Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wake Up The Sleepy Fair Grounds.


What do you call a building that isn’t used two months a year? A school. I know this is an over simplification, but it would be good to see our school buildings used more than they presently are. I do understand that with the amount of use they presently get they need some down time for maintenance and repair.

My next beef with an underutilized facility is with the Fair Grounds. I went to their web site and looked at the calendar and found there are only 42 scheduled events for the year 2010. July and November have nothing scheduled. I then went to the Seaside Convention Center web site and found their calendar well booked through the end of this year and well into 2011.

What’s going on with the Fair Grounds? IS there something wrong with the facility that people and organizations aren’t reserving it? There is a demand for space. The Seaside Convention Center can’t accommodate all the events that people want to schedule there. Maybe the fair grounds needs to build another building that can accommodate meetings and smaller events.

I’ve heard the Fair Grounds are too expensive to rent. I have to admit that I did clutch my chest when I asked how much a booth at the fair would cost. Last year it was $350 which is a lot for most non-profits and a lot of businesses that are trying to sell something. One vendor I spoke to last year broke even at 1pm on the final day and she was fortunate. She worked for four days and only made a profit on her services from 1-6pm. She was excited, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she worked four ten-hour days for a profit of around $90. She basically made 44 cents an hour.

Maybe it is a good idea to lower the fees and attract more business at the fair. More vendors will make the fair more interesting like it was several years ago. Maybe by lowering the facility rental price they can attract more events. These are just some ideas. I’m not up on all the conversations the Fair Board and management have had over the years. I could be totally wrong, but it just seems to me that more events at the Fair Grounds the more money that comes into the community and the more taxes are collected that can fund the Fair Grounds. The success of the Seaside Convention Center should be an inspiration to the Fair Board and Management.

15 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

They’d have to install air conditioning in many of the schools here to make use of them in the summer months – that last month of school in session during June is brutal. Perhaps it would be cost effective to do so?

6:00 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I couldn't find a price list for our little podunk fairgrounds here (it just had a phone # to call) but I looked at the state fair and the smallest booth space starts at $600! Holy snap. I'd have to triple my prices and use blackmail to make people buy the stuff just to walk out with a dollar in my pocket. I think I'll stick to thumping people for a living. Not as dodgy as doing the fairground circuit.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back when I ran a non profit 10+ years ago the fairs donated booth space to us. We never paid, we couldn't afford it. It didn't give us much option on complaining about lousy positioning, but hey, it was free.

Curretnly I don't believe the bee group has to pay for our booth at the Master Gardeners sale or the State fair.

Columbiacritter

6:58 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

One thing is clear, I believe next time they have a vacancy on the Fair Board YOU need to seek to fill it.

With yourself. What's one extra meeting a month?

8:18 AM  
Blogger mark said...

One is tempted to say that the Fair Board is where good ideas go to die, but that would be unfair.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are intreasted in the fairgrounds.You should go to the openhouse on April 28 6 to 8 pm.
The board and staff will be there.
I will not be there I am working 255 miles away.The board is always looking for new ideas.My position will be available later this year.
I am always willing to talk fairgrounds I have a 28 yr history
with that place.Thank you for letting me do some stumping from here.

Papa

3:56 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

see? listen to the wisdom of papa mike.

5:06 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, they could become warehouses for the summer...among other things.

Darev, wow that is high, but State Fairs attract a lot of people and they usually run for at least ten days.

Critter, The Master Gardeners have a good symbiotic relationship with most regional BK Associations and they offer room to their coat tail cousins. The State BKs no longer have a booth at the state fair. The state was jerking them around too much. BTW It was nice seeing you again on Saturday.

Auntie, If I can abdicate my positions in other organizations I may.

Mark, all in all they do seem to be moving forward, albeit slowly. Unlike the Port.

Papa, I will be there. Thanks for letting me know it's going on since the notice will only be published in the Astorian. I don't read the Astorian. They should send a press release to North Coast Oregon. By the way, does anyone ever attend these open houses? On a personal note, Mike, you are and will continue to be sadly missed here. Your drive and generosity has been one of the things that makes the Fair a community event that I continue to enjoy. Thanks again for sharing fair tickets with one of the readers here last year. You are a stand-up guy and Bend is lucky to have you in their community. I wish you success in your new home and job.

5:39 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Guy for mayor! Guy for mayor!

6:30 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mayor of Melville

7:36 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

For a comparison I looked up the only fair with which I'm somewhat familiar, the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair in Virginia. Their booth spaces are $95/day but there are a lot of other potential fees.

I must say that 42 events a year sounds fairly impressive to me when you consider there are only 52 weeks in a year. How many of these events last more than one day, and how long does it take to set up for each of them?

12:54 PM  
Blogger g said...

Since when did this become a political blog?

HA!

6:26 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Rich, sounds about the same, but here you have to attend during the 4 days of the Fair.

g, this is an everything blog, though I have gotten out of politics for the most part. At this point my politics are changing again but I don't want to piss off long time friends in the political world more than I already have.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

you can't piss off long time friends in the political world because you will NEED them to get appointed to the FAIR BOARD !

5:40 AM  
Blogger Guy said...

I'm not kissing any butt and if I may reiterate, here is something I posted recently on the Rust Forum:

I won't go so far as to say the Tea Baggers are stupid, but I do think they are misguided and possibly insincere and their hidden agendas aren't so well hidden. First where were they during the eight years Bush pillaged the Treasury? They want the country back? This country can't afford that.

I know Jeff and I consider him a friend, but I too get concerned when someone of his political savvy move into the Palin/Beck created mass hysteria. I am also concerned with the other side of the table where we have people running for office because of their opposition to one issue.

We deserve objectivity from our leaders and not pandering bobble heads that will nod yes to any one from their base that will buy them some lawn signs and ads in the Astorian. A County Commission seat is supposed to be a non partisan elected position. It is easily evident which party each candidate represents, except John Rachiel. I have no idea what side of the fence he's on and I like that. So candidates, please leave your baggage at the door. Better yet abandon your baggage if you want my support.

8:42 AM  

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