Local News

Not Everyone Happy With New Option At State Fair

Posted October 12, 2005

— There's a lot to love about the N.C. State Fair, but crowds and lines are two things most people dread.

This year the ride operator, Wade Shows, has a new tool to help people get to the head of the line. It's called the

Fast-Pass

. For $10, you can get a wristband that gives you priority in the ride lines.

You still have to purchase ride tickets, but with your Fast-Pass you also receive a coupon for $10 in food. Wade Shows said it modeled the pass after similar passes at places like Disney World.

Not everyone thinks this new option is fair.

Related Link:

WRAL.com Special Section Of N.C. State Fair

Related Link:

Official N.C. State Fair Web Site

Related Link:

Purchase A Fast-Pass

"It basically boils down to if you have the money, then you can get ahead of the line," said lifelong fairgoer Misty Tripp of Knightdale. "You can get first class versus coach."

Tripp, 30, has been going to the state fair since she was a little girl. Now, she brings her 10-year-old daughter Samantha.

Tripp said the Fast-Pass will cause problems among fairgoers who might see the pass as a perk for the wealthy. Plus, she said, it will be hard to explain to children why some people get to jump ahead of them in line.

"You have one child or however many with a Fast-Pass that can get in front of kids waiting 15 or 20 minutes for a ride. I feel like it should be first come, first serve," Tripp said.

Wade Shows officials said the pass is just one option for fairgoers who choose to spend their money on everything from rides and games to food. Plus, Wade Shows will limit the number of passes to a few thousand per day, officials said.

Currently, the passes are available for sale

online

and may be available at the fairgrounds on a daily basis if the passes are not sold out.

"It's for the person who wants to ride one day and really take advantage of it as much as they can," said Ron Weber of Wade Shows. "But there are a limited number; and right now, they're just available online."

Still, Tripp believes the pass will change the character of the fair.

"I'll probably not go back next year if it's like this again," Tripp said.

Wade Shows predicted that people will gladly trade $10 for their time in line.

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