ORGANISERS of Bright’s $1 million rod run have threatened to axe the event, saying it has become too expensive to run.
They say some motels are pushing up costs by enforcing artificial “premium weekends”.
But Alpine Council said the accommodation cost issue was a “red herring” and the event could be saved by Bright residents helping to manage the event.
It will hold a community meeting on October 10 to thrash out a rescue plan for the event.
President of the Northern Suburbs Street Rod Club Ray McDonald said problems with the club’s event had been “brewing for the last couple of years”.
“We’re chasing a better deal for the rodders who enter the event,” he said.
This year’s 22nd event will be held on November 9, 10 and 11.
The event attracts about 10,000 people to see up to 800 entrants, bringing more than $1 million into the town’s economy.
Economic development manager Clayton Neil said the council was aware of some of the issues and hoped to form an organising committee at next month’s meeting.
“We’ll explore whether there’s an appetite for the community to take on more responsibility for the management of the event,” he said.
Mr Neil said the club’s 30 members had done a “phenomenal job to run the event for so long.
“It’s a massive undertaking for a club not based in the region, and we’re really aware of that,” he said.
“There’s real opportunities for the community and council to see what we can do to help.”
Mr McDonald said the hot rod community was finding it expensive to go to Bright.
“Accommodation providers are seeking bookings for three, four and even five nights,” he said.
But Mr Neil said it was hard for the council “to get a really clear indication” of the club’s cost pressures.
“Our businesses face a challenging environment,” he said.
“They’re trying to keep their businesses fresh and vibrant.”
Mr Neil said the club had acknowledged that not many motels were enforcing a four-night stay.
Mr McDonald agreed many accommodation providers were “very good” but said it was “increasingly apparent short-term financial gain is more important than the long-term viability of the Bright Rod Run”.
Phone (03) 5755 0555 for information on the public meeting.