Fairplex is a nonprofit enterprise that serves as a place, a convener and a creator of memories to strengthen the community and economy through arts and entertainment, agriculture, education and commerce.
We aspire to be a model community partner, economic engine and presenter of unique experiences.
committed to doing good in everything we do
placing our guests at the center of what we do
we are at our best when we partner with others
committed to being financially healthy and environmentally friendly
Uniquely Southern California
celebrating the best of our community
What is Fairplex?
Fairplex is the name for the 487 acres that Los Angeles County Fair Association (LACFA) uses for conducting the Fair and year-round business. Between 1941 and 1952, a total 421 acres of the land belonging to LACFA was deeded by the Association to Los Angeles County as a gift and in return the Association received a long-term ground lease. The remaining acreage is still owned in fee by the Association.
Is the LA County Fair different than other county fairs?
Yes, in many ways. First, it is one of the largest of all the county fairs in California in terms of acreage, revenue and employees. Second, the LA County Fair is governed by a private not-for-profit, 60-member Business Association, 11 of whom are elected to serve as Board of Directors for defined terms
LACFA is a private, non-profit mutual benefit 501(c)5, self-funding organization that is not governed by the county or state, and receives no government subsidies for daily business operations.
LACFA oversees many other business activities other than just the Fair. With $90 million in annual revenues under our control, our business model is more complex than typical county fairs. We operate a hotel, multiple RV parks, storage facility, food & beverage company, two 501(c)3 organizations, a horse auction company and an equipment rental business.
Why is LACFA a nonprofit?
As a 501(c)5, we have these primary objectives in our charter of non-profit business operations:
To advance and promote:
• Industrial and other interests of Los Angeles County
• To operate and maintain county fairs and expositions for the exhibition of livestock, dairy, poultry, household and fine arts, and school and educational exhibits
• To acquire land, develop our land or make improvements for the benefit of the LA County Fair
As a community benefit organization, we continually reinvest our profits into our facilities, people, programs and community. Besides employing 300 year-round employees and nearly 1,700 FTE jobs during the Fair, LACFA provides millions of dollars of benefit in cash and in-kind donations to education and community programs. We are pleased to help organizations and people from throughout Southern California as we work to build stronger communities.
You’re a nonprofit. Do you still pay taxes?
The Los Angeles County Fair Association is a non-profit organization and does not pay taxes on business related to its exempt purpose. For those businesses which the Association operates that support the mission of the organization but are considered unrelated income, the Association has a tax exposure. Businesses such as the Hotel are treated as taxable entities for income tax purposes, and are reported separately by the Fair Association on its tax returns. These businesses are subject to income taxes in the event that they operate at a profit. The Fair Association does pay property and possessory interest tax on the land owned and used for operations. We are also a significant sales and utility tax generator in the region.
We evaluate profitability through EBITDA (Earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization). This reflects the actual cash we, as an organization, have on hand each year to service debt and reinvest in capital. This is the term that banks use in determining the financial soundness of any business. The Fair Association has a strong EBITDA. While we have operated with a positive EBITDA every year of operation, our financial statements also reflect a different measure of profitability due to depreciation, change in bond values and other factors that on paper may represent a tax gain or loss but actually have no impact on funds.
The Fair Association has a strong bottom line, with sufficient cash reserves that satisfy all of its commitments to myriad financial partners. Significant to this information is that LACFA has reinvested on average $10 million annually back into capital improvements into the facility based on its proceeds
What other activities does the Los Angeles County Fair Association operate?
In order to keep the Fairplex site operating in the 11 months when the Fair is not open, the Association realized that it needed a source of revenue to keep the lights on, pay for upkeep and construct new buildings. Over 30 years ago it began operating on a year-round basis. We operate a hotel, multiple RV parks, storage facility, food and beverage company, two 501(c)3 organizations, a horse auction company and an equipment rental business. Every day some activity is occurring at Fairplex and the Fair Association is receiving visitors from around the world.
What is The Learning Centers?
LACFA also oversees two 501(c)3 organizations called The Learning Centers at Fairplex and the Fairplex Child Development Center. It is no exaggeration to state that the Fair Association oversees one of the most highly recognized unique learning complexes in California for all ages. With a mission to fill unmet educational needs and provide opportunities to build stronger communities through early childhood, leadership, career and technical education programs, The Learning Centers today provides nearly $5 million of educational programming and is supported with nearly $1 million in overhead support plus buildings, infrastructure and land from the LACFA to operate each year. Serving more than 150,000 “students” each year (more than 600 daily outside of the Fair event), The Learning Centers provide a continuum of learning for students of all ages. The significance of our programs is evidenced by our innovative partnerships with prestigious colleges and universities like Cal Poly Pomona, The University of La Verne, The Claremont Colleges, Mt. Sac and also all school districts in our surrounding communities. The Learning Centers campus features a museum, agriculture farm, automotive education workshop, classrooms, art studios, continuing education programs and school-linked educational field trips throughout the year.