Jul 25, 2014

Durham Fair Revenues $1.3M, Down 30 Percent This Year

Fair officials: 'No surprise weather resulted in fewer ticket sales.'

Durham Fair Revenues $1.3M, Down 30 Percent This Year

Durham Fair Association Coordinator of Revenue, Debbi Waz, got right down to the bottom line in her report at Wednesday's meeting. 

Revenue, said Waz, "Well, it's down, which shouldn't surprise anyone."

According to Waz, this year's total revenue amounted to about $1.3 million, down 30 percent from 2010.

"That's a whole day. We basically lost Friday," she said.

Student sales were down 17 percent, with spectator sales down seven percent and parking sales down 63 percent. A bright spot, souvenier purchases were up 180 percent via credit card and ATM ticket sales were up 12 percent.

Fair president Gene Chiappetta was quick to add that the decrease in attendance was most likely due to the weather forecast predicting rain for that weekend. 

"This in no way reflects your efforts this year," said Chiappetta. "You really pulled through despite a really rough year."

Members of the association shared their thoughts on what may have caused the drop in revenue. 

One member said people were unaware of additional parking and shuttles, which may have prompted them to leave. Others noted the current economic climate while some suggested that the idea of muddy, post-rain fair grounds might have deterred potential spectators. 

One member transcribed a list of suggestions from attendees over the course of the weekend and relayed them to the board.

This list included more crafters on the town green, a public drinking water source, greater distance between the apple crisp stand and the stage, a wrestling event, the return of hot leathers, numbered spots in the parking lots to aid in the search of one's car, more piglets and a telephone in the information booth. 

Kristen Kleeman, a member of the fair association who works with the Fire Marshal's Office during pre-fair inspections, told the board that the office is requesting to have a single gas company on the fair grounds for the weekend. 

"[The Fire Marshal] says there's too many gas companies and they don't come when you want them and things end up taking too long," said Kleeman. The fair association is looking into the matter. 

Representing Public Safety was Pat DeSimone, who reported that event "went smoothly" and had no issues to report. 

Correcion: In our original report, Kristen Kleeman was incorrectly indentified as a representative for the Town of Durham Fire Marshal’s Office.

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