Created on Thursday, 13 September 2012 Written by Brooks Canavesi
To prop up falling fair week revenues, a trio of measures were approved by fair board members at Wednesday’s regular meeting, including increased gate prices throughout the week.
Admission onto the fairground will cost $7 each day next year. Children nine and under still will be admitted free of charge. Previously, admission was $6 during the week and then jumped to $7 on the weekend.
“Hardin County charges $7 every day,” managing secretary Bev Cotterman said.
Also approved by the board was a revised system to supply concessionaires and merchants with complimentary admission passes during fair week.
The board believes that some merchants abused the system and distributed their passes to people who should not have been granted free admission.
“If we go to a type of punch card system then we can better monitor who’s using those cards,” Mrs. Cotterman said.
Each concession trailer and merchant booth will be given two complimentary passes. Worker passes are available at a reduced $3 cost, Mrs. Cotterman noted.
Lastly, the board voted to stop granting free admission on senior day at 3 p.m., reasoning that many of the senior-oriented activities at the entertainment tent are over by then.
“If they come before 3 and get stamped, they can still return after 3,” Mrs. Cotterman said.
Gate sales from the 2012 exposition were down about $8,700 compared to 2011, according to the treasurer’s report. On the whole, the fair board lost about $2,800 in staging this year’s fair.
“It’s kind of amazing that with the loss we suffered at the gate, we were only down just under $3,000,” Mrs. Cotterman said. “Merchant sales were up, concession sales were up.”
Bumps in concession and merchant revenue were in part because of increased fees, board members said.
Also discussed was possibly suspending premiums paid to junior fair participants. The board tabled a motion to decide what to do with a $2,600 tab for premiums owed this year.
A provision in the fair rules allows the board to forego premiums because the fair took a loss this year, however, senior fair board members seemed more inclined to approve the premiums next month after storage fee revenues start coming in, which will amount to about $10,000, Mrs. Cotterman said.
The board also tabled a motion to change the percent of money it takes from the livestock sale, which is currently 2 percent. Board members said it may be more fair to, instead of raising the cost for livestock participants, to charge fees for all junior fair exhibitors.
Action on the two tabled items likely will be taken at the next fair board meeting, scheduled for Oct. 10.