Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Fair board told it should 'think outside the box'


September 18, 2013

The Great Northern Fair Board was urged at its monthly meeting Tuesday to look at some new ideas for events and ways to adjust management at the county fairgrounds to try to raise its revenue.

Board member Gus Sharp said he wants the board to look closely at all of the facilities and events at the fairgrounds to see what can be done better.

“If we can utilize more some of the ones that are showing positives and delete some of the things that are showing negatives and try to build some of those reserves we were talking about to put up another exhibit building or do something with grandstands or whatever the case might be,” he said.

Fairgrounds manager Tim Solomon said he is open for ideas. He knows some of the buildings do not pay for the cost it takes to maintain them, while other buildings or uses do generate good revenue for the fair board, he said.

County Commissioner Jeff LaVoi said the question is how to generate money out of those assets that are not paying for themselves.

“I wanted to spark an idea that we could do this thing if we think outside of the box,” he said. “It may not all work, but make it something you guys are proud of.”

Sharp said he just wants to look closely at every expense and every revenue and see what is doing well and what isn’t.

“If one of them has a very good return on our investment, maybe there’s a way to expand it and do better,” he said.

Board Chair Bert Corcoran said one possibility is doing more in the winter, when the grounds are not used much.

“Have we ever thought of snowmobile races on the track over here?” he asked.

“There are a lot of things you could do,” LaVoi said.

Board member Alma Seidel suggested bringing back the Budweiser Clydesdales, which have brought big crowds to the fairgrounds in the past. She said she thought trying to bring in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the fairgrounds also would be a success.

“That’s something to see, too,” she said.


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