Car Show organizers rejected city proposal to move event downtownBefore deciding to make last August's Good Times Car Show in Old Colorado City the finale after 25 years, its volunteer organizers rejected a city proposal to move it downtown.
This news recently surfaced with the city's release of an e-mail exchange between Michael DelMonico of the Car Show's organizing committee and Sergeant Mary
The idea was to put the event in the area of the Alamo Square Park and the Pioneers Museum. “I have secured permission for you to park cars on the criss-cross sidewalks on the property and on Vermijo Street, which would be closed at Nevada Avenue and at Sahwatch Street,” Rosenoff wrote to DelMonico during pre-event discussions last March. “Cars could also be displayed on Tejon south to Cimarron and north to Cucharras. Using this footprint for your event, police services are estimated at $4,200.”
This would mean fewer streets blocked off; thus, the police cost would be cheaper than the $6,475 tab for Old Colorado City, Rosenoff pointed out.
But the Car Show's organizing committee was not swayed. DelMonico e-mailed back that the Alamo Square option “was not a viable one” because it “is not an area that offers the amenities that Old Colorado City has. There are no shops for people to visit and there are no restaurants in the immediate vicinity.
“Add to that the constant presence of the homeless crowd,” DelMonico continued in his response, “and this becomes an undesirable location.”
He added that another car show, the Tour Tejon, had previously tried the Alamo Square site but gave up on it for the same reasons.
“We have come to the conclusion, barring finding a MAJOR sponsor to provide substantial resources, that this year, 2016, will be our last car show in Colorado Springs,” DelMonico told the city. “It will be a sad day to see a family-friendly show that has donated almost $100,000 to Canine Companions for Independence, close up shop after 25 years. Canine Companions for Independence will be a big loser, not to mention the businesses in Old Colorado City and the other businesses that we rely on to support our event.”
Sponsored by four area car clubs, Good Times for years had been one of the largest annual car shows in the region, with 400 or more vehicles parked on Colorado Avenue and its side streets the third Sunday in August between 23rd and 27th streets. The free event was annually attended by several thousand people.
Canine Companions is a national nonprofit that provides trained dogs for people with disabilities.
The chief source of Car Show proceeds was entry fees paid by those displaying their vehicles in the event.
The organizers have said that during its earlier years, security was provided by volunteer officers from other law enforcement jurisdictions. Speaking to that, Rosenoff told DelMonico that city departments “are still researching the risk and liability of using staff other than police at traffic control points.”
As a result, the show was required this year to keep abiding by current city requirements that call for a paid police officer with a cruiser at every intersection. A side effect: The $6,475 police cost exceeded the amount ($6,000) that could be donated to Canine Companions.
"We're sad that the Car Show is gone," commented Julie Fabrizio, president of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. The event participants "would tell us that they liked it here for the shopping, that if it got hot, they could go in the stores." Her impression of city officials is that "they are very callous about our area. Several of us feel like we're the city's red-head stepchild."
Another traditional activity affected by city street-closure costs this year is Coronado High School's annual Homecoming Parade, which nearly moved out of Old Colorado City before holding its 36th annual event in September. School leaders have decided instead to seek sustainable ways in the future to raise the nearly $8,000 each parade now costs (including $2,875 for police).
Westside Pionee article