- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Officials call the Indiana State Fair “fiscally conservative” because it opts for a guaranteed minimum income from rides and concessions instead of maximizing income.

Indiana’s state fair midway made less than $1 per person in 2015, while the Ohio State Fair’s midway made almost $1.15 per person that year, The Indianapolis Star reported .

Indiana state fair commission chairman Andre Lacy said the fair’s financial practices help ensure it always has a reliable income when unexpected issues affect attendance, such as last year’s nearly 10 days of rain.

“We try to be very conservative and prudent,” he said. “We balance and use some conservatism to make sure we don’t bruise the state with this bond issue.”

The fair has a contract with Indiana-based North American Midway Entertainment, which operates the midway rides. The group pays the fair $867,000 annually to operate the rides, as well as a portion of sales from the Kiddieland and concessions and an attendance-based incentive payment.

The fair’s contract with the vendor will expire in 2021, and the fair will likely try to negotiate a higher percentage from the new Subaru Skyride, said Cindy Hoye, the fair’s executive director.

The fair also generates revenue from admissions, parking, food and drinks, sponsorships and outdoor exhibits.

The state fair receives about $2.4 million in state general fund appropriations for utilities, equipment, maintenance and marketing. It used some of that money to rebuild the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

The state fair runs for 17 days this year and will end on Aug. 20.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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