Documents shed some light on 60th [corrected]

KB Event Management reveals drink and food profits, but mystery still surrounds overall numbers from the three-day event.

October 01, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck | A correction has been appended to this post, as noted below.

Costa Mesa made a slim profit from food and alcohol sales at its 60th anniversary celebration this summer, according to documents obtained by the Daily Pilot, but the overall cost of the event remains a mystery.

City officials have declined to provide most public documents related to the celebration, citing an ongoing personnel investigation. But KB Event Management, which handled the food and drink portion of the event known as O.C. Tastefest, provided its contract with the city as well as profit and loss estimates to the Daily Pilot this week.

Employees in charge of planning the event — Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce and Christine Cordon, a special events coordinator — were placed on paid leave in August pending the outcome of the investigation.


Meanwhile, documents handed over by KB showed that it and the city each made about $3,000 from food and drink sales through a revenue-sharing agreement.

KB was responsible for vendor booths for food and alcohol during the June celebration of the city's birth.

The company also handled alcohol sales at the main stage, where attendees could pay admission to hear musical acts throughout the three-day event.

KB Managing Partner Gary Kutscher said the main stage area is where the city should have reaped the greatest reward, but the audience numbers were disappointing.

"Unfortunately that area wasn't as populated as everyone would have liked," he said.

According to Costa Mesa's contract with KB, the city was to receive 90% of the profits from alcohol sales at the main stage. Calculations from KB show that the payout to the city was $2,204.31 for the three days, after deducting costs related to the VIP portion of the event.

"It's very easy to see that that's where they would really have seen a good benefit to them had there been a much larger participation with those main stage bands," Kutscher said.

The city also received 20% of profits from separate food and beverage sales, which amounted to $906.12, according to KB's documentation.

A city spokesman did not return a request for comment on the numbers of tickets sold at the main stage area and whether alcohol sales there were intended to offset other costs.

KB puts total alcohol sales, including the main stage and elsewhere, at just under $60,000.

Mike Scheafer — who led the residents committee charged with overseeing the event — said the city hasn't told him attendance numbers, but anecdotally, the main stage turnout was low.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles