The IJSBA World Finals have been held in Lake Havasu City for over thirty years, but recently a report in Havasu News indicates that this could change as soon as next year. Attracting an estimated 6,000 spectators and racers from all over the world, the event is a huge tourist attraction for the city.
IJSBA event organizer Scott Frazier suggested that Havasu’s role as host to this prestigious event may be at risk long term. “There are a variety of factors that are putting the squeeze on us in Havasu, not just one of them,” Frazier mentioned, “But every little thing adds to the load and pretty soon it’s overloaded.”
There is still hope for this event to stay in Havasu. Havasu’s Mayor and tourism promoter Mark Nexsen expressed the will to work with Frazier on this issue. Nexsen also stated that he has not heard the complaints directly, but would be glad to speak with the organizers about their concerns.
“It’s a great event. It’s perfect for Havasu. We have all the riders from various nations visit. We certainly enjoy the event and want to keep it in Havasu.” This statement, made by Nexsen, is certainly a comforting sign that he will work with event organizers to keep this event in Havasu. The event is one of the biggest tourist attractions for Lake Havasu City, and Nexsen plans on keeping it that way.
Event organizers work with Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau(CVB) to make sure this event happens each year. The president and CEO of CVB Doug Traub stated that event promoters have no intention of the event leaving Havasu.
Traub said the event was a huge financial impact on the city. It is estimated to bring in around $1 million each year. Losing the event would be costly to the city.
Racing legend Chris Fischetti said that he doubts the event will be changing locations, since Havasu has ideal weather conditions and capacity. He did mention, however, that the event may fall apart if there isn’t more done to promote it. He feels poor management is the reason the event isn’t getting the attention it should. “The objective is to make racers happy, if it’s not succeeding here, it’s just going to cave in. IJSBA is doing nothing to promote it nationally,” Fischetti said.
We feel the complaints are just an attempt for more attention at this point. Frazier wasn’t willing to directly threaten to move, and also said it is possible to grow the event into other cities without risking Havasu’s status as the host city for the event. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the situation and see how it plays out.