08/31/2011 11:30AM

Santa Rosa and Ferndale business dips


After showing healthy increases at the Northern California fair tracks of Stockton, Pleasanton and Sacramento, handle decreased at the recently completed Santa Rosa and Ferndale meets. Both of those fairs were coming off strong 2010 seasons.

The Sonoma County Fair at Santa Rosa averaged $1,377,713 in handle from all sources during its 15-day meet, a decline of 13 percent from last year’s meeting of the same length. Daily average ontrack handle was up fractionally, to $268,018.

The Humboldt County Fair at Ferndale couldn’t overcome the whammy of racing head-to-head with other Northern California tracks on the two weekends of its eight-day meet. Average daily all-sources handle was down 31 percent from last year to $471,827. Ontrack handle averaged $85,841, down 13 percent.

Stuart Titus, the track’s general manager and director of racing, said he is hoping Ferndale gets at least one week without competition from another Northern California track next year.

“We must get un-overlapped for one week,” Titus said.