State Fair Officials Hope To Recoup Losses After Irene

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Maryland State Fair
Jessica Kartalija 80x80 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — Hurricane Irene is having a lasting impact beyond the power problems. Both Ocean City and the State Fair had an entire weekend literally washed out, costing thousands of dollars.

Jessica Kartalija explains while Monday is the last day, organizers are trying to remain optimistic.

Fair organizers say they are hoping to recoup some of what they lost, offering last-minute deals to fairgoers.

The State Fair was in full swing Monday but last week was a different story. Hurricane Irene forced what should have been a big weekend to be a bust.

“It was scheduled, the hurricane, so we didn’t want to get here and pay to buy tickets and come here and the weather be all raining and the rides would be closed,” said one attendee.

Fair officials closed the midway rides and games Saturday afternoon, costing thousands in lost revenue.

“Four hundred thousand dollars. That’s a top of my head estimate but I’m going to say it’s in that area,” said Max Mosner, President, Maryland State Fair.

After taking a loss from the hurricane moving through, fair organizers turned to social media like Facebook to advertise better prices and get people back in here.

“We usually come every year and because it’s Monday, we figured it would be less crowded than the weekend, and it’s not,” said one attendee.

It was a similar story in Ocean City, where Irene forced the closure of the Boardwalk on what should have been a huge weekend for the resort town.

While Irene took a toll on entertainment’s bottom line, fair officials say they will bounce back…eventually.

“We will be OK. We have reserves; we’ll be back,” said Mosner.

Preliminary estimates show the cost of lost business, damage and cleanup from Irene will be more than $150 million.

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