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Economic Impact

Our story:
Since 1893 when the first State Fair was held on these fairgrounds, we have served the community and the region as a gathering spot for numerous activities and events, including our signature event, the annual Central Washington State Fair. Through the years, we have grown from being a once-a-year activity to a year-round activity center. Our marketing radius extends from northern Oregon to the Canadian border, from Idaho to the Puget Sound. We serve individuals, families, groups, non-profit organizations, schools, spectator sports, promoters, and many others.

The fair provides an opportunity to learn about the importance of agriculture in our daily lives, but the annual fair is only a part of our success. Interim events span a range of activities, making it clear that there is something for everyone at the fairgrounds throughout the year. Activities include: wedding receptions, Quinceaneras, motorized racing, craft fairs, home and garden shows, car shows, concerts, cultural festivals, athletic activities including the Yakama SunKings and Yakima Bears. The list goes on.

Our fairgrounds provide a bridge to our region’s economic health. The top ten industry sectors most effected by these activities, in this order, include spectator sports; facilities support services; independent artists, writers and performers; food and beverage stores; non-store retailers; promoters of performing arts and sports; gasoline stations; hotels and motels; general merchandise stores; food services and drinking places. (The above-named categories are identified as Implan lists them in our Economic Impact Study.)

And oh…by the way:
The Fair Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, and its operation is NOT subsidized by tax payers. The working relationship between the Fair Association and Yakima County is the perfect example of a successful public-private partnership.

Some 193 events, filling 288 event days (Dome 110 days/Interim Events 178 days), were held on our fairgrounds during the 2004 calendar year.

These 288 event days contributed $66.9 million in economic impact to the local and regional economy while supporting nearly 2393 jobs. We generated $9.7 million in local, state and federal tax revenues.

We are money generators. The dollars don’t always pass through us but are generated within the surrounding communities because of the types of events that take place on our grounds.

For each $1 in sales and expenditures on our fairgrounds, a $2.45 impact is generated within the local economy.


Note: Because the Fair Association has only conducted one economic impact study for the calendar year 2004, the figures from that study are reflected above.