The 8 Fair Alternatives

February 20, 2008 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mayor Chris Beutler has proposed 8 alternative sites for the State Fair. Fair Board member Tam Allan isn’t impressed.

Allan seems to have two major concerns. The first is that, in some cases, the land isn’t even for sale. The second is much more substantial: each of the sites is little more than an empty patch of ground. There are no buildings or services on the sites, or, in some cases, even nearby. Although a blank slate is a great way to reinvent the Fair, it also drastically increases the costs of the move.

Contrast Lincoln’s 8 proposed locations with those in Grand Island, where amenities already exist. In terms of the attractiveness of relocation sites, Lincoln is way behind.

Lincoln’s one strength at this point seems to be that we are closer to the largest population centers in the state. I may be wrong, but I have a very, very difficult time believing that a Grand Island State Fair would draw, over the long run, the same number of visitors as a Lincoln State Fair. It just doesn’t seem likely.

But I digress. Ignoring for a moment the question of whether we should move the Fair at all, what do you think about Mayor Beutler’s 8 proposed relocation sites? Do any of them strike you as seeming better or worse than the others? My least favorite is the 84th and Yankee Hill location, for accessibility reasons. I don’t think I have a favorite at this point.

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The Comments

Gene February 20, 2008 at 7:32pm

I would tend to agree about the long term draw of a Grand Island location. I don’t know how viable it will be over the long term. People in Lincoln think downtown is a long way to go, I can only imagine what they’ll think about Grand Island.

hbrogan57 February 20, 2008 at 11:02pm

I don’t think a Grand Island move would be good.  The fair would eventually die a slow death.  That said…..the property close to the city dump would have to be ruled out.  Think about what it would be like on a hot and humid day at the fair.  ESPECIALLY if the wind was blowing the right direction.

I cannot understand why the fair board and the folks that run the event center can’t come to SOME agreement.  Seems to me that a lot of the events that USED to go to the fairgrounds now utilize this new place.

Mr. Wilson February 20, 2008 at 11:12pm

Although there’s an obvious tendency to have an “Eww! Not by the dump!” reaction, I have to wonder: Is the dump actually offensive? I’m serious. I’ve never heard anybody complain about its odor. And, though my experience is pretty limited, I’ve not noticed a foul stench while driving past.

So I ask, is being a neighbor to the dump really all that bad? Or is the negativity just based on a stereotype?

hbrogan57 February 20, 2008 at 11:16pm

It’s not all THAT bad.  On most days that is.  However, when it rains and then gets hot again it has a strange effect on some of the trash there.  The odor can be a bit overwhelming at times.  Usually it simply drifts on by and you get a quick wiff.  Personally I don’t think it would be an appetizing aroma if one would happen to be eating at the time.

Nikki February 21, 2008 at 3:31pm

No worries - the livestock & fried foods will cover that right up!

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