I have not followed the discussions surrounding the proposed Orange County Fair very closely and hope that the OP community can help me to understand why the County Commission was not in favor of it. Especially since 3 of the "no" votes came form commissioners I am accustomed to agreeing with.
As I understand the issues, the primary concern was that the price tag of $189 K resprsented too big of a financial risk. What I have been trying to figure out is what would be an acceptable return on an event like this? The simpest answer, I guess, would be if the Fair broke even, spend $189 K, bring in $189 K. However, I think you could make some valid arguments that receipts of less than $189 K would be acceptable since people coming to the Fair would patronize other Orange County businesses. Another reasonable argument that reciepts of less than $189 K would be acceptable is that some amount of short fall could be considered a reasonable expense in marketing Orange County. I suppose that the risk of a shortfall would be greatest in year 1.
Let's also consider that as time passes, the Fair could become profitable on a stand-alone basis.
A persistent theme in Orange County discussions is the need for more economic activity and economic growth. While the Fair itself would only last for a few days, it would generate economic activity for many months and could result in follow-on investments that we can't yet envision. This seems to me to a creative approach to driving some economic activity and, thus, worth tolerating some financial risk. Plus it would be fun.
What am I missing?
(Note: The title for this blog post should be credited to Mark Chilton's facebook page with it's post "No Fair? No fair." Thanks for the inspiration Mark.)