Hot August Nights car show cancels Long Beach appearance
Group cites lack of entries, sponsorships for pullout!
By Karen Robes Meeks, Long Beach Press Telegram Staff Writer
LONG BEACH -- Organizers of a major vintage car show have put the brakes on coming to Long Beach. Lack of car entries and sponsorships have prompted organizers of Hot August Nights to cancel the four-day show Aug. 3-6 in Long Beach, a top Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau official said today.
CVB senior vice president Iris Himert said organizers met with her briefly this morning to deliver the news. "We're very disappointed that Hot August Nights has decided against expanding the show into Long Beach," she said. She did not know about how many more cars or sponsorships were needed or whether the event would return in 2012. An earlier report about needing 3,000 vehicles "to break even" was incorrect, Himert said. She said event organizers were planning a press conference on Tuesday in Reno.
Bruce Walter, CEO Hot August Nights, could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Himert said she is waiting to get formal letter of cancellation.
"Once we get that letter, the team will get very busy very quickly to try to fill these holes," she said. "Our sales and marketing team and our hospitality partners will always work together to bring new business to Long Beach."
Long held in Reno, Hot August Nights attracts more than 250,000 people to Reno for its popular annual classic car show of more than 6,000 cars. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, organizers announced plans to expand the show into Long Beach and had signed a six-year contract with the CVB.
The event was touted by city and tourism officials, saying that the deal should yield 31,752 hotel room nights, $810,000 in estimated transient occupancy tax and an estimated $372 million in economic impact to Long Beach over six years.
At a CVB event in October, Walter said more than 2,000 cars had signed up for the event and had hope to reach a goal of 6,000 cars. "Long Beach is a great place to hold an event and we're certainly disappointed, but clearly within Hot August Nights there are some internal dynamics that need to be worked out," said Stacey Toda, spokesperson for Mayor Bob Foster's office.
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