Year Round Events

Gun Show at OC Fairgrounds Shows Room for Improvements in Transparency & Accountability

Check It Out (1)

Students are walking out of school on March 14, 2018, to protest the deaths of students and others from gun violence. While Los Angeles County bans gun shows, Orange County allows gun shows. The Crossroads of the West gun show takes place at the Orange County Fair and Event Center (OCFEC), also known as the OC Fairgrounds, several times a year and is a steady source of over $300,000 in annual facility use revenue in addition to parking and concessions revenues.  About a year ago, OCFEC closed for the weekend because the Make America Great Again rally announced that they would hold their unpermitted rally near Fair Drive and Fairview Road on the same weekend as the Crossroads of the West gun show, which caused the cancellation of the gun show for that weekend. The irony is the gun show caused their own cancellation because they agreed to host the Make America Great Again rally without permission to do so.  The gun show was allowed to reschedule the date of the show which was cancelled due to their own actions. 

A recent trip to the gun show raises questions about the conduct of the show including:

  • Photography and video recording are prohibited.
  • A list of of sellers is not available.
  • A "pentagon AR-15 coupler" which attaches five ten-round magazines to an AR-15 was for sale. This apparently legal workaround allows up to fifty rounds to be fired in quick succession. The video linked to is for illustrative purposes only.
  • Several gun show sellers specialize in AR-15 weaponry and accessories.
  • It is not clear if a person is able to obtain the parts needed to assembly an AR-15 from the sellers at the gun show. 
  • Booths do not have signs with the name of the business at each and every booth and not all booths had marketing materials or business cards with the business name and contact information.
  • A number of sellers do not match to a list of Costa Mesa business licenses although a Costa Mesa business license is required to conduct business at OCFEC.  See Costa Mesa Municipal Code Title 9, Chapter I to learn more about business license requirements. A Costa Mesa business license allows sales tax generated at OCFEC to be paid to the City of Costa Mesa, Orange County, and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), among other agencies. OCTA uses the M1 and M2 OC Go sales tax increments to fund transportation improvements.  
  • Pawn shops which are called "second hand dealers" in statute are among the sellers.  Pawn shops/ second hand dealers need permission from the Costa Mesa Police Department to operate in Costa Mesa. See Costa Mesa Municipal Code Title 9, Chapter II, Article 12 to learn more about business license requirements for pawn shops/ second hand dealers. 
  • A man was observed pushing a hand truck with a box of ammunition for sale throughout the show for several hours. He was holding a handwritten cardboard sign asking people to purchase items from his box. There was less product in the box later in the day than at the beginning of the day.

 

Reform of gun laws is outside the jurisdiction of the OCFEC Board but the Board can require changes to be made in the way all public events are conducted on the property. Shows open to the public, with free or paid admission, should publish a list of all sellers and exhibitors at the event. The list should state the business name, mailing address, phone number, and email to allow sellers and exhibitors to be contacted outside of the show. Show promoters should be required to have the list available at the show and the information should be kept on file by the OCFEC staff to be provided to the public. One simple change to enhance transparency and accountability which is within the grasp of the OC Fair Board is a step in the right direction. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Business Development Michele Richards mrichards@ocfair.com

Contact the OCFEC Board Added May 3, 2018

Chair Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com
Vice Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com
Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com
Nick Berardino nberardino@ocfairboard.com
Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com
Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com
Gerardo Mouet gmouet@ocfairboard.com
Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com
Stan Tkaczyk stkaczyk@ocfairboard.com

Public Records Requests cpra@ocfair.com

 

 

 


Master Site Plan: "Development Report"

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses the plans for development of the Master Site Plan. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 24-25 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal:

TASK 8 – MASTER SITE PLAN DEVELOPMENT

This task will produce a Master Site Plan Report containing summary of key findings and initial recommendations for planning and future use of the Fairgrounds. Our recommendations will stem from a thorough understanding of background data, community input, operational and facilities optimization, market demand, and the OCFEC mission, thereby translating community-based programming and operational strategies into physical place-making that serves the County for generations to come.

The master site planning will include evaluation of local market demand to formulate and evaluate alternative approaches to uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

The cohesive development of a comprehensive, data-driven, visionary MSP will be the culmination of the well- established fluid exchange of information (data) and ideas from the Internal and Community Stakeholders which will empower the 32nd District Agricultural Association’s Board of Directors to make the most informed decisions regarding the future of how OCFEC will fulfill its Mission Statement: “Celebration of Orange County’s Communities, Interests and Heritage.”

TASK 8.1 – MASTER SITE PLAN

Following the Options Workshop/Meetings, and based on additional input from internal and community stakeholders, we will prepare a Master Site Plan with initial recommendations for future use of the OCFEC site and facilities.

Our team’s approach to physical master planning will stem from an understanding of local conditions and an intimate relationship with the site, including topography, drainage, existing uses, relationship to surroundings, and the social context of human activities. It will incorporate sustainable, low impact development techniques that will allow a more intensified program of uses to “sit lightly” on the land. The master plan will be suitable as a basis for detailed site planning and entitlement processing to be conducted as part of a future contract.

The master planning process will translate community-based, evidence-driven programming and operational strategies into physical place-making. This will include alternative land use concepts that describe different approaches to uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

  • Establish zones for County Fair and other major events, active and passive open space, neighborhood and community destinations and recreation, and economic “drivers” including an optimized mix of new infill development.

  • Integrate usable buildings and outdoor spaces that will provide efficiency and serve as high-functioning venues for community activities.

  • Address site drainage through sustainable system integrated into the roadway and open space network.

  • Incorporate sustainable landscape strategies and a multi-purpose open space system.

  • Design for walkability and interconnected urban form and compact relationship of complementary uses.

  • Create possibilities for a hierarchy of circulation, entry, identity, and image for key landmarks, with more private or support uses buffered and served by more minor roadways.

TASK 8.2 – PREPARE REPORT DELIVERABLES

The Consulting Team, in conjunction with the Executive Management Team and Key Management Support, and Master Site Plan Committee, will prepare drafts and a final fully documented 10-Year OCFEC Master Site Plan that addresses the best options for the District and addresses all of the key issues and planning process listed in your RFP. A presentation will be made to the full Board of Directors for review prior to implementation.

 

[A] The documents showing the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 


More About the Master Site Plan Process: Financial Plans, Projections & Funding Sources

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses financial plans and projections. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 23-24 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal:

TASK 7 – FINANCIAL PLAN & PROJECTIONS [A]

This Task commenced in Task 5 and will be finalized in this Task (Task 7). It will consider the initial work done by all parties and will result in finalized financial projections, considering revenue, expenses and profit from each business element as well capital improvement assumptions prepared by HPI.

Based on the market data and demand projections, working closing with the Executive Management Team and the Audit Consultant, the Consulting Team will prepare a 10-year operating pro forma for the proposed OCFEC initiatives discussed in the previous tasks. The model will list all revenues and fixed and variable expenses in line-item detail throughout the period of the projection, and include data for each individual type of business use initiative.

The analysis will document OCFEC’s approach to delivery of services, such as staffing, food and beverage, parking, and other major line items affecting the operation, thus providing the District with a clear understanding of how the initiative will earn and spend money, fit into the broader operations of the OCFEC, and what the expected financial picture will be at the end of each year. To the extent that public dollars are to be used to support operations, capital improvements, or other items, these sources will also be considered and integrated into the financial analysis.

We will also offer a specific discussion regarding revenue sources that are available to public assembly facilities, including benefactor naming rights and other specialized revenue streams, such as advertising, and based on market conditions.

The Team will outline potential funding sources that could be considered for the proposed OCFEC business initiative, as well as for ongoing operating support, that will consist of a detailed analysis for each option. These approaches may include private investments, incentives, sales, meals and room taxes, Tax Increment Finance Districts, revenue bonds, empowerment/enterprise zones, tax-exempt bonds, and taxable bond revenue streams, among other tools.

[A] The documents regarding the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 


"Vetting of Business Opportunities" Key Component of Master Site Plan Process

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses business opportunities. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 20-21 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal available the OC Fairgrounds Documents page:

TASK 5 - VETTING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

This task will produce a report containing a summary of independent business cases for future uses/ initiatives of the OCFEC based upon vetted business ideas, opportunities and findings. The Team’s work will stem from a thorough understanding of background data, community input, operational and facilities optimization, market demand, and the District’s guiding principles; thereby translating community-based programming and operational strategies into physical placemaking that serves the District for generations to come.

The planning process will include evaluation of local market demand to formulate and evaluate business opportunities/ ideas, alternative approaches to existing and/ or proposed uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

TASK 5.1 – MARKET AND DEMAND ANALYSIS [A]

The methodology we propose to assess market demand and estimate overall performance for each business sector is outlined below:

Market Demand and Supply Analysis:  We will analyze pertinent economic, demographic, and market factors that impact land use, business expansion, and space utilization within the area surrounding the site which could contribute to overall planning opportunities. This analysis will focus on key economic and real estate issues such as market demand and supply conditions and includes a trade area analysis of retail/entertainment (not including fairgrounds), office, residential, and others. The goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of market conditions for the overall site.

Estimated Market Performance: Based upon our analysis of market demand and our recommendations outlined in the preceding work steps, we will address the market performance of the indicated uses. For each specific use, we will also profile operating expense information based upon information gathered and summarized in preceding tasks, as well as general information provided through industry resources and other credible secondary sources of information.

Cash Flow Analysis: From the results of the estimated market performance of potential additional/alternative business uses,which are the supporting mechanisms for pricing, performance, operating, and cost assumptions, we will prepare comprehensive cash flow analysis.

The demand profile, current cost structures, and data from existing operations as well as comparable facilities will be used to model the operating revenues and expenses of the proposed uses. Johnson Consulting has modeled numerous similar fairground facilities and will draw on its experience with these facilities. Projections will extend over a 10-year period.

Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis: Each aspect of the business model will be added to the market. The procedures for the Economic and Fiscal analysis are described in the specific task requested in the RFP in Task 9, below.

TASK 5.2 – JUSTIFICATION/ P&L FOR EACH BUSINESS CASE  [A]

We will work with the MSP Committee to develop a justification analysis for the District on the advantages and/or disadvantages of the OCFEC relative to certain uses. We will develop a P&L and opportunities-and- constraints diagrams based on information obtained and review of the various business case initiatives proposed.

TASK 5.3 – PREPARE REPORT DELIVERABLE  [A]

Based on the Market Demand Analysis, we will research and report on the opportunities/ideas for planning and future business case uses of the OCFEC, as well as constraints. The Business Case Report will include business cases for uses of whatever portion of the venue is not needed for the OC Fair, Centennial Farm, Pacific Amphitheatre, Imaginology, Heroes Hall, and the other anticipated current programmed events and community-based activities, and will include rough schematic drawings of at least three (3) possible alternative facility and/or land use configurations for possible business initiatives, including their relative strengths and weaknesses. It will be both qualitative and quantitative, providing approximate market value estimates for what alternative business use can generate as potential ground rent to the District, for the area considered for new initiatives.

[A] The documents regarding the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 

 

 


CEO Kathy Kramer to Make Appearance at March 6, 2018 Costa Mesa City Council Meeting

Check It Out (1)

 

CEO Kathy Kramer will make an appearance at the March 6, 2018, Costa Mesa City Council meeting which starts at 6 PM at 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa to make a presentation at the beginning of the meeting agendized as "2. Upcoming OC Fair Events & Information – Ms. Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair".  As this is an information item and does not have a staff report detailing what is being presented, CEO Kathy Kramer should stick to providing information about upcoming concerts, events, classes, and similar items and refrain from discussion of any and all issues regarding the Master Site Plan, Board of Directors decisions, upcoming items on the Board of Directors agenda, or any matter which is not strictly informational. Council Members should also refrain from discussing issues which do not appear on the agenda with CEO Kramer at this time. 

If CEO Kathy Kramer wants to discuss those items with the Costa Mesa City Council, she needs to come back and ask for the item(s) to be placed on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.  Similarly, if the Council wants a discussion of issues involving the OC Fairgrounds,  Council should place the item on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.

 

Background on CEO Kathy Kramer

Kathy Kramer has worked as:

Director of Sales and Marketing for Harrah's Casino and Hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Midwest Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Continents Hotels and Resorts in Omaha, Nebraska

Vice President of Convention Sales and Marketing for Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska

Deputy Director of Phoenix Convention Center and Venues: Ms. Kramer was part of the executive team that oversaw a $600M expansion project tripling the rentable space to nearly one million sq. ft and placing the convention center in the top 25 convention centers in North America. The expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center permanently changed the area around the property and led to the development of hotels and restaurants near the property. 

Vice President of Business Operations at Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Record Breaking 2017 Revenues & Cash Reserves at OC Fairgrounds

32nd DAA Historic Revenue Chart

As the books on 2017 are closed, the financial achievements of the OC Fairgrounds (also known as the 32nd District Agricultural Association or 32nd DAA)  in Costa Mesa, CA, become clear with record breaking revenues of $46,218,579, up by over $2 million from 2016 revenues of $44,085,055. Operating expenses increased from $32,913,281 in 2016 to $36,284,118, but the operation was still highly profitable. An all time high in cash and cash equivalent reserves came in at $43,577,495. A summary follows and detailed financial statements are available for download. 

Download Financials_HistoricalFebruary_Board_Packet

All figures are end of period. 

  2017 2016
Cash & Cash Equivalent $43,577,495 $38,206,988
     
Total OC Fairgrounds Produced Event Revenue     $35,075,050   $34,203,177
Total Year Rental Revenue     $10,592,999 $9,567,324
Total Non-Operating Revenue     $550,531 $314,554
Total Revenue     $46,218,579 $44,085,055
     
Total Operating Expenses      $36,284,118  $32,913,281
Profits   $9,934,461 $11,171,774