As the countdown to the Mid-State Fair begins, businesses that sit across the street from the fairgrounds are preparing for what they say will be a busy two weeks.
Last year the 12-day fair saw about 220,000 visitors at the fairgrounds. The livestock auction earned total revenue of $2,302,120.
Prior to the pandemic, the fair attendance was around 426,000.
Local businesses and fair organizers are hopeful this year brings them closer to pre-pandemic numbers.
On Sundays, Margie's Diner co-owner Javier Soto says they are serving over 500 people and are expecting higher numbers once the fair starts, but one hurdle in the way is employee shortages.
“That’s the issue right now, we are unable to hire more employees because nobody wants to work right now. That’s a little bit of an issue," said Soto.
Soto says they have enough staff right now to help, but their hope is to be able to stay open past 3 p.m.
Hotels on the other hand are also booking up fast.
The Paso Robles Inn website shows the first week of the fair completely booked with the next available check-in date being July 24th.
Best Western Plus Black Oak is a hotel right across from the fairgrounds and on both weekends the website indicates there are no rooms available.
The fair opens Wednesday at 4 p.m. and runs through July 31st.