Monterey Car Week, A Re-Wrap Up
All in all it was a great week both for me and the events. Yes the auctions as a whole were down dollar-wise from last year. Whether this was the start of a downward trend or a blip will not really be known until some future auctions have reported.
I can say that that of the shows I attended the crowds were as large or larger than last year's. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance appeared more crowded; by around 11 am you could barely see the cars for the people. General admission tickets were $450 on the day of the event. I have no idea how many people attended, I can't estimate, and I'm sure some people were 'comped' but any way you look at it the event raised a lot of money.
That's the plus of the whole week actually. Almost every event donates something to a local charity.
I had a schedule and stuck to it this year. If you go for multiple events I suggest you do the same. Give yourself extra time for travel. A drive from downtown Monterey to Quail Lodge, a distance of eight miles, can take up to an hour at times. I visited six auctions, Automobilia, Automotive Fine Arts Society show, Concours d'Lemons, Concours-On-The-Avenue,Concorso Italiano, Legends of the Auto Gala, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. That left me enough time to rest, go back to my hotel and shower, and eat. Yes I was tired when the week was over and back home but I did not feel beat up like in previous years.
When you add in what visitors spend on food and lodging the benefit to Monterey County is huge. I stayed in Salinas, about twenty miles away, and I wasn't the only guest at the hotel who was there for car events so the money isn't restricted to Monterey or the immediate surrounding towns. Literally thousands of people work in the hospitality industry in Monterey County and they benefit from the money we all spent.
When I first started attending Car Week almost two decades ago it was easy to get around. I usually could find a parking spot close to any event. That's changed. Instead of parking close to the Lodge at Pebble I now park with the general public and take one of the shuttle buses. Likewise when I go to the Concours-On-The-Avenue in Carmel-By-The-Sea I park off site and take a shuttle. It really is so much simpler.
Yes the auctions were down, by some estimates around 30%, but maybe that's a good thing. Some prices were getting ridiculous and this might just be an adjustment, an admission by collectors that the sky is not the limit.
It's not too early to start planning for Car Week 2020. Block off August 9-16, 2020. I'm already thinking about my next year's schedule.
My thanks to everyone who makes my week possible. Although it is work it is work that I enjoy. Fantastic cars, great people, great food, and the Monterey Peninsula. It's like getting a week long pass to heaven.
For more information on events and Monterey visit https://www.seemonterey.com/