media release

Colorado State Fair

Colorado Department of Agriculture



January 17, 2012


Chris Wiseman, General Manager, (719) 924-0151,

Christi Lightcap, Dir. of Communications, (719) 924-0154,


Colorado State Fair Audit Complete

Changes in Store to Assist in Generating & Managing Fair Dollars


PUEBLO, Colo. – The Office of the State Auditor has completed its performance and financial audit of the Colorado State Fair.  The report highlights three recommendations in light of a $380,000 loss for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2011.


“Overall, we’re pleased with the results of the audit,” said Colorado State Fair General Manager, Chris Wiseman.  “Every year we strive to provide educational opportunities to the half-million fans that attend the Fair, but that doesn’t always provide a high revenue stream; we are constantly working to balance our mission to support youth and agriculture with the need for a positive bottom line.”


Colorado State Fair Audit

The report outlines the results of a financial and compliance audit and evaluates progress in implementing prior audit recommendations.  The audit also looked at those items recommended from the prior audit.  Of those five recommendations, the first three have been implemented and the final two are ongoing.  (page 10)


The Office of the State Auditor serves as the government watchdog for the citizens of Colorado.  Audits focus on reducing costs, increasing efficiency, improving the quality of services, and ensuring the accuracy and integrity of financial information.


The 41-page document, and prior Colorado State Fair audits, are available by visiting

Page 3:  Recommendation Locator

Page 4:  Fair Background

Page 11:  Independent Auditors’ Report

Page 17:  Budgetary Highlights

Page 20:  Statements of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets


New Committees

Colorado State Fair commissioners have created two committees to assist in managing State Fair funding sources.

  • Corporate Partnerships:  A new position is being added to research, develop, and manage corporate partnerships.
  • Colorado State Fair Foundation Committee:  This committee will oversee the State Fair Foundation which was created to help offset the losses incurred by supporting FFA and 4H, which typically accounts for $340,000 annually.


“The Colorado State Fair generates $30 million in economic activity across the state annually and that is a tremendous benefit to the people of Colorado.  Our staff and management are dedicated to offering a wide range of educational and entertaining opportunities while fine tuning our business practices,” continued Wiseman.


The Colorado State Fair has been in existence for 139 years and operates on 80 acres of land in Pueblo, CO.  The Fair will celebrate the 140th Colorado State Fair this August. An eleven-member board meets monthly to discuss and vote on various aspects of the fair.  During FY/2011, approximately 25 full-time and contract employees help maintain its year-round operations.  In the summer, an additional 500 temporary employees are hired to work the annual event.


The Colorado State Fair runs from August 24 – September 3, 2012.  For more information, visit