What do portable hot tubs, cooling gel mattresses and air conditioning units have in common? Besides the makings of a great night’s sleep, they can all be found for sale in the Goodman Building at this year’s State Fair.
“The fair is like a family tradition so we try to have a little something for everyone,” said Nancy Smith, the fair’s assistant general manager. “So in addition to the rides, food and agriculture, folks are used to having an area where they can do a little shopping. That might be anything from T-shirts to art to information.”
One of the first booths you’ll notice is Softub, a portable hot tub that you can roll like a tire to its next destination. Jason Hottel, a representative for the brand, has been with the company for a year and says that he enjoys traveling to different fairs and trade shows.
“This is my first time working this event but we’ve been here for several years as a company,” he said. “You get people who are curious and ask how much it costs but aren’t serious about buying anything, and then you get folks who have seen us around at fairs or shows and they end up being very interested or purchasing.”
So far, he says sales are pretty par for the course, with the weekends picking up traction. The basic tub retails for $5,700, but they offer a “fair price” of $4,495. For the tub and all its trimmings, you’re looking at $6,500 instead of $9,700.
Weaving through the aisles, you’ll find a little bit of everything else: Happy Feet massaging foot soles, bath and shower replacement services, home gutter protection, saunas, “Go Glow” footwear, pillows made with bamboo that will help you sleep and the ultimate sleep aid: A new mattress.
Janet Hook and her husband, Alvin, have worked for Sleep Experts for four years, selling gel-infused memory foam mattresses that offer pressure relief and reduce heat retention.
Janet Hook said the mattresses sell pretty well. The King mattress retail for $8,200, but at the fair they’re $6,200 (practically giving them away!). If that doesn’t make you feel any better, they come with a 20-year warranty.
“This has been a great fair,” she added. “People are constantly laying down on the beds.”
One guy who certainly isn’t laying down on the job is Taylor Mistisshen, who represents Leonard buildings and truck accessories. The company has sold fully-constructed playhouses and storage sheds at the fair for the last 20 years, with sales and public interest rising. They currently retail for $2,699 but at the fair they are $2,399.
“I’ve sold 10 as a playhouse, one as a chicken coop and one as a goat’s house,” he said. “I’ve sold about 30 buildings total between storage buildings and playhouses. Its been busy.”