PERRY -- The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is getting a face-lift and a little more elbow room for visitors to the Georgia National Fair.
More than 1,200 linear feet are being added to the midway to allow for better crowd control with the rides.
“The intent is to achieve a decompression,” Bob Irwin, chief operating officer, said Wednesday at the July meeting of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority.
The move also will give the fair a chance to have queue lines, which will direct the flow of traffic for each ride.
Last year, there were 65 rides, and the increase in space will allow for more rides as well.
The project “will enhance the experience of fairgoers,” Irwin said.
Additional construction on the same project will add a restroom facility near the south gate, bringing the total restroom buildings to five.
The fiscal year for the fairgrounds ended June 30, with the facility bringing in a record $7.2 million in gross revenue, said Ronald Goldsby, chief administrative officer. He said about 87 percent of the facility’s operations were self-supported, with the remainder coming from the state.
Almost $800,000 in reserves were carried forward into fiscal 2012.
The reserves would have exceeded a million dollars if not for capital projects of $200,000 and a state reduction in fair revenues of $250,000.
Aside from the fair, the highest revenue producer at the fairgrounds was the National Barrel Horse Association event, which generated $236,900.
Also at the meeting, Executive Director Ransom Moore said an agreement has been reached with the Perry Convention and Visitors Bureau to install two touch-screen kiosks at the fairgrounds.
The kiosks will cost about $30,000 but will be able to direct visitors to various locations and activities during the fair as well as generate advertising revenue from local businesses.
To contact writer Angela Woolen, call 923-5650.