I love our life and our lifestyle. To bring so many people together on a weekend is an incredible experience. We get to introduce our marketing partners to our drivers; our drivers to our fans; our fans to our marketing partners. It is full circle every event. There are just a few things I don’t love, the biggest right now is working with properties.
Please don’t misunderstand, I love our owners that are invested in their properties, but that doesn’t always mean we get to do what we all want to do. There are civil servants who hold up permits, there are local communities who don’t follow through on their promises, there are just some places that are impossible to get everything rolling, no matter how much time you spend on it.
Here’s what is currently happening in our world. Changes are afoot, pay attention, so we are where you want to be.
Attica, Indiana – July 23 & 24 – this event has been cancelled. The Badlands is an awesome offroad park, we thoroughly enjoy working with Kyle and his crew. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go there, financially or otherwise. We took a vote with our teams at the last event in Rausch Creek and it was decided they would all rather save their travel funds for Grand Nationals in Farmington then spend them to get to Indiana. They’ve already had three events on the east this year, so they aren’t missing out on a similar schedule to what they’ve gotten the last few years.
Goldendale, Washington – August 6 & 7 – this is a go. This community and our partners, Mark and Rody Shilling are great. We are excited to be here. The city helps with advertising and it is a fun event, lots of spectators, lots of good times.
Cortez, Colorado – August 13 – the schedule has changed a little, we will only be driving on Saturday – pre-run and racing on the same day. While this is not ideal, it is happening that way for a couple of reasons. The first is that our perpetual permit that we worked so hard to get a few years ago allows for a single event day, and the county has interpreted that to be that pre-running is an “event” day. So to stick to the usual schedule means we have to go before the county commissioners again, and the risk of not getting a permit is there. The second has to do with insurance, but I’ll explain that later. This event will also be the combined final event for the Mountain and Southwest series – see below for why. Double points for those of you playing that game.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – August 20 – cancelled. Damn it. This is a place we love to race. RAM Offroad has been hosting events for years, before us, it was XRRA, always the same weekend, until 2015. In 2015, the county required our partner, Ray Mandell, to file for a new permit. He has spent lots of time, effort and money for engineering studies, to no avail. The county is still not issuing a permit, this is frustrating for both him and those of us who want to play there. C Springs has always had a ton of fans. So Mountain drivers, it is Cortez for your final event, plan accordingly.
Buzzard Canyon, Oklahoma – CHANGED – to Canyons Offroad Park, Fredericksburg, Texas. Our partner at Buzzard decided that the time of year was wrong for an event, so we looked to our friends in Fredericksburg and asked for the opportunity to come back. The course will be different then when we were there in the spring, and it should be dry, which is a definite improvement! Again, we will be doing all the pre-running and racing on a single day, this time it will be so we can participate in a parade in Fredericksburg – this will be fun!
Farmington, New Mexico – WE ROCK Grand Nationals – September 10 & 11. We have been working with BLM for ten months on our return to Chokecherry Canyon, excited to announce we have our permit! This is a big deal and a ton of work for all, but the permit is in hand. We are starting now to recruit assistance for this big event.
Bridgeport, Texas – Dirt Riot National Rampage – September 17 – so, we are a little concerned because the park is underwater. Last year, through a lot of volunteers and Barco Pump, we were able to pump the water out and in to holding ponds, I’m not sure everyone wants to go to that much work again, so we are keeping our options open. The city tells us that the top section where we usually park has sloughed off behind the pavilion. Our goal is to still be here, but we have our sights set on some nearby alternative sites if we are unable to. They are all close in proximity, so plan the same trip for Nationals.
Now a little bit about insurance, last week, our insurance company made a change for the benefit of our drivers. We are pleased to offer medical coverage for all drivers. We have always had liability coverage for the competitors, but medical for an injury to the competitor was always on you. Going forward, there is coverage for an injury. Of course, this comes with a cost, and no choices – like a typical insurance company. Our insurance costs doubled to provide this, but I think it is a positive. No changes in driver’s cost will occur for the balance of 2016, but plan on a separate insurance charge of $25/event in 2017.
Like I said, it’s a lot of work and my least favorite part of what we do – I won’t even whine about some of things we’ve had to do to pull off the events we have already had this year. Just know that we hate changes as much as you do. Hang with us, we’ll keep working hard and providing you with the best events we can, those of you who commit to be there deserve our best effort, and you’re going to get it!