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State Report: Ventura County Fairgrounds a Boon for Local Economy

In 2009, the fair generated $70 million in economic impact, including creating 750 jobs

In 2009, the Ventura County Fair generated more than $70 million in economic impact, created more than 750 jobs, and put more than $22 million into the pockets of local residents through salaries and benefits.

The economic impact of the fair is part of a report from the California Department of Food & Agriculture, Division of Fairs & Expositions.

The CDFA/F&E oversees California’s 78 fairs to ensure the best use of available funding and other services. F&E has released an updated report of the economic impacts for the Ventura County Fair and the state’s other fairs. The report covers the years 2003-20.

“We are proud of our contributions to Ventura County,” Ventura County Fairgrounds CEO Barbara Quaid said. “In addition to events that provide the recreation and entertainment that every community needs, we boost the local economy significantly.”

The mission of the 31st District Agricultural Association, otherwise known as the Ventura County Fairgrounds, is to promote, support, educate, celebrate and preserve the diverse culture and traditions of the county. The fairgrounds are home to the Ventura County Fair, a 12-day family event where agriculture, entertainment, food, arts, hobbies and crafts are showcased every year. The fairgrounds also provide year-round entertainment and innovative programs that enhance and strengthen the communities that it serves.

Car Shows. Weddings. Swap meets. Concerts. Dog shows. Motorsports. Science fairs. Circuses. Seminars. Day camps. Meetings. Fundraisers. For nearly 100 years, the Ventura County Fairgrounds has hosted every kind of event imaginable — including the annual Ventura County Fair. These events do more than entertain, educate and enrich the community; they also benefit the local economy, attracting hundreds of thousands of annual visitors who spend money at hotels, restaurants, and other retailers in the county.

In 2009 alone, nearly $70 million in spending activity were generated in Ventura County by the fairgrounds. More than 750 jobs were created as a result of spending by the Ventura County Fair, its support businesses and its attendees. These jobs generated about $22,182,000 in projected annual labor income in Ventura County. In addition, the Ventura County Fair and interim events create an estimated $1,186,600 in annual business taxes.

In 2009, 781,515 people attended the Ventura County Fair and other fairgrounds events. Fairgoers bought admission tickets, food and other concessions, carnival rides and other products and services. Fair organizers, concessionaires and commercial exhibitors spent money on supplies, lodging, meals and more. These purchases — everything from ice, paper products, animal feed, landscaping plants, paint, printed materials, gasoline, building supplies and produce — boost the local economy by infusing dollars that are spent again by others in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Fair generates business tax revenue through the collection of state and local sales taxes, transient occupancy taxes, possessory interest taxes, business license taxes and other taxes and fees. These revenues further generate economic activity by providing for programs to benefit the local community. Tax revenues to local and state governments generated by fairs and events held at the Ventura County Fair in 2009 are estimated at $1,186,600.

The network of California fairs generates $2.5 billion annually in economic activity benefiting the local, state and global economy, creates 28,000 jobs, and produces about $136 million in state and local government tax revenues.

For more information about the Ventura County Fair, fairgrounds interim events and their economic impact on Ventura County, click here or call 805.648.3376.

— James Lockwood represents the Ventura County Fair.

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