The Corn Palace Festival will remain in the same location downtown, as moving north increases income

Corn Palace manager Doug Greenway said the change of venue – which moved the carnival from its previous location on Main Street between First Avenue and Seventh Avenue north to between Fifth Avenue and Ninth Avenue has resulted in an increase in attendance, revenue and overall attendance at the festival. With the change of venue being considered a success, the Corn Palace Entertainment Board recently voted to keep the festival in the same location for 2022.

“GoldStar Amusements’ contribution has also been taken, and they have seen their revenues increase in 2019 and 2021, indicating that the trend is on the rise,” Greenway said at Mitchell’s city council meeting on Monday. “The board felt that was a strong indicator to keep it in one place.”

The 2021 layout helped GoldStar Amusements – the carnival company hired by the city to organize the fairground rides and games – to generate $ 46,000 in revenue, marking an increase of about $ 10,000 from some of the years previous when the event was located along First Avenue at Seventh Avenue. After suffering a 50% drop in revenue during the 2020 carnival – something many city officials had anticipated since it was held at the height of the pandemic – Greenway said the sharp increase in revenue for this year’s festival l ‘had helped assess the success of the north change location.

As for the entire five-day festival, it generated just over $ 88,000 in revenue for the city, which Greenway said was higher than the numbers the city saw in 2017 and 2018 before the change of direction. ‘site. Greenway highlighted the “more central” layout as a key factor that led to the increase in income.

Scenes from the Corn Palace Festival on Thursday August 26, 2021 in downtown Mitchell.  (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)

Scenes from the Corn Palace Festival on Thursday August 26, 2021 in downtown Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)

“We think it has a lot to do with being centrally located so people don’t have to go that far to enjoy all the rides and games,” he said.

The list of musical artists who took to the Corn Palace stage during the carnival in late August also brought in around $ 108,000 in ticket sales. Greenway said alcohol sales from the three concerts were around $ 36,000.

After decades of hosting the festival from First Avenue to Seventh Avenue, former Corn Palace manager Scott Schmidt has offered to move the location in 2019 to the north end of Main Street, across from the Mitchell’s biggest tourist attraction. Schmidt said the main goals of the layout were to create a more “intimate” family environment, add more carnival rides and allow festival-goers to experience the Corn Palace experience.

Mayor Bob Everson was among those responsible for supporting the decision to attempt a Fifth Avenue test run from Ninth Avenue. Looking at the numbers, Everson said his support for the move north remained.

“I heard a lot of good things from people attending the carnival, and noticed that a lot of families with young children were particularly happy,” he said.

Although the change in location met with mixed reactions among some downtown business owners and city officials in 2019, Greenway said that a survey that recently interviewed large numbers of street entrepreneurs Main revealed strong support for the new location.

“We asked the director of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond to survey the downtown businesses that are members of the group because we wanted their advice. They approved the location, ”he said. “On a scale of 1 to 5, we saw an average of 3.4 in favor of keeping the same spot north of Main Street.”

Scenes from the Corn Palace Festival on Thursday August 26, 2021 in downtown Mitchell.  (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)

Scenes from the Corn Palace Festival on Thursday August 26, 2021 in downtown Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)

GoldStar Amusements added six new rides to the carnival in 2022, which Greenway said was due to the layout that freed up more large parking lots. As part of the previous configuration that stretched from First Avenue to Seventh Avenue, carnival rides and games were placed along Main Street, and food vendors occupied the part of downtown Mitchell in front of the Corn Palace.

The change of location also received support from Mitchell’s Department of Public Safety, Greenway said, noting that public safety officials said the location made it “easier to respond to emergencies.”

“They informed me that the condensed location made it a bit easier to find lost children,” said Greenway.

Going forward, Greenway said he and the Corn Palace board will review the location annually, which will involve input from downtown business owners, before signing the plan.

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