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Fair GM: Cashless system did not affect attendance

Changes coming to system next year

Fair GM: Cashless system did not affect attendance

PUEBLO, Colo. - It was a year of growing pains for the Colorado State Fair, as fair employees helped fairgoers understand the fair's new cashless system.

"The frustration that people had was to be quite honest a little higher than what I thought," said Chris Wiseman, general manager of the fair.

Winona Bjork attends the State Fair every year. Like many others, she wants the fair to get rid of the new system.

"When I went up to buy something and they told me I had to have a Smartcard, I looked for places that weren't using them," said Winona Bjork.

Final attendance numbers will be released Tuesday but Wiseman said he didn't think going cashless hurt attendance. "It certainly didn't hurt our sales at all," he said.

The cashless system will return next year but with improvements. Next year, fairgoers won't have to wait weeks to get refunded what's left on their Smartcard. "When they walk out the gate, there'll be a kiosk and they can actually redeem their money right at the kiosk," Wiseman said.

Bjork said, "I personally would just rather pay with cash but that's better than this year."

Next year, fairgoers will be able to load money onto their cards from their smartphones and check the balance from their phones.

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