Hot August Nights Cancelled

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer
(Updated 5/27/11: Article from May 10 issue of LBBJ) Vintage car show Hot August Nights (HAN), touted as a major tourism and economic driver for Downtown Long Beach, has been cancelled due to lack of entries and sponsorships.

Scheduled for August 3 to 6 and expected to draw upwards of 6,000 pre-1972 vehicles, event organizers had only received participation confirmation from owners of 462 autos, according to HAN Reno/Sparks Managing Director Tony Marini.

HAN President and CEO Bruce Walter, who told various Long Beach media outlets that the car show would attract more than 250,000 people, had confirmed with the Business Journal in the December 21, 2010 issue that about 2,000 cars had registered.

The morning after the Long Beach event was called off, Walter submitted his letter of resignation to the HAN board of directors. Search for a replacement has yet to begin, Marini said.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster’s office, through Stacey Toda, issued the following statement: “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.”

The free admission event was to be tailored after the successful HAN event held in Reno each year. HAN had a six-year contract with the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), commemorating the event’s 25th anniversary. Long Beach officials estimated a $372 million in economic impact over the length of the contract.

The deal created concern in Reno, where officials reportedly were worried that the event was being moved permanently to Long Beach.

Chris Kilian, president of the HAN board of directors, announced in a statement read at a press conference May 3 that the board had discussed the cancellation of the Long Beach event “for some time.”

“We have made the determination that this is the best decision for the Hot August Nights organization both financially and for the longevity of the event in this community,” Kilian said in Reno. “All Long Beach participants and sponsors will be given full refunds and also offered the opportunity to participate in the Reno/Sparks or South Lake Tahoe events.”

With the cancellation, the Reno event returns to its traditional start date on the first Tuesday of August.

(5/2/11 3:40 p.m.) Hot August Nights, touted as a major vintage car show for Downtown Long Beach that would attract 250,000 people over four days, has been cancelled.

Scheduled for August 3 to 6, and expected to draw upwards of 4,000 pre-1972 vehicles, the event organizers, according to a spokesperson for the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), had only received participation confirmation from owners of a few hundred autos. “They needed 3,000 vehicles to break even,” said a spokesperson for the CVB.

The local free event was to be tailored after the successful, 25-year Hot August Nights held in Reno.

For more information, refer to the May 10 issue of the Business Journal.

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