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New Firm Sought to Manage Operations of Placer County Fairgrounds

May 04, 2015

Built in the 1930s, the Placer County Fairgrounds has been a fixture in the western end of the county for decades. However, declining interest, aging infrastructure and encroaching development have inhibited the facility from enjoying continued success. In addition to buildings, animal holding pens and expanses of open areas, the 61-acre site includes a speedway where motor vehicle racing regularly takes place. A large grandstand sits adjacent to the racetrack.

Since 1938, the Placer County Fair Association has been responsible for management and operation of the fairgrounds, including the speedway, and for the planning and administration of the annual fair. However, at the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the county is now soliciting proposals from a new, third-party entity for overall fairgrounds management and operations. The contractor would be responsible for the annual fair and other interim events, which could possibly include speedway events.

For several years, the board has been grappling with how best to manage the county’s fairground facilities. Realizing the facility needs change to remain viable, board members have engaged the public, stakeholders and neighbors in conversations and discussions on what would best serve the needs of all those concerned.

“I’ve been involved in many conversations about what should be done with the fairgrounds,” said Supervisor Jack Duran, in whose district the fairgrounds are located. “It will be difficult finding a solution that best serves the needs of the surrounding community, the community as a whole and the county’s interest. This is a good step to see how an operator can inject some new life into this operation.”

Last year, under the Board’s direction, the Fairgrounds Revitalization Committee was formed to discuss strategies to improve the operations and fiscal health of the facility. The committee began meeting in January and continues to gather information that will passed onto the supervisors. 

Prior to the formation of the Revitalization Committee, the county enlisted an outside firm to do an assessment of the fairgrounds. This assessment provided the county with both near-term and long-term objective information about the current status of operations, and offered assistance in determining plans for future use, management and operation of the fairgrounds.

Now, the county is inviting proposals from qualified firms, groups, or individuals to operate the fairgrounds and the fair. Important dates for the proposal process include: Pre-proposal conference: May 14, 2015, Proposal submission deadline: June 16, 2015, and Contract Approval: October 2015.

Additional details about the request for proposal, including timelines and response requirements, can be found online by clicking this link: Fairgrounds. Please direct all inquiries in writing to: Jon Manning, Placer County Procurement Services Division 2964 Richardson Dr., Auburn, CA  95603, (530) 889-4290, Email:  jdmannin@placer.ca.gov 

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