On paper, it appears the 1998 Utah County Fair made money - maybe as much as $11,000.
In reality, fair director Marilyn Toone says the county will probably just break even."There are still bills coming in and a few refunds being made, some problems being worked through," said Toone. "There might be a few dollars to go toward something, but I think the bottom line will be a break even point."
According to the figures from Utah County Commissioner Jerry Grover, expenses for the fair as of Sept. 15 came to $64,543.73. Revenues totaled $74,467.90.
The county investment to underwrite the fair is roughly $45,000, Grover said.
Toone said the ultimate goal has never been for the fair to make money but simply to get the fair on a self-supporting basis.
"People want the fair. It's a tradition," said Toone. "But then it's in August and parents are getting ready for school after a summer of fairs. We find people who want the fair not supporting the fair."
Toone feels pretty good about the numbers who turned out, especially since the fair was in a new location and some of the traditional aspects were missing.
"I know people missed having the large animals. Plus, it was hot and usually we have it one week earlier than we did."
Between 6,000 and 8,000 people came out to the fair at the David O. McKay Special Events Center on the Utah Valley State College campus in Orem.
In the past the fair has been held at the fairgrounds in Spanish Fork.
When Spanish Fork started to ask the county to pay for the use of the fairgrounds, it became too expensive to hold it there, Toone said.
She believes the Special Events Center works for the fair, to a point.
"We will definitely have it there for at least one more year. But we are considering other options as well," Toone said. "They really aren't sure the large animals exhibits will work there. It's different than bringing in say, a circus, because the animals stay overnight and the center isn't really equipped to deal with animals."
There will be more local promotion for the fair next year, she said. Toone feels there may not have been sufficient promotion this year because she and others did not become involved in the fair until late March.
The fair will be the weekend of Aug. 13-14, 1999, instead of on the third week, avoiding a conflict with a regional 4-H convention that caused some problems this year.
Some adjustments may be made in how the carnival is handled and in the location of some displays. Toone feels that people probably just didn't find some of the things they were looking for and others might have enjoyed exhibits that were off the beaten path.
The petting zoo was by far the most successful venue, she said. "Jim Jensen from the extension service organized it and it was the hit."