Fairgoers Buy Early, Save Bucks

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Kansas State Fair gets underway Friday in Hutchinson, and this year, adult ticket prices are increasing from $8 to $10.

That means getting into the fair this year will cost more unless you buy advance tickets by Thursday

Cheryl Goertzen, of Inman, likes a discount, so she’s buying her state fair gate admission tickets early. She’s among the many either going to the ticket office or simply buying online to get the advance discount through Thursday - $6 now compared to $10 at the gate for an adult ticket for ages 13 through 59.

And some here say the money saved now cab be better spent later.

"If I buy them at the entrance then it's four dollars more per person,” says Jennifer Holloway. “So all that money I'm saving I can buy more candy."

Kansas State Fair General Manager Denny Stoecklein defends the increase, saying it’s been 4 years since the adult retail ticket price had changed and even longer since the adult discount price had changed.

"We're like any other business,” Stoecklein says. “Costs increase. We're responsible for generating our own funding. We don't get state funding. We don't get outside funding from government."

He says the senior and child ticket prices haven’t increased. The fairs annual operating budget, he says, is about $5 million. The 10-day fair generates about 90 percent of that revenue.

The gate admission pays for roughly 20 to 25 percent of the fair budget. Vendors won’t likely complain unless a price increase results in fewer people attending.

Fair vendor Russ Silvey says, "It's still one of the cheaper venues to come to even though the gate prices have gone up. It's still a good value overall."

So whether you buy early and get the discount or buy the increased price, either way folks here insist the State Fair is still a good buy.

You can still get discount fair tickets through Thursday in person at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, by calling 1-800-362-3247, or you can visit the link provided below.

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