Now Taking Applications for the Foundation Event Venue Manager Position!

Job Description: 1861 Club Manager

The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation (KFF) Mission

To inspire excellence and understanding of Kansas agriculture, industry and culture through
the Kansas State Fair, activities, educational programs and opportunities.

The specific purposes of the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation shall be to further the renovation, construction, preservation and beautification of the Kansas State Fairgrounds; to help, assist, promote, support, maintain, enhance, endow and advance the interests of the Kansas State Fair: and to encourage education of the public about the Kansas State Fair and its purpose and activities.

The Foundation Event Venue: The 1861 Club

The 1861 Club, referred to as “Club” in this document, is a brand-new events venue scheduled to open in September 2024. It will be 14,000 square feet designed for groups up to 350 at round tables and 900 theater style. The venue will have a 30’ tall ceiling at the peak and feature a heavy timber and wood design. The Foundation and Kansas State Fair will host events in the venue as well as make the venue available for public rental for weddings, corporate events, speakers, etc.

Description of Responsibilities:

The 1861 Club Manager will work on a contract basis for the KFF at an agreed upon rate for the services provided. This is a full-time position with time commitments throughout the year managing the Club for non-Fair facility rentals. Specifically, the Venue Manager must be available on a full-time basis through the months of August and September, working long hours and weekends to prepare for and execute all activities associated with the operation of the Club during the Kansas State Fair (KSF). The Fair is held annually in September starting the Friday after Labor Day and runs for 10 days in Hutchinson, Kansas.


This person must be organized and detail oriented. They will be responsible for all operation areas of the Club during the Kansas State Fair and will coordinate with the KSF Facility Rental Coordinator in booking and managing non-Fair facility rentals.

A successful venue manager will demonstrate excellent problem-solving abilities and strong leadership skills. Ultimately, the venue manager should be able to anticipate all logistics and requirements for the Club during the Fair, and for non-Fair events. They will show exceptional organizational and interpersonal skills and ensure the venue generates profit for the Foundation.

The Club Manager will be responsible for providing projections and reports for the Executive Director (ED) and the KFF Board of Directors. The venue manager will report to the KFF Executive Director.

Venue Manager responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Provides input to KFF Executive Director (ED), Board and Facility Consultants with regard to facility design, traffic flow, bar set-up and needs, catering kitchen set-up and needs, facility décor, etc. (If hired during the construction phase)
  • Managing all preventative maintenance and repairs of the venue property, equipment, and facilities
  • Ensuring that the venue and facilities are clean and organized
  • Managing all bookings in coordination with the KSF Facility Rental Coordinator for events and liaising with the clients to determine event requirements
  • Coordinating the rental of sound equipment, furniture, and any other equipment as needed for each event
  • Liaising with catering services and supervising their requirements and logistics
  • Supervising the operations of events and tending to any incidents or queries


  • Work with ED to develop and maintain vendor relations
  • Work with vendors to provide promotions, specials, tastings, etc. to entice patrons and enhance experiences
  • Work with ED to develop the food and beverage menu for the Club
  • Responsible for purchasing and maintaining inventory of office and janitorial supplies, liquor, and food for the venue menu
  • Ensure venue is well-stocked


  • Preparing hire packages and job descriptions for part-time and seasonal staff in coordination with KFF ED
  • Supervising and managing all event venue staff; including bartenders, barbacks, waitstaff, custodial, and maintenance personal. Staff will be hired by Club manager and also work with temporary staffing companies
  • Hires, trains, promotes, and when necessary, disciplines or fires staff and/or volunteers
  • Determines and coordinates employee and volunteer schedules
  • Delegates tasks to appropriate staff


  • Work with KFF ED and KFF Marketing Assistant to promote the Club events and activities during the Kansas State Fair as well as for non-Fair events and activities
  • Provides input for social media and other forms of publicity


  • Work with KFF ED to select an appropriate Point-of-Sale tracking technology for the venue, taking into consideration other areas where the technology may be utilized by the Foundation
  • Work with KFF ED to organize and maintain the overall Club budget, monitoring costs, sales quantities, and profit margins
  • Tracks customer behavior and sales, makes suggestions on how to drive traffic to the venue
  • Work with KFF ED to manage all administrative tasks such as insurance, booking schedules, invoicing, etc.
  • Communicating and enforcing all security regulations and protocols, as well as all ABC & KSF regulations as related to the sale of alcoholic beverages
  • Managing compliance with food and beverage hygiene policies and procedures

Other Requirements as Needed:

  • Attendance at KFF Board Meeting (when requested and available)
  • Assist with Boots & Bling (fundraising event held annually in August) and other KFF Fundraising events
  • Other duties as needed, assigned, and agreed upon


  • All applicants should have a background in management in the food and beverage industry
  • Have the ability to multitask and remain calm in stressful situations
  • The applicant should have sound knowledge of safety measures and risk management strategies
  • They should have strong negotiation skills, great interpersonal and communication abilities and should have exceptional customer service skills, along with the ability to develop these skills in their staff
  • They should be willing to work long hours and weekends when required


Salary is consummate on experience and will include a base salary with bonus potential.


Hutchinson, KS

Deadline for Application:

October 1, 2023

Send resume to: James Fisher, KFF Executive Director at:

If you have questions please call: James Fisher, Executive Director at 620-615-7388 (office)

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