Bangor Council approves 5-year deal for Fiesta Shows, state fair

Posted March 12, 2012, at 9:34 p.m.
Last modified March 12, 2012, at 10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The feedback has been better than fair when it comes to the job Fiesta Shows has done with running the midway and attractions on the fairgrounds at Bass Park the last 21 years.

That’s why the Seabrook, N.H.-based carnival company will be back for another five years after unanimous approval by the Bangor City Council on Monday night of a new contract for Fiesta Shows to continue running the Bangor State Fair.

“I’ve been working with Fiesta Shows a long time as a councilor and they’ve shown a huge improvement in the marketing of the Bangor State Fair, from the cleanliness and professionalism to making it a nonsmoking area two years ago,” said Councilor Pat Blanchette.

The contract calls for Fiesta to pay $75,000 a year to the city of Bangor to rent the midway ground space at Bass Park, as well as a prorated share of the electric, water and sewer bills during the fair’s run. Fiesta also will pay for rental of camping facilities for its employees.

“The original deal we had with them was just a deal for the standard gate admission, but since going to the pay-one-price format in 2009, it’s worked very well for all of us,” said Bass Park Director Mike Dyer. “And we do have the ability to go back to the former gate admission system if we want.”

If the pay-one-price, which includes admission to the fair and entry onto all rides, system is continued, Bangor will get 62 percent of the first $650,000 in receipts, 55 percent of the next $49,999, and 50 percent of receipts more than $700,000.

“That’s one of the upsides of dealing with Fiesta Shows. We always have a lot of flexibility built into our contracts, which helps immensely,” Dyer said.

If a standard gate admission system is used, Bangor will retain all gate admission receipts and Fiesta also will pay Bangor 25 percent of the first $150,000 in ride receipts, 35 percent of the next $150,000, 45 percent of the next $150,000, and 30 percent of receipts more than $450,000.

Bangor council Chairman and Mayor Cary Weston was absent from Monday’s regular meeting and first-term Councilor Ben Sprague was elected by his fellow councilors to serve as honorary chairman for the session.

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