Swift Cur­rent Ag and Ex look­ing for a re­bound year in 2019

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Af­ter post­ing a $57,155 loss this past year, the Swift Cur­rent Agri­cul­ture and Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion is look­ing to im­prove their bot­tom line by bol­ster­ing at­ten­dance num­bers for the grand­stand en­ter­tain­ment at Fron­tier Days 2019.

The plan for larger grand­stand at­ten­dance was one of the fo­cal mes­sages of the Swift Cur­rent Ag and Ex an­nual meet­ing on Fe­bru­ary 26, where their en­tire year op­er­a­tions were re­ported on. Over­all net rev­enues from events this past year were down only $3,990 from 2017.

A por­tion of their deficit this past year was at­trib­uted to a $23,000 ren­o­va­tion of their of­fice space, but their largest loss was a short­fall of $28,000 for the grand­stand en­ter­tain­ment.

“We were down last year. We dug 10 per cent into our as­sets so that isn’t a good thing. It’s a lit­tle bit tough. But I think that had to do with the en­ter­tain­ment. The en­ter­tain­ment wasn’t maybe as strong as we’ve had in the past,” ad­mit­ted Ag and Ex Pres­i­dent Bryce Bur­nett. “And we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to our en­ter­tain­ment this year with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I think it’ll be a real plus. It’s go­ing to prob­a­bly pull that 10 per cent, I hope so.”

The lone con­cert dur­ing Fron­tier Days is set for Fri­day, June 28, with Swift Cur­rent’s own Colter Wall shar­ing the stage with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Con­cert tick­ets are avail­able for $60, with that price also cov­er­ing gate ad­mis­sion and seat­ing for the CCA rodeo per­for­mance at 1 p.m.

Bur­nett said this strong Fri­day line-up is an­tic­i­pated to draw a near ca­pac­ity crowd.

“The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, I think they’ll do that. And es­pe­cially when we’ve got open­ing with Colter Wall. I think we’ve got a real good draw this year. And I think it’ll re­ally help us this year.”

Bur­nett said they are plac­ing a fo­cus on higher at­ten­dance fig­ures and not cur­rently look­ing at a higher gate ad­mis­sion cost.

“Prob­a­bly not. It de­pends I guess in this next year how we do. But the $5 gate ad­mis­sion has re­ally been a good draw for us. And it gets the peo­ple in. And we hate to touch that too much be­cause it has been so pos­i­tive for us and re­ally in­creased our at­ten­dance. And then once you get them into the ground, then you can add a lit­tle bit on here and there.”

And, as al­ways, weather is a huge fac­tor in their Fron­tier Days bot­tom line.

“We rely a lot on this on just four days. And Mother Na­ture can some­times put a lit­tle bit of a kink into it. And so we hope for good weather there and that we have a real good turnout. But when you’re just bank­ing on four days for our main rev­enue it’s a lit­tle bit tough.”

Bur­nett added that the As­so­ci­a­tion boasts a strong team of vol­un­teers and board mem­bers to make their ac­tiv­i­ties a suc­cess.

“We’ve got a lot of en­thu­si­as­tic board mem­bers that are re­ally pas­sion­ate about what they’re do­ing in their var­i­ous parts in the Swift Cur­rent Ag and Ex,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge. So I see a lot of chal­lenges ahead. But, once again, we have some real ca­pa­ble peo­ple to pull these chal­lenges out.”

Ag and Ex Board Fi­nance Chair Stan Aikens touched on the fi­nan­cial par­tic­u­lars dur­ing his re­port at the meet­ing.

“Again a chal­leng­ing year for the As­so­ci­a­tion fi­nan­cially, as we had many ar­eas where we saw in­creased costs for ser­vices and en­ter­tain­ment, etcetera, which af­fected our abil­ity to just break even on putting on these events,” he said.

Over­all net rev­enues were sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous year. Ac­tiv­i­ties and events earned the As­so­ci­a­tion $688,455 in rev­enue, a slight in­crease from $667,793 in 2017. When ex­penses for these main ar­eas are re­moved, their ac­tiv­i­ties and events gen­er­ated a profit of $145,896, which was within $3,990 of their over­all events profit of $149,886 dur­ing 2017.

“We con­tinue to be fi­nan­cially strong and will en­deav­our again to pro­vide qual­ity events and ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties for Swift Cur­rent and the sur­round­ing ar­eas,” Aikens said in his re­port.

“We would be chal­lenged to main­tain our cur­rent level of events and en­ter­tain­ment with­out the sup­port and the on­go­ing co­op­er­a­tion of the City of Swift Cur­rent.”

“The ar­eas that we’re look­ing to in­crease prof­itabil­ity are from our ad­mis­sions, as we an­tic­i­pate the en­ter­tain­ment pack­ages that we’ve put to­gether for this com­ing year are go­ing to draw more peo­ple through the gates. En­try fees and regis­tra­tions, those also we an­tic­i­pate will be up a lit­tle bit. And we an­tic­i­pate that we’re go­ing to be able to get some ex­tra spon­sor­ship.”

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