Letters for Monday — September 05, 2005

• Feels fair prices were too high

Feels fair prices were too high

Am I just cheapskate?

Or, has the Farm Bureau Fair gotten to be such a rip-off that I’m not the only parent who probably won’t go next year?

As my daughter waited in line for one of those $5 rides I did a little math. There were about 25 people on the ride. The ride lasts two minutes. Let’s throw in an extra three minutes to load and unload the riders. That adds up to $125 for five minutes. This adds up to $2,500 an hour. At six hours a day for four days this adds up to $60,000 for one ride. I figured they had about 6 rides at the Fair so a pretty conservative estimate on the income for rides would be $360,000. I don’t think those ride operators were taking home a big chunk of that income so the E.K. Fernandez Co. is making a pretty hefty profit on those rides.

Then there’s the games: $2 to throw one ball at three milk bottles. Boom, it’s over with. Not three balls, or $1 for one ball but $2 for your one opportunity to win. $2 to play the Sponge Bob squirt game or the horse game with the balls. These games can have about 12 players at them so that’s a mighty big profit margin itself for the small stuffed animals that you initially win — only to have to play again to go up in the sizes of the prizes.

Then there’s the admission price of $4 for adults and $2 for keiki. Has this not gone up too??? How about the $2 petting zoo? Should this not be included in the price of admission?

At the end of three hours on Friday evening, and down to my last six bucks I asked my daughter if she wanted to wait in line for 30 minutes to get a $3 slice of pizza and a $3 sipper. She said, “nah, let’s just go to McDonald’s.”

We all realize the rides need to be shipped here and that costs money, blah, blah, blah.

However, the talk of families at the AYSO game the next day and throughout my neighborhood was how much a rip-off the Farm Fair has gotten.

The final kicker… a friend of mine told me that the Farm Bureau has to pay E.K. Fernandez Co. to come here. Pay them??? On top of the massive amounts of money they already are taking in? That is ridiculous and I hope the Farm Bureau does something about it.

I would have loved to ride a few of those rides with my daughter, enjoyed eating at the Fair, and playing some more games with her to enjoy the experience together. Instead, monitoring my money became the focus of the night and I had to watch her go on the rides rather than be with her. The joy was taken out of the event because it’s become such a blatant money-making operation.

If you feel the same, let the Farm Bureau know about it. I am sure that they work really hard to have this community event but it seems to me that the company that they work with has its focus only on their cash flow, not the memories that a once a year event can provide.

  • Jack Yatsko

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