Thursday, February 03, 2011

Fair "Rent Increases" Clarified

The last day of January I published an entry titled "Fairgrounds Bombshells", which you can read HERE. In it I linked to two different blog entries, one by Norberto Santana, Jr. in the Voice of OC and the other an entry by Gericault in the Orange Juice Blog.

At the end of that entry I included the following segment:


Gericault's excellent summary of events provides some contex
t for Santana's piece, and has some very clever illustrations, too. One little tidbit he provides at the very end of his piece tells us that selected Fair vendors have been provided the opportunity to receive an 800% rent increase for their space during the Fair! That's right - 800%!!! As Gericault says, when the Fair Board is talking about profit sharing it's clear just whose profits they will be sharing!"

I took that information directly from Gericault's post.

Today I received a note from Robin Wachner, Communications Director of the OC Fair and Event Center offering the following clarification of the information included in Gericault's post and my echo of it. Here's the relevant portion of her note to me:

"A letter recently went out stating that some of the retail spaces at the Fair would be part of a new program called Platinum Partners, which would enable interested vendors to secure highly-visible spots in which to sell their products and services. This is a program that has been in demand by some of our vendors who are interested in paying for premium placement at the Fair.

Due to a clerical error on our part, the letter went out to all of our vendors and not just the vendors in the buildings which were eligible for participation in this program. It does not affect all vendors and it is a volunteer program and no one is being forced to participate. To state that it is a rent increase is erroneous."

We do appreciate the clarification and acknowledge that Gericault's information seems to have been accurately presented at that time based on
the erroneous mailing mentioned above. I have not seen the letter in question, nor I have spoken with any Fair vendors to personally validate this story, but have no reason to doubt it. The Fair management made a mistake and has clarified it. As far as I'm concerned the book is closed - it's a done deal and any issues resulting from this are between the Fair management and their vendors.


Before closing I must observe that there were many questions raised in both of the linked stories that, to my knowledge, have not received any response from the Fair management. I'm grateful for this one, but what about the rest? I'll let you go back and review them on your own and see if you don't agree with me that there are some pretty provocative issues left unaddressed.

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Anonymous Max said...

Hasn't the fair board hurt our fairgrounds enough? They were given the responsibility to protect it and instead they tried to sell it to themselves and commercialize it. After getting caught trying to sell it to themselves, they still want to ruin it. The fairgrounds is perfect the way it is! These people should never be trusted with a taxpayer asset ever again. Just imagine how they would ruin our National Parks...

2/03/2011 11:00:00 PM  

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