Big Fresno Fair brings big bucks to the Valley

October 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Big bucks are a part of the Big Fresno Fair. The fair contributes more than $65 million to the local economy, according to fair officials.

During the 12 days of the Big Fresno Fair, more than half a million people are expected to take part in the fun. That steady flow of business is impacting Fresno County into the millions of dollars.

"$66.5 million a year, economic impact into this community direct and indirect. That's backed up by over 12,040 employees," Big Fresno Fair C.E.O. John Alkire said.

Alkire says high attendance means more money for improvements which is important since the facility is owned by Fresno County and self-funded.

"In the last decade or so we've probably put $13 to $13.5 million dollars. A lot of the projects behind me catfish falls, the water tree project," Alkire said.

Besides the Meyers Wildlife and Water Tree project, dollars from the fair have helped create a more welcoming entrance off Kings Canyon. The horse race track has also been improved with more trees and a watering system, all thanks to funds from the fair.

Local businesses like Arsenio's Mexican food say they're seeing a boost in sales all thanks to traffic from the Big Fresno Fair.

"It gets a lot busier. We have a lot of employees from the fair coming in and people coming out of the fair that want to eat cheaper food here," Sandra Quezada of Arsenio's said.

Arsenio's staff say since it is open 24 hours a day the business sees a steady stream of customers. Staff estimates on the weekends, business has increased by 50 percent.

Fair employees even stop by the restaurant to get a bite to eat.

"It's just nice to get out of the fair every once in a while and come over and this place is a great place to come and have breakfast, lunch and dinner," fair employee Linda Hulet said.

Year after year, the continued support of the Big Fresno Fair continues to be a win-win for Fresno's economy.


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