SPORTBIKE RALLY DONE
PARRY SOUND – The long-standing Sportbike Rally is over.
With a shortage of volunteers and a shift in the ride of choice of motorcycle enthusiasts, after 29 years Parry Sound will no longer host the rally.
A town staff idea to replace the event with the help of a consultant was outright dismissed by town council on November 15.
The Parry Sound Motorcycle Association is taking a year’s hiatus from organizing a motorcycle event. Instead, the club has put its sights on starting a new motorcycle event, pending volunteer support, in 2013, said club treasurer Janet Borneman.
Some sportbike enthusiasts of 30 years ago now dealing with afflictions of age, such as arthritis, said Bornemen, and have shifted from the sportbike to other motorcycle types, including the Spider, while younger riders are more likely to invest their time and money into touring bikes.
The association took over the festival several years ago when the town stepped out of organizing the rally.
With the cancellation of the Sportbike Rally, town staff proposed a different big event to council, with a consultant fee of $40,000 plus tax.
The consultant would hand the town a “turnkey” event after taking care of everything from applications for road closures to organizing outdoor washrooms.
Described on council’s most recent agenda as a “big event,” the proposal was for a festival that would include luxury motorcycles, a drive-in theatre, vendors and a rib festival in July.
Town council opposed hiring someone to organize the event.
“As a veteran rib-goer I’ve attended numerous rib events throughout Ontario…and it certainly seems to me that service clubs in the area were a big part of the volunteer set up, the promotion, in joining together with the municipalities in order to have that event…I’m just hesitant in the $40,000 plus HST cost going to an individual to organize the event,” said Coun. Brad Horn.
Coun. Keith Saulnier said the organizer shouldn’t be paid, but earn the pay through the event, such as through ticket sales.
Coun. Dave Williams suggested a portion of the $40,000 go to a local organization, Georgian Bay Country, that also works to bring people to the area, including through a proposed motorcycle tour. The proposal for a big event paid for by the town, he felt, was a duplication of the other organization’s work.
“The two tours…are part of the Georgian Bay Coastal Tour specifically so they are not events,” said director of economic development and Leisure Services Lynn Middaugh.
“The Georgian Bay Costal group has identified tours, basically roads, of communities that welcome, or have attractions/features that support the motorcycle industry or the culinary aspect.”
The proposal to hire a consultant to organize a summer motorcycle event was unanimously defeated by council. http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/community/parrysound/article/1247128