The fair means more than just fun and food--think finance

With the Minnesota State Fair wrapping up yesterday I'm sure many vendors and concession stand owners are happy to have some time off - in fact I've heard that some of them make so much money during the fair, they don't need to work the rest of the year. (I'm accepting ideas for my own concession stand in the comments.)

Here are some of the numbers, from a 2008 MinnPost article. We'll keep an eye out for newer data:

There's no doubt that a big Fair presence can mean big bucks for vendors. In 2008, we reported these gross sales (before food costs, employee wages, insurance, building maintenance, and a 12.5 percent fee to the fair) from that summer's Fair:

• Sweet Martha's cookies, with two locations on the fairgrounds: $2 million.

• Three cheese-curd stands: $1.2 million.

• Two french fries vendors: $775,000.

• Four mini-donut stands: $675,000.

• Corn Roast: $600,000.

I did my part to contribute to the bottom line by eating my share of corn, cheese curds and ice cream. For those of us who haven't got the next great concession stand idea or food-on-a-stick, there's always the fair's contests. UST MBA staff member DeAnn Kautzmann took home a grand prize of $12 for her first prize chutney this year!