Recently, the South Dakota Dept. of Agriculture released final figures for the 2019 South Dakota State Fair. Two numbers that jump out from the recap are the decrease in total attendance and the gain in gate revenue.
While 2019 gate revenue was up 2.7 percent, the total attendance number of 205,172 was down a little over 12,000 from last year.
State Fair manager Peggy Besch says they believe the learning curve with the new electronic ticketing system at the gates may account for part of the discrepancy.
Also, Besch says connectivity and power issues took the scanning system down for a time.
Besch points out there were gains in other areas that contributed to the increased revenue. Spending on goods, beverages, specialty concessions, and carnival rides was up nearly 8 percent. Goldstar Amusements, the State Fair’s carnival provider, reported a recording setting 2% increase in gross sales.