Behind the New York State Fair's rides, food and games there is also serious business at work. Vendors pay thousands of dollars to set up a stand and the fair's slowest start in twenty years means fewer potential customers. Mountain View restaurant is one of the best known food spots at the fair. Denny Morgan says their sales are down but he hopes crowds will bounce back over the fair's final six days.
"Realistically, I don't know if we have an answer for what's going on this year. everybody seems to think it's the economy that's doing a lot of it," said Morgan.Others are saying fewer concerts at the grandstand have hurt business - especially for vendors on the midway. Lyman Bruno says regular customers have been seeking out his roasted almonds stand but his business is down and he has one request for next year.
"More grandstand shows. We really seem to get more business the nights the grandstand is full," said Bruno.Fair Director Dan O'Hara said the grandstand schedule is dependent on artist touring schedules, availability and other factors. O'Hara knows numbers have been slow but he says upcoming shows by Jason Aldean, the Commodores and The Band Perry will boost numbers
"From an entertainment standpoint, our best is coming and you'll see attendance numbers move in an upward positive direction," said O'Hara on Wednesday.Not all vendors mind the smaller crowds. Jodie Farmer is having her best fair ever at her Scensy stand in the Horticulture Building. She says smaller crowds allow people to comfortably stop and smell her scented waxes and warmers.
"They're not kind of getting clogged in the aisle and pushed along when sometimes they want to stop and if it's real busy the people behind them just push them along and they don't stop," said Farmer.