Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:46 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 21, 2012 7:40 AM
MISSOULA- Western Montana Fair leaders are shopping around for a new carnival vendor after this month's fair was plagued by problems that led to dozens of complaints.
This year's fair ran into problems when the carnival company, Royal West Amusements and Inland Empire Shows, ran into problems getting rides and games operating. Many people were disappointed and angry when many of the rides showed up a day late, or weren't working at all. Fair managers pressed Royal West to get the carnival operational, and the rest of the fair went more smoothly. After the event, the company left some equipment stranded by mechanical problems until it was finally towed off days later.
Fair Manager Steve Earle says he received dozens of emails and phone calls from fairgoers over the problems. And today he said he's taking that as "strong encouragement from the Missoula community" to find a different carnival operator for next year.
Earle says the fair staff are looking at other companies, and will be traveling to other fairs in the next few weeks to check operators out.
The county has already issued a request for proposals for a new, three-year contract, with two one-year options that could extend the deal through the 2017 fair. Companies have until Oct. 1 to submit their proposals.