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Expo Center events showed profit for city

Hosting four events in slightly more than a month kept the Enumclaw Expo Center hopping, but generated a net profit of approximately $150,000 for the city.

Beginning with the Creation Fest and continuing through the Scottish Highland Games, Celebrate Homegrown and the Olympic Kennel Club dog show, the grounds were kept plenty busy. The four events began July 20 and concluded Aug. 21.

Each was considered a success, both by city staff and event organizers, according to Kristen Damazio, the Expo Center’s marketing and event manager. She issued a verbal report Sept. 27 to members of the Enumclaw City Council.

The July 21-24 Creation Fest “was a great event for us,” Damazio said, noting that the Christian-themed festival averaged daily attendance of approximately 14,000.

“Businesses did very well,” Damazio said, adding that a shuttle bus from the Expo Center to downtown provided a boost to the two-day Street Fair.

“We had very minimal security and safety issues,” Damazio continued, noting that Creation Fest’s medical team had far fewer calls than when the event was staged at the Gorge Amphitheatre. There were 29 noise complaints lodged – not too bad for a four-day rock concert, Damazio said.

Creation Fest initially signed a two-year agreement, meaning they’re locked in for 2011, but talks are scheduled for November to discuss extending the arrangement, Damazio said.

The always-popular Highland Games brought 26,000 people to Enumclaw for the July xx-xx event, an increase of 2,000 from the 2009 total, Damazio said.

There were some challenges due to inadequate staffing levels, she added, a situation that will be addressed prior to the 2011 event. The current contract with the city extends through 2012.

Celebrate Homegrown, the city fair with a heavy agricultural emphasis, drew a crowd of nearly 9,800. Despite it ag-friendly nature, the turnout from 4-H members was not as great as expected.

Still, the Aug. 12-14 fair showed net revenues of $12,350, Damazio said, admitting the final tally wasn’t quite as much as was expected.

The summer’s final event was the annual Olympic Kennel Club dog show, Damazio said, an event that drew 18,000 – that’s 10,000 people and 8,000 dogs. That participation makes it the sixth-largest dog show in the nation.

Damazio said the city’s current contract with the OKC has expired, but there’s no doubt the show will continue at the Expo Center for years to come.

“They want to renew for as many years as we’ll give them,” she said.

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