Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Flight Festival running a deficit with the wind at its back

This year's Flight Festival at Jabara Airport lost $160,000, but city council members saw silver lining in the red ink -- the festival lost $30,000 less than it did in 2006. And with that they gave the informal go-ahead for the city to sign a new contract for next year's air show with Wichita Festivals Inc., which organized the event the past two years. The council will vote on the new contract in the next month or two.

Janet Wright, executive director of Wichita Festivals Inc., told the city council last week that rain, a late start recruiting sponsors and big spending on a musical act probably all contributed to the financial loss. Only 1,300 people attended the festival on Friday, when the Commodores played under rainy skies. Saturday and Sunday showed a recovery with a combined 7,800 in attendance, but it was not enough for the festival to make money. Wright said that if promoters can get a quicker start recruiting corporate sponsors that want to get their name out there, the event will not lose as much money. Wright also said she'll consider reducing the music budget significantly, even if it means they get something a little less marketable than the Commodores. Wright also plans to send in applications to the Department of Defense to see if Wichita can score the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels or other military planes that might help attract a larger crowd.


Anonymous said...

Why in the world would we sign a contract with a company that has lost over $100,000 two years in a row???

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first anonymous why spend more on a looser, Wichita just doesn't support airshows. Look at "Doc" out in the weather just waiting for a hail storm or other violent weather.

Anonymous said...

Has the City looked at the enormous fees Wichita Festivals charges for their services???

The amount they charge vendors alone to be there is unbelievable. The food vendors then have to charge exhorbitant prices to the public. Public get's angry at the vendors, instead of Wichita Festivals.

It creates an all around aire of resentment and a lot of people stay home.

There are a lot of good vendors that absolutely refuse to do business with Wichita Festivals because of their ridiculous fees. Wichita festivals makes more than the vendors do and don't have any investment. This is particularly true at RiverFest.

It's time for the city to investigate the fincial going's on of Wichita Festivals and the board of directors lifestyles.