Iowa State Fair Changing How You Buy Food at Fair

Patrons pass down Grand Avenue on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)


By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa — Vendors who work with the Iowa State Fair said Tuesday that the fair is changing how fairgoers pay for food, drinks and attractions next year.

State Fair officials said that the new cashless payment system would ask fairgoers to purchase tickets that would be redeemed at food stands instead of paying cash or with cards at the stands.

The system has already been in use inside the Grandstand for the past six years, fair officials said.

The change was unveiled in a letter sent to vendors. It said the change would help prevent security problems like robbery or employee theft.

The letter said other state fairs across the USA have used the ticket system and it also helped increase sales.

Booths to buy the tickets would be placed around the fairgrounds for fairgoers to purchase the tickets.

"As we make this transition, I expect your prices to be held at the 2013 amounts," Mike Nye, concessions and commercial exhibits director, said in the letter.

The letter also suggested vendors offer "value" items on their menus.

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