The Great Northern Fair Board heard Tuesday that if help can be found to staff the gates, a committee might recommend people pay a fee to park at the Great Northern Fair.
Tim Solomon, manager of the fairgrounds, said a committee looking at fees at the fairgrounds may recommend that a fee is charged to use the parking lot.
“Parking, especially since its premium up there, it’s something we might want to look at pretty seriously,” Solomon said.
The board members on the committee were not able to attend the meeting — Chair Bert Corcoran and members Chad Murnin and Mike Arnold were absent Monday — and Solomon reported on its last meeting
The main problem with charging for parking would be finding someone to staff the gates, he added. With three gates into the fairground, people would need to be at the gates at all times through the fair.
He said if groups are interested in helping with that, they could contact him to talk about how it would work and what they would get — the group could possibly be compensated with some of the parking proceeds, he said.
If any groups would consider working the gates, “I would be very interested in talking to them,” Solomon said.
He said the charge would be per vehicle, and it could be set up for a fee allowing entry all week. Some kind of tag or receipt could be given so if people leave and come back they would not be charged multiple times, he said. Entry to the fair itself still would be free, Solomon said.
He said some of the other issues the committee discussed included renting facilities outside of the fair.
The committee is considering leaving the rates the same but charging for use more than one day. At previous meetings, the board discussed groups renting a building for one day but using more than one day to set up and tear down the event.
Solomon said the committee may recommend charging a reduced rate for extra days groups use the facilities.
He said the committee also is planning to recommend that charges for storage space rented out remain about the same, but adding an extra charge for large units. A fairly standard rate in the industry is to charge an additional fee for trailers and such that are more than 30 feet long, he said.