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Two Articles Concerning Monterey Car Week - One great, one who knows?
Two press releases arrived in my inbox today. Both about major events, the major events, of Monterey Car Week. One is great news. The other is at best confusing. The great one is first.
2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Raises $2.1 Million for People in Need
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance charity luncheon participants (front, l to r): Gary Gray, Susan Guidotti, Leigh Jeter, Pebble Beach Company President David Stivers, Concours Chairman Sandra Button, Darla Smith, Jennifer Williams-Carpenter, Carol Bishop; (back) Doug Yount, Katy Castagna, Tom Gray, Ron Johnson, Steve Packer, Kevin Causey, and Jeff Wardwell. (Photo: Scott Campbell Photography)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (November 14, 2019) — The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and its charitable partners gathered today to celebrate the event’s charitable giving: the 2019 Concours raised $2.1 million for people in need.
Pebble Beach Company CEO Bill Perocchi announced that a total of $2,112,000 is being distributed to local charities this year—an amount equal to last year’s all-time high. Since its founding in 1950, the Concours has now raised more than $29 million in charitable donations.
“The Pebble Beach Concours seeks to celebrate the best cars in the world,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “But the place that is Pebble Beach and the people who live here also play a large part in making this Concours great. So, from its start in 1950, the Concours has done its best to give back to the local community, to help people in need. Car enthusiasts from around the world join with us in this endeavor, channeling their passion for cars into raising money for worthy charities.”
Through its primary charitable partner, Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the Concours funds more than 90 of the region’s youth-focused nonprofits.
“We are so very appreciative of the generosity shown by all of the participants and attendees of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance,” said Perocchi. “The Pebble Beach Company Foundation is proud to support organizations in our community that strive to improve the quality of life by focusing their efforts on youth and education.”
Additional charities that benefit directly from the Concours include Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, Natividad Foundation, Kinship Center, Montage Health, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, United Way Monterey County and Animal Friends Rescue Project. Several more charities volunteer time and effort in exchange for donations, while other nonprofits benefit from the use of Concours infrastructure, such as tents, to host fundraisers.
The Concours provides funding from many sources besides the event itself. Generous participants send in direct donations, and event partners such as Genesis Motor America, INFINITI USA and Mercedes-Benz USA donate automobiles for charity drawings. Efforts to raise charitable donations through the 2020 Concours are already underway.
The next Pebble Beach Concours, scheduled for Sunday, August 16, 2020, marks the event’s 70th anniversary and a special display of past Best of Show winners is planned. Additional features include Pininfarina, Porsche 917, and Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, among others. To purchase tickets to the 2020 event, or to make a donation, go to www.pebblebeachconcours.net.
This is just one reason I give so much coverage to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The Monterey area is not all multi-million dollar homes. There are people in genuine need. The Concours is a major source of charitable donations. So go next August and feel good about it. You'll have a great time and do good.
And then there was this press release:
News from SCRAMP: County Advises SCRAMP it is pursuing other options to operate Laguna Seca Raceway
After 62 years of continuous management of the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) has been advised via email by County of Monterey Assistant County Administrative Officer (ACAO) Dewayne Woods that “…the County is now in negotiations with another proposer for management services at Laguna Seca Recreational Area.”
According to the agenda for Tuesday, November 19 Board of Supervisor’s meeting, that proposal is centered on Monterey County’s direct management of the Raceway and Recreation Area.
“This news comes as a surprise to the SCRAMP organization,” said Tim McGrane, CEO of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and SCRAMP, who took over the position in June 2018. “We were starting to make real progress on getting the facility and the raceway operations turned around and poised for the future, but it appears at this time we may not have the opportunity to see these plans through,” continued McGrane.
“As the existing facility operator, we were stunned by the fact that we were not provided the opportunity to discuss our proposal with the ACAO. The entire process has been unconventional, ranging from the bypassing of the County’s usual Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the announcement in mid-October requesting proposals from any interested parties with only two weeks’ notice, and complaints that SCRAMP had not met deadlines to submit a proposal when in fact a submission date had been agreed upon in May, and subsequently met, has been challenging,” McGrane said.
This is not the first time that the County has sought an alternative to SCRAMP. “We have been in this position before with the County administration, but we, our fans, racing series and teams, do have to look at the possibility of the era of SCRAMP operating Laguna Seca Raceway coming to an end,” McGrane said.
In 2015, Monterey County began private talks with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) who, after a careful review of the operational parameters of the facility, determined not to submit a formal proposal for management of the track. In 2016, the Monterey County Administrators Office entered into negotiations with another group to replace SCRAMP for 2017 but were unable to agree to terms that were mutually acceptable. The County then reverted back to a three-year agreement with SCRAMP to continue running Laguna Seca.
In 2018, the SCRAMP-run Laguna Seca Raceway attracted 263,888 attendees and generated $84.4 million in direct spending generated by event attendees over 26 days of the seven major events. 2019 saw SCRAMP orchestrate the long-awaited and highly-successful return of IndyCars to Laguna Seca, with a larger than anticipated spectator count for the weekend.
“We’ve delivered an extensive, forward-looking proposal to the County for a new, long-term 20-year management and operating agreement that incorporates solid plans for revenue generation and expense reduction, expansion of the use of existing facilities, and development of Laguna Seca into a world-class destination,” said CEO McGrane. “We are building the right team, both paid staff and volunteers, with extensive motorsports experience, institutional knowledge, and the dedication to lead this important Monterey County asset into a successful future. We hope we still have the opportunity to present our plans directly to the County Board of Supervisors and we would be proud to continue SCRAMP’s 62-year stewardship of Laguna Seca on behalf of Monterey County.”
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, a 501(c)4 not-for-profit, was formed in 1957 by local business owners and civic leaders. SCRAMP’s goal was to raise the funds needed to construct a permanent motor racing circuit to maintain the tradition of sports car racing on the Monterey Peninsula which had begun in 1950 in the Del Monte Forest at Pebble Beach. SCRAMP is comprised of a Board of Governors, Race and Events Committees, and hundreds of loyal volunteers who donate thousands of hours each year to ensure the successful operation of events here.
The SCRAMP organization acquired leased land from the US Army at Fort Ord on August 7, 1957, and the now-legendary track, built with funds raised by SCRAMP, held its first race, the 8th Annual Pebble Beach at Laguna Seca SCCA National Championship Sports Car Road Races, on November 9 & 10, 1957. In 1974 the site was transferred from the Army to Monterey County, who together with SCRAMP, have managed the facility through this year.
SCRAMP’s current three-year management and operating agreement with Monterey County ends on December 31, 2019. SCRAMP currently employs a full-time professional staff of just over 40 team members.
We need your support!
Call to Action
Board of Supervisors Meeting 11/19 to Support SCRAMP
What: After 62 years of continuous management of the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) has been advised via email by County of Monterey Assistant County Administrative Officer (ACAO) Dewayne Woods that “…the County is now in negotiations with another proposer for management services at Laguna Seca Recreational Area.”
According to the agenda for Tuesday, November 19 Board of Supervisor’s meeting, that proposal (click on below) is centered on Monterey County’s direct management of the Raceway and Recreation Area.
Action: We are calling on all volunteers, staff and supporters of SCRAMP to come to the Board of Supervisors meeting to share opinions and support of SCRAMP's continued operational management of Laguna Seca Raceway
When: Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 9:00 AM
Where: Monterey County Government Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers,
168 W Alisal St., 1st Floor, Salinas, CA 93901
This isn't the first time the Monterey County Board of Supervisors has threatened to take the track away from SCRAMP. I thought it had all been settled a couple of years ago but evidently not.
I don't go to the track that much, maybe a couple of times a year. I have been going since 1991 though. I can attest that the track is a much better facility now than it has ever been. SCRAMP has done a great job of updating all the facility.
I know this is short notice but if you can attend and show your support for SCRAMP it will be appreciated. I will try to make it. If I do I'll see you next Tuesday.