Fairgrounds revamps rental pricing


As part of the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Missoula County Fairgrounds, staff have developed a new pricing structure to better accommodate renters of the facility. The Board of Missoula County Commissioners approved the rates during their administrative public meeting on Jan. 18, 2017. Rates are effective immediately.

“The previous rate structure was very complex and required calculating the cost of every aspect of the rental, including utilities, vendor fees and services from our staff,” Tom Aldrich said. “These new rates should be much more attractive for current and future renters as we now have everything built into a fixed rate, making planning and budgeting much easier. We are also doing away with the vendor fees we used to take from renters. We know very well that food and beverage sales make many events possible, so we are helping to maximize the potential of every event held at the Fairgrounds.”

Fairgrounds staff reviewed past years’ attendance of each space and divided the overall costs/revenues by the usage to determine a fixed rate for each structure. Rates and facilities rental information are now clearly available on the Fairgrounds’ website, including building features and usage suggestions.

Rental revenues and the number of events hosted at the Fairgrounds continue to increase. From 2015 to 2016, the Fairgrounds experienced a 21 percent increase in rental revenues, bringing in $78,778. Additionally, more than 100 events were held across 231 rental days in 2016. This was a 23 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.

The Fairgrounds hosted an estimated total of 94,472 people in 2016, during all events. The 2016 Western Montana Fair saw 67,287 attendees, the highest in a number of years.

Fairgrounds staff expect to see even more events at the Fairgrounds as a result of the new, and more simplified, pricing structure.

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