Home play equipment sales are booming, but state fair cancellation could disrupt profits

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Just as things were swinging along for a Twin Cities playset business, the cancelation of the Minnesota State Fair could create a slowdown during one of their busiest times ever. 

“When the shutdown started we went on a rollercoaster that has done nothing but picking up the pace,” said Tom Giles, co-owner of Rainbow Midwest, which produces outdoor play equipment, such as swing sets, trampolines and basketball hoops.

Orders are way up — some parts are at four times their normal pace. This demand throughout the entire industry has created some delays, but Giles said they’re moving product as quickly as they can.

“Swing sets have been great though because it’s allowed us to really pump up our U.S. manufacturing,” Giles added.  “We’ve got our plant in Brookings, South Dakota.”

State Fair vendors share disappointment over cancellation but hope for 2021

There’s no question the closures from the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for their spike, but it’s that same thing that could slow them down. For the first time in decades the Minnesota State Fair has been canceled.

“We’ve done it for 30 years,” Giles said about their big exhibit at the fair. “Same location — people know to come look for us there. They know we’re going to do a phenomenal state fair deal.”

He says that revenue will be harder to capture this year and hopes the current spike with balance it out.