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Suggested caption: Tim Fennell, CEO/General Manager of the Del Mar Fairgrounds; Mark Anderson, GM and VP of Premier; Lisa Barkett, 22nd DAA Board Member; and Russ Penniman, 22nd DAA Board President.
DEL MAR, Ca. (March 1, 2017) - The Del Mar Fairgrounds concessions partner, Premier Food Services, a division of SMG, was honored by Venues Today with a Hall of Headlines Concessions Honor for their creativity and grassroots efforts during the 2016 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons.
Leveraging the “Mad About the Fair” theme, Premier created a “Tea Time in Wonderland” within the popular Flower & Garden Show. Held only on Sundays, this event doubled in attendance and sold out after the first weekend. Tea Time included “Tipsy Tea” with unlimited mimosas, and cups of Earl Grey, finger sandwiches and scones. A hat-making event welcomed children of all ages. The “Garden to Bar” idea featured themed cocktails such as “The Wrong Alice” and “Smile in the Sky” in a setting with planters filled with herbs and spices and whimsical decor such as a copper sink fountain, comfy couches and chairs, and recycled cypress fencing.
This effort helped Premier reach a 2016 food and beverage sales of $26 million and also included exciting, theme-oriented Pop-up tea and Tipsy Tea parties throughout the Fairgrounds with fun and family-oriented activities using the madly successful Fair theme. Premier Foods General Manager and Vice President, Mark Anderson, found spontaneity with the Fair’s theme and helped it come alive through food and beverage events, and that creativity helped make it the third record setting year in a row for Premier at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Premier also provides concessions for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and hundreds of other events held at the fairgrounds.
“Mark has helped take our annual concession revenue and expand it at least six times since he’s been here,” said Tim Fennell, CEO/General Manager of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. “I consider Mark to be a key member of our management team, even though he works for our concessionaire. Our all-time record attendance of 1.6 million at last year’s Fair includes the fact that we have a great partnership with our food and beverage provider.”
“It is my amazing staff that makes this job fun and creative,” Anderson said, attributing the success to surrounding himself with quality people and retaining them. “Most of my managers have been with me on the Fairgrounds for at least 15 years.” Anderson himself has been with Premier at the Fairgrounds for 28 years.
Also, in the Venues Today year-end report, the San Diego County Fair was listed as the fifth largest Fair in the nation, up from sixth in 2015, based on attendance. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, State Fair of Texas, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and the Minnesota State Fair were first through fourth, in that order.
About the Del Mar Fairgrounds
The 22nd District Agricultural Association is a State of California agency that owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Surfside Race Place, Horsepark Equestrian Center and the Del Mar Golf Center. The 22nd DAA produces three events each year: the San Diego County Fair, the Del Mar National Horse Show and The Scream Zone. The Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events annually, the largest of which is the live horse racing meet each summer and fall, which is operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for the 22nd DAA and the State of California. For more information on the Del Mar Fairgrounds, visit delmarfairgrounds.com.