Thursday, July 12, 2012

Santa Cruz County Fair Considers Nonprofit Status

In the face of continuing financial struggles, the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds is considering pursuing nonprofit status as one option in an effort to stay operational.

As reported in The Mercury News, the home of the California city's annual County Fair and Ocean Speedway announced that its revenue is about $200,000 behind the $1.2 million projected for this year. Dave Kegebein, the head of the volunteer team that took control of the fairgrounds in January, told a gathering of 75 people that the fair will be bankrupt by the end of the first quarter of 2013 if something isn't done.

The Santa Cruz Fairgrounds has always received funding from the state government, but with Sacramento struggling with budget deficits, that support ended, costing the fair $140,000. Kegebein said that another problem was spending $500,000 in excess of revenue last year.

Becoming an independent nonprofit is one consideration to saving the fair, Kegebin said, as it would free it from state regulations and enable operations to be run more efficiently. This decision has not been set in stone, however, and the fair is still considering all of its options. In the meantime, an organization called Friends of the Fair is appealing for donations from citizens to fund the fairgrounds in the short-term.

You can read the full story in The Mercury News.

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