Profits don’t come easy at Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair draws nearly 2 million people, making it a choice location for nearly 800 businesses hawking everything from corn dogs to tractors. But officials and vendors say profits don’t come easy.

There’s a popular myth that food vendors earn a year’s worth of income in 12 days. But Dennis Larson, who oversees them, tells Minnesota Public Radio that’s just not true.

Businesses pay a hefty cost to be there. Vendors pay the fair 15 percent of their food sales. There are also expenses for labor, supplies, other costs and taxes.

Larson says a typical or medium booth will do about $55,000 in gross sales. But a good operator brings home maybe 25 percent after expenses, just a few thousand dollars for 12 long days of work.