Rains hurt fair numbers, but group's funds strong
Heavy rains hurt the Red River Valley Fair's attendance and profits in 2003, but the fair association says it's doing just fine financially. "It was a successful year. We're still not in the hole," said Dave Larson, the association's 2002-03 pres...
Heavy rains hurt the Red River Valley Fair's attendance and profits in 2003, but the fair association says it's doing just fine financially.
"It was a successful year. We're still not in the hole," said Dave Larson, the association's 2002-03 president.
The group held its semi-annual meeting Tuesday at the Fargo Holiday Inn.
Rain showers frequently interrupted the 2003 fair in June at the West Fargo fairgrounds. That caused total attendance to fall by 62,000, from 168,521 in 2002 to 116,520 this year.
The fair's revenue fell, too -- from $1.2 million last year to $1 million this year.
And the association's beer garden revenue, much of it generated during the fair, dropped from $605,555 last year to $489,508 this year.
Despite those declines, the association's net assets fell by only $16,574, to $2.93 million.
That reflects the association's decision to postpone some building improvements and equipment purchases. Spending fell from $430,459 last year to $86,650 this year.
Larson said the association has spent nearly $3 million on improvements since 1992.
Though some purchases were delayed this year, "We still have everything we need," he said.
By some measures, the association's finances improved this year, said Robert Brostrom with Eide Bailly, the association's accountant.
The organization's debt fell $85,000 and its cash on hand rose $25,000.
Bruce Olson, fair manager, said he's confident the fair's best days are still to come -- and that next year's fair will be much drier than this year's.
"I can't believe it can rain twice in a row like that," he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530