State Fair Parking Lots Mean Big Money

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Springfield - It's no surprise that the Illinois State Fair is a big boost to the local economy, but how big of an impact does it have for people who turn their yards into parking lots?

If you've ever been to the state fair, you've seen their flags.  Waving in cars at the state fair has turned into big business for people near the fairgrounds.

"We charge $4 a car.  That's the same fee everyday of the fair," says Ridgely Elementary School principal Ken Gilmore.  Gilmore says the school parks nearly 200 cars each day.

For some owners, it's not just about the money, it's also about seeing the friends they've made throughout the years here at the Illinois State Fair.

"A man and woman the other day came in that have been married 51, 52 years, they've been coming here their whole married life," says Neal's parking lot owner Donna Neal, speaking about a pair of loyal customers.

When it comes to the parking business, location is a premium for Troy Washko, who's lot is just feet from the state fair's Main Gate.

"It's a prime location and we have a lot of repeat customers who come back here," says Washko.

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