Thursday, December 5, 2019

Fairgrounds Concessions Contract Canceled

Apparently nobody is going to get the concessions contract for the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.  The Fairgrounds Commission cancelled the RFP today.  The Commission recently awarded the contract to Valley Food Services but Gary Clark protested.  Mr. Clark had a no-bid exclusive contract at the Fairgrounds for twenty years.  Fairgrounds Chairman Andy Gipson issued the statement posted below.





37 comments:

Anon-E-Mouse said...

Where’s Jim Buck Ross when you need him!

Anonymous said...

If this means a better hot dog at the Dixie National . . . I'm all for the change.

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Andy Gipson, who likes to dress up like "Raylan Givens" from "Justified", is taking charge of this critical situation...ugh...maybe not....

Anonymous said...

20 years and no bids?

Anonymous said...



There's a new Sherrif in town....we"ll decide who sucks this teet! And by god don't have no yoga!

Anonymous said...

well, since the Clark's claimed that this contract was the basis for their business, now that they no longer have an exclusive right at the Fairgrounds, guess they will no longer be a 'family business'.

Sorry. Too bad. Your gravy train given you by ??? Commissioner in years past no longer passes the smell test.

Now your actual income can probably approximate your reported IRS income from this cash cow.

And when they open the new Trademart and readvertise this contract, Valley can come back and offer to provide some real professional concession services.

Anonymous said...

No exclusive contract. That is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

20-years is a lot of palm greasing.

But, but, I paid a lot of money (wink, wink) to be entitled to some exclusivity.

Anonymous said...

Shad!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, it's pretty damned nuts to allow each person renting the venue to choose his/her own concession vendors. Who the hell is going to police that?

Anonymous said...

Next, look into hinds county and how AMR ambulance company is the sole provider of that no bid contract for over 20 years.

Anonymous said...

@3:35, wrong, and what is there to "police?" As long as the state sets certain baseline requirements for subcontractors (e.g. health inspections, E-Verify, etc.), its actually a better idea to let the person renting the venue choose their own concessionaire for a few reasons: 1. It ensures that nobody has an unfair advantage (like Clark did); 2. It gives the renter more freedom to negotiate their own concession deal and increase their margin on the event; 3. It simplifies the government's involvement (why should the state be involved in selecting a concessionaire, and how much state employee time is spent administering the concessions contract?); and 4. Since concessions are probably included in the rental price, the cost to the renter should fall, perhaps attracting more events.

All upside, and a win for the free market!

Anonymous said...

Andy ain’t no Raylan! Ain’t but one Raylan and he’s a badass US Marshall!!

Anonymous said...

I’m sure there were improprieties with the contract that had been awarded to Valley or it would not have been cancelled. But now we will sell it to the taxpayers as it’s a great thing! The new TradeMart is a waste of Mississippians tax dollars. There is not a venue in Jackson that can stay booked but let’s build something bigger that costs more. I agree this rent the building and sell your own chips is a liability nightmare waiting to happen. Shad White really does need to look at how the entire Fairgrounds/Fair Commission and how they are being managed. The new Executive Director has created more positions for his family and friends than have ever existed down there yet less revenue is coming in. One only had to look at the midway at the Fair to realize there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

All good things must come to end

Anonymous said...

10 cent corn dogs and nickel cokes, good times are here again!

Anonymous said...

Was that telephonic meeting legal? I thought they had to be public.

Anonymous said...

Since when did competition become a bad thing? When did it not result in improved products and innovation and reduced costs to the consumer?

The answer is never and yet even when 2008 gave us the reminder that " too big to fail" ( euphemism for monopolies and too little competition between mini-monopolies) was so bad that we had no choice but to bail them out, the once fiscally and financially conservative GOP has enabled mergers and RFP's written to insure that only one company would meet the RFP requirements.

Worse we've been brainwashed to believe that a profit model should apply even to those services and professions essential to society. So we've watched " privatization" ( another euphemism for profit replacing actual costs) show that given the gift of existing supplies,plant and equipment, a contractor can reduce initial costs easily but in a short time the privatized services costs more ( see prisons and military base contracts).

This is simple. A company is literally created by being given existing an operating facility at no costs. All that company has in cost is the legal creation of a company and then the production of a bid . This can be done literally with no more than 3 people. If the service has been government run, there are employees with experience in place and equipment in place.

Profit in time, far exceeds the supposed " government waste".

The math doesn't lie and you can find it as a few reporters have under FIAs.





Anonymous said...

6:24 is clearly one of the Reliant guys from Madison who got shot down by Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties for trying to provide wildcatter ambulance services without a license. AMR and Pafford won their business through an RFP process in accordance with state law. No board of supervisors can bind future boards with contracts that last 20 years. AMR might not survive 2020. Come back with your comments next year sore loser.

Anonymous said...

8:24, really --- did you eat at the concession stand? Clark kept cutting quality to increase their margin (easy to do when you don't have to compete) --- in order to compete with other venues, you need a strong food offering.

Anonymous said...

When Ole Miss plays basketball at the Coliseum 12/21, can I bring a brown bag lunch?

Anonymous said...

Andy didn't get a blessing so he dumped then.

Kingfish said...

At least we are getting rid of crap concessions one way or another. The service and offerings have sucked for years.

The Commission is going to require the next contract-holder to have a point of sale system, something that is currently not used. The state has no way of knowing what the gross sales or revenue is. Suggestions were made to the current vendor to improve the service and food offered. Standardizing what employees wore was suggested as well but all to no avail.

It appears what happened is the Commissioner called the vendor's bluff.

Competition is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Anyone really think Commissioner Gipson has EVER used the word "telephonic"?

bill said...

I don't have any problem with what has happened, although I'm a little curious as to how they have taken the concessions in house. Does that mean that the Clark family are all now state employees? As a sometime user of the fairgrounds facilities, I would like the option of using the in house concessions with the price for that included in the rental contract, or bringing my own concessions and renting the facility a little cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Gipson is making efforts to clean house and already the malcontents in the bleacher seats are complaining.

Anonymous said...

Yep, and don't let the goofy cowboy hat fool ya.

Gipson is also a very smart attorney.

After all, he was Chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee.

Anonymous said...

The funniest thing I've heard today . . . is that some of the Mississippi State people think this has something to do with keeping beer sales out of their football stadium.

Anonymous said...

7:05; You're wrong. As I asked, 'who is going to police this'. And you listed a number of things that have to be policed (verified). Somebody has to 'police' the health department permits, the verification of right to work in the United States (this is not a state issue), insurance and bond. Who do you think will do that with every 'act' coming into the venue with its own hot dog vendor?

If Dog-Man-John from Bugger Den performs next July 3 and brings in Soul Man's Burgers and Corn Dogs from Minter City and sixteen people contract food poisoning, who the hell is going to chase Dog-Man down and get this shit straight, especially after he claims he don't know where Soul Man stay?

I'm afraid the clown in the cowboy hat has screwed this one up in royal style.

Anonymous said...

8:57 post up the rfp from hinds for amr. No really, I’ll wait. Hint: there wasn’t one. Second hint: there won’t be one. Go look at the pleadings in that case. Board of supervisors getting invited to nice dinners and weird “donations” from amr. No biggie, right?

Anonymous said...

@5:56 - you're overthinking this, all the Department of Ag needs to do is stipulate those items in the contract; the renter should bear the burden of proving compliance with insurance, health, and labor requirements.

Let's Get Real said...

9:16 - You are obviously living in a la la land of oblivion. We cannot count on multiple puddin'-headed renters to comply with insurance, health and labor law regulations. It won't happen and you know it. If you believe we can, you deserve to step up to the hot dawg counter and take your chances. "Overthinking" my ass. No renter can be relied on to ensure compliance, but you knew that when you posted. You must be one of the potential 'renters' who would disappear after his vendor made 44 people sick as dogs.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who Rayland Givens is, but, this comedian with the cowboy hat is becoming more than tiresome. We moved past Bilbo 58 years ago.

Anonymous said...

"Genuine Mississippi" is The Rev's mantra.

But he selected a vendor owned by a French company.

Will the Rev change the motto to "Genuine French?"

Anonymous said...

This is about as nutty as a municipality requiring that any company using contract roofers to do work within the city verify 'right to work in the U.S.' of all its cash paid employees.

Maybe Cowboy's 'in house concessions' deal will be with PECO Chicken up in Canton. We know they're legal and above board.

Anonymous said...

@4:13, so you'd rather rely on the "skill" of government employees to ensure vendors are in compliance? Who has more to lose, a business that may be fined, sanctioned or prohibited from providing services, or an entitled, disgruntled moron working for the Ag Department?

Anonymous said...

Andy Gipson is a good , smart guy BUT he has a moron named Steve Hutton running the Fairgrounds and the Trade Mart. Steve Hutton is on the take. He has hired his family, bookkeeper from Broadmoor Church, his buddy, Kirk Hartley ( used to cut grass for City of Madison)Andy needs to get a hold on Steve Hutton and check on how much equipment he has purchased from Hartleys son, Cameron and at NO BID!!! Steve Hutton is corrupt. Great idea there to have ice skating at fair this year , huh?? They lost their asses!!! Damn huge tent was biggest ever in Mississiippi - it also lost more money than anything else at Fair!! That was Steve Huttons idea , too
Steve Hutton is on the take and i hope Andy Gipson figures it out. Steve Hutton is a crook!! Take Heed!!

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