MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show has gone cashless.
So, if you want to buy food, and drinks, or enjoy a carnival ride, you’ll first have to put your money on what livestock show officials call a blast pass card.
Vendors like the card, visitors not so much.
“I honestly don’t like it,” said visitor Gabby Gutierrez. “Sometimes when you get food, you have money leftover and you want to take it out, but they get to keep it like it’s not really fair.”
“It’s always hard to go into a change but hopefully, they’re now realizing that it’s going to work and it’s gonna be good for them, it’s gonna be good for us,” said Mando Correa, RGV Livestock Show General Manager.
Correa says the cashless system gives vendors the ability to keep track instantly of how much money they’re making daily.
“The vendors are doing very well. Their numbers are astronomical in comparison to the last several years,” Correa said.
While the payment system helps vendors manage their finances, if you don’t spend all the money you put on the card you lose it. The stock show does not offer any refunds.
The funds left on the card expire when the livestock show ends. Many visitors are worried if they will have enough money to spend without having any leftover.
“Manage their cards wisely and if they seem to have some excess monies just go out and use the cards and make purchases before they leave,” said Correa.
Timothy Martinez, a frequent visitor to the RGV Livestock Show, says he loves the new card system, it just requires a little more planning.
“I come with a set amount that I know I’m going to spend when I come here. I’ll just put it on the card and then you know if there’s any leftover well, that’s alright. I already have an amount set that I know I’m going to spend,” said Martinez.
The cashless system also eliminates vendors having to deal with dollar bills and coins, so they’re hoping this will eliminate long lines paying for food.
“The people order the foods, once you order the food, you scan it, pay for it, boom. Done. I think it’s a lot easier for them to just carry it around,” said vendor Marcos Martinez.
Vendors have requested more blast pass kiosks to help with the longs lines and officials say they working on a solution