Fair board to vote on flea market, expo center vendor fee increases

Friday, August 26, 2011 at 1:12pm

Metro’s Board of Fair Commissioners has organized a special meeting next week to deliberate and likely vote on a proposal to raise fees that are charged to vendors who use the property’s expo center.

The meeting is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 30, at noon.

Buck Dozier, executive director of the Tennessee State Fair, said he expects the five-member board to vote on a recommendation that would amount to “generally” an average $10 hike on the rates paid by flea market vendors. Fees are applied each flea market weekend. 

“There’s no one percentage,” he said. “It’s different for different buildings.”

Dozier said the increase would apply only to 2012, with rates for future years decided as they come. Currently, fees range from $45 to $85, he said.

Under the likely recommendation to the board, Dozier said the fair’s corporate sales events — events such as gun shows, Christmas Village, etc. — would have a $75 average increase.

With the fee increase, Dozier has said the fairgrounds would still be providing the most affordable expo space in the city.

Earlier this year, the board tapped Virginia-based Maximus Inc. to study the fairgrounds’ expo center fee structure. Representatives of the company are to make a presentation to the five-member board at the meeting.  

23 Comments on this post:

By: producer2 on 8/26/11 at 1:02

beginning of the end....

By: bfra on 8/26/11 at 1:31

Crook's at work! Dozier should be run out of town on a rail, with Karl running after him, yelling, "come back buckie", we got somemore coniving to do!

producer2 - Didn't see you naming any projects, with Karl's name attached, that "wasn't" running behind schedule or "over" budget.

By: ratizbad on 8/26/11 at 1:56

You have got to be kiddying raise prices.. remember we are in a recession {AKA depression} When is eveybody going to see we have corruption and greed here in Davidson County...Until we vote out all of the crooks we are DOOMED!!!
Lets start Now!!

By: producer2 on 8/26/11 at 1:58

you had your chance less than 4 weeks ago. How did that turn out for you?

the master plan for the riverfront began in 2005 with Mayor Purcell......

By: bfra on 8/26/11 at 2:25

producer2 - No list? One doesn't have to wonder why!

By: producer2 on 8/26/11 at 2:42

The MCC is not complete. The dollars awarded to Tower are being appealed, so right now nothing is over budget...

By: racer84 on 8/26/11 at 9:48

Glad they are foolish enough to pull a stunt like this.....while I have emails from the fairgrounds which shows Katy varney instructing them to discount the Christmas village rates from this year(or maybe last years) by a whopping $34,000.00......that's just one example of the hundreds and thousands of dollars in revenue given away annually by the fair board members,MAYOR, and many others close to them.....

There are all kinds of things that need reported about the fairgrounds. Let's work on demanding a true open government and more reporting of what's really going on. Clean it all up and watch the revenues soar. Metro kills the place and the proof is everywhere you look. Keep looking.....

By: pswindle on 8/27/11 at 9:19

This is just another way to try and shut down the Fairgrounds, even if we, the people, voted to keep it open. Dean does not give up until he gets want he wants. Do we not have any local Nashvillians that can run for mayor? This convention center will break the bank, and then what?

By: Einstien62 on 8/27/11 at 9:26

Why do they not just charge by the square foot like every other renter of space? That would be fair and eliminate any cronyism!

By: bessie on 8/27/11 at 4:56

lecha faulkner everytime we turn around they are trying to make nashville loose something and if the flee market gets a rate increase well we can kiss that good bye too.when is nashville going ot wake up and leave things alone??? Progress is one thing but this is a tradition we do not need any changes prices or other wise like the fair leave it where it is.Enough is ENOUGH!!!

By: left on 8/28/11 at 8:43

Buck Dozier used to stand up for the citizens and employees of Davidson Co.People of this county, you better vote the right person in during this runoff election! And the MCC will be over budget,that's why no metro employee is getting their increment raise, not a pay raise for all,but a step raise for the new employees that amounts to something like a COLA. These employees have not had a step increment in 3 years, but others,like department heads can go before the civil service and be topped out automatically. This government is spending too much money, and you taxpayers will make up the difference,by paying a property tax increase when this new council votes it in for 2012!

By: MAmom on 8/28/11 at 10:35

The Fair Board is NOT competent. Their primary goal is to politely close the Fairgrounds. If they were competent, they would not have to keep hiring experts and consultants to run the facilities.

BTW - anyone can hire a so-called expert to "bless" and give political cover to any bad decision - and that is what the Fair Board is doing. Wonder how much this last batch of experts cost?

Put some local accountants and other local people who know business and care about the Fairgrounds on the board - and the Fairgrounds will thrive. The next time an opening on the Fair Board opens, hopefully the Council will make sure the person is COMPETENT - and not just a good friend of KDean.

Any 2nd year Accounting student could do an analysis of revenues and expenses and tell where the problems are. Make sure there is a bidding process on purchases, run the Fairgrounds efficiently, stop spending money stupidly.

Do things that will increase VOLUME... revenues will follow. Do things like:
(1) decrease parking fees to the public,
(2) decrease charges to vendors to increase vendor volume.
(3) Bring in music. The Fall is a great time to have outdoor music events. According to "leaked" emails ... Buck Dozier gets emails from music promoters all the time.
(4) ADVERTISE events at the Fairgrounds!
(5) Stop fighting the racing community... let them have races without being harrassed to death.

I can't attend the Fair Board meeting because of job constraints - but I hope others can - because the Fair Board is less than honest - like their handler KDean. This group and operations they authorize need to be monitored. And the current Fair Board, a group of people beholding to KDean, will do everything they can to run the Fairgrounds into the ground.

So KDean and RRiebeling can sell it - like they have wanted to do all along.

By: whitetrash on 8/28/11 at 11:09

Racer84 do you live in Davidson County?

By: bfra on 8/28/11 at 3:42

whitetrash - What does living in Davidson County have to do with the Fairgrounds? Are you so narrow-minded, to think only Davidson County people use & enjoy the Fairgrounds? With your thinking, Karl's "white elephant monument" MCC will really go under, if only Davidson County residents can avail it's services.

By: fair_minded on 8/28/11 at 4:44

Well it seems pretty obvious that this Fair Board needs to go and be replaced with a board who is not only competent, but has the best interests of the Fairgrounds and it's stakeholders-- the citizens of Davidson County-- in mind.

This business of increasing rental fees is a good case in-point.

Firstly let me say that an increase in fees is likely in order. It has been pointed out previously that it's been several years since the last increase in vendor fees at the flea market. And while the fees at the fairgrounds need to be competitively priced, they should not be under priced-- that is not good management either.

But *WHY* was a consultant hired to come up with a price? They have probably spent more on the consultant that what the new increase will yield in income! Isn't Buck Dozier or anyone on the staff competent enough to call around the country to similar flea markets and determine what is the average going rate for vendor fees? We seem to already have the answer to that question.

Or did anyone think to check with the National Flea Market Association? (http://fleamarkets.org) If they don't already have the information at hand, I'm willing to bet they could be convinced to do such a survey for their membership.

Or if a consultant was really, really needed, don't we have financial analysts already on the payroll at Metro? Even if the fairgrounds reimbursed Metro for the costs, it would have to be a savings over hiring an outside private consultant.

But then hiring un-necessary consults is pretty much consistent with their actions of the past two years in giving the contract to put on the State Fair to the *lowest* bidder and, as noted above, majorly discounting the rental fees for the Christmas Show folks at a time that they're raising them for everyone else. Not to mention wasting approximately $30,000 on a Civic Design Center study that resulted in telling the fair board that they needed to hire a planner. Duh! (http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com/2011/01/more-coming-to-light-from-metro-e-mails.html)

They can figure out how to route business to their own companies (http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110812/NEWS/308120071/Fairgrounds-official-steered-insurance-business-board-member) but not how to operate the fairgrounds efficiently and profitably, even though they were supposedly appointed to this Commission because of the skills that they bring to the table.

It seems that the real skills of this fair board are to run the fairgrounds into financial ruin so that next year the mayor and his puppet Reibling (although it's hard to tell who's the puppet and who's the master there) can point and say "see! we told you so! this place is a loser!"

Especially now that the people have spoken through the referendum to keep the fairgrounds, we need a fair board who will work toward the goal of improving the operation and putting it back on solid ground, not putting it out of business!

Let's all hope that the new Metro council will have the cojones to send this board packing, and take the over-paid and under-competent Buck Dozier with them.

@MAmom - you're more than correct about the concert idea. Dozier does get emails every day offering acts to play at the fairgrounds. many are, or course, very low-level acts, but some are "oldies" and other such groups that could provide reasonable crowds. and we've even talked to some 1st line entertainers who would play there if asked (at least one member of the Grand Ole Opry). in fact, i tried to set up a few fall concerts but could not come up with financial backing-- i'm a poor boy without access to financial resources. But I did get pricing on lighting, sound, insurance, etc. and it's VERY viable to put on a concert there (let me know if you've got some spare cash! :) )

By: gdiafante on 8/29/11 at 5:47

So the increase would keep the fairgrounds "the most affordable expo space in the city"...yet everyone still complains...

By: macjedi on 8/29/11 at 8:30

Of course they still complain. I have yet to hear a realistic person with any broader knowledge outside their hokey tunnel-vision and false emotionally-polluted claims to historic preservation discuss this issue here.

I cannot wait to see the failure of the fairgrounds disappear, and this sort of crybaby reaction to a minor cost is more proof of how little those using that slum to their own myopic ends know about this sort of thing - or running a city.

By: macjedi on 8/29/11 at 8:33

I forgot to point out that it would not matter what Mayor Dean did, these people would still vilify him. Anyone trying to change anything in the south seems to be met with this kind of stubborn lack of vision and progress. Sometimes it is embarrassing to have been born and raised here, but then I just keep on fighting for it, since I love my home state/town.

The bottom line is that often times people in "these parts" get SUPER mad when people smarter than them try to tell them what's best. Lately, from the national level on down, there are a lot of smart people that the yokels just CANNOT tolerate listening to.

Insert a popular omelet-making analogy here, and pass the salsa.

By: jpbrody on 8/29/11 at 11:09


I would rather have a stake to the heart than death by a thousand cuts. That's just me, of course. I guess the end result is the same.

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 8/29/11 at 2:02

"Smarter than us" really, macjedi, really? Them's the sourest grapes that I've been ever seening. Someday when you crawl out of KDeans a$$ you may hope that your native Nashville brother's won't remember you. That will be when your old enough to have paid property taxes, seen a few carpetbaggers come and go and generally have a much better vision of life than your young self does now. I went to the flea market this weekend, lots of people, lots of vendors, neighbors parking cars and making lots of money. Capitalism at it's finest. To simple and clean for your idols to be able to get their grubby money hunger hands on it. And apparently your to dumb to see the difference.

By: bfra on 8/29/11 at 4:03

judy - Sounds like you have jedi's number! Well put!

Also enjoyed the flea market over the weekend and as always, met some really nice people there.

By: shef2 on 8/29/11 at 7:22

Not fair to the Flea Market Vendors-! I live 3 blocks from the Fairgrounds, & know quite a few of these Vendors.
YES, I do think they are trying to "drive them out", & this is "sucking" - a lot...
The Newer Vendors, who are constantly being "moved around" are just trying this out, to see if they will do well- Or NOT - & that's already a big challenge for them... Now, MORE $$$ - This is just BAD - Business, & Morally... BAD. They should be ashamed.

By: macjedi on 8/30/11 at 7:55

I will never be "old enough" to settle for this stagnant thinking, sorry. This city is growing up and moving forward and we have a legacy of mayors (from out of town since the last time we rolled our own it didn't seem to pay off) who think outside our tater-crates to thank for it.

We need only look at the comparison of the current and former Governor to see the stark difference in thinking. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to count the latest dozens of legislation this GOP governor is signing in his efforts to "stay out of people's lives" more...