|Photo by Glen Gower|
And then there's the economics of running a fair. I was curious about the overhead costs for a fair. If you have a full ferris wheel (24 riders), each paying $5 per ride, how much profit does that actually mean for the ride operator?
Not much, according to Chris Clarke from Classic Amusements. He shared some financials with me yesterday. For every dollar you spend on a ticket, these are his costs -- which he says are typical of any amusement ride operator:
- $0.25 goes the festival or fair as a form of rent payment
- $0.15 goes to diesel fuel for generator power
- $0.05 goes to trucking, federal fuel taxes
- $0.07 goes to TSSA (provincial government inspection)
- $0.04 goes to Electrical Safety Authority (provincial government inspection)
- $0.07 goes to MTO for licensing and commercial inspections (more provincial government)
- $0.10 goes to labor, weekly payroll for operators, truck drivers and mechanics
- $0.13 goes to insurance (includes general liability, property and auto)
- $0.04 goes into ride maintenance and upkeep
So, if that full ferris wheel has 24 riders, each paying $5, the operator makes $120, which comes out to about $12 after expenses per full ride. It's a better return than playing a carney game, but not enough to make me run off and join the carnival.
See also: Ottawa Fairs Guide
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