Alaska State Fair reports attendance drop, $500,000 loss in 2017

PALMER — Chilly late-summer time climate, Alaska’s sluggish financial system and half-full live shows left the Alaska State Truthful with a half-million-greenback deficit final yr.

The truthful attracts over 300,000 individuals to the state’s largest gathering with an eclectic mixture of distributors and occasions, report-beating greens, and an enormous live performance collection that pulls performers from the Decrease forty eight.

Final yr, for the primary time in a few decade, the truthful registered a considerable loss, as introduced throughout an annual assembly final week.

“What I stated to the membership was we obtained hit by headwinds,” stated Danny Consenstein, who serves because the truthful board’s treasurer. “A number of the headwinds have been Alaska’s recession. A few of the headwinds have been climate. And the opposite… our largest monetary danger is our live shows.”

The truthful board accredited a finances 5 % smaller this yr, Consenstein stated.

Attendance final yr dropped by about 12,000 or almost four % to a bit greater than 281,000, in accordance with Jerome Hertel, the truthful’s common supervisor.

Losses together with admissions, parking, beverage gross sales and live performance tickets contributed to the roughly $500,000 deficit within the truthful’s almost $7.three million finances, Hertel stated. However the truthful nonetheless has greater than $900,000 in money reserves held over from higher years.

The truthful is financially “sound and secure,” he stated. “The truthful survived robust financial occasions, and survived world wars and survived the earthquake. It’s going to survive and prosper.”

State truthful officers say together with the financial system, final yr’s under-common temperatures for a lot of the 2-week occasion reduce into attendance.

Live performance losses inflicted probably the most injury, officers stated.

Acts just like the Doobie Brothers and nation crooner Josh Turner bought out, advertising director Dean Phipps stated. However weekday acts did not fare as properly. Different acts that carried out eventually yr’s truthful included Judah & The Lion, Third Eye Blind and Lacrae. Grammy-nominated rock band Papa Roach needed to cancel as a result of the lead singer was having vocal twine surgical procedure.

This yr, the truthful is working to attract extra live performance goers by decreasing the worth of truthful admission to $10 for individuals who purchase a live performance ticket, Phipps stated, and his employees is taking a look at new methods to decide leisure.

Nevertheless it’s nonetheless going to be a wrestle to draw huge names to the outside truthful stage that maxes out at 5,500 capability — with out chairs. The truthful can also be bucking a development for bands to tour collectively to fill huge arenas. Journey and Def…

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