or by calling the AARP office in Wyoming at 1-866-663-3290.

Sponsors include Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, Inc., Bananagrams, Visit Cheyenne, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power.

About Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wyoming's Capitol city is located just 90 miles north of Denver at the intersection of I-25 and I-80 on the high plains.  With a comfortable population of approximately 55,000, Cheyenne sits as the northern anchor of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  The city's slogan, "Cheyenne, Live the Legend," is an invitation to explore and step back into the Old West.  Cheyenne was named "Number One Western Town for 2009" by True West Magazine and one of the "20 Best Places to Live in the West" by American Cowboy (April/May 2009). The city is considered the nation's rodeo and railroad capital, with a strong business and economic base.  Cheyenne is home to museums; historic hotels and mansions; casual to upscale restaurants; a collection of steam engines; western-themed attractions and shopping; resorts and ranches; golf courses; botanic gardens; and a thriving art community with soft adventure nearby.  For more on this magical place that captures the imagination of the American West, visit Cheyenne online at Photography is available on Cheyenne's website or by calling 214-252-0900.

─ Live the Legend ─