Arizona Bike Week event to be held at WestWorld 2015 – 2017

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SCOTTSDALE – The proposal of the Arizona Bike Week WestWorld Event Agreement to host the event at the WestWorld facility for the years 2015 through 2017 was approved at the last Scottsdale City Council Meeting.

“This is an outdoor motorcycle show rally that has become one of the top five motorcycle events of the United States,” said Paul Katsenes, the Tourism and Events Director, who presented the proposal of this event agreement.

The Scottsdale City Council members had the topic of the Bike Week WestWorld Event Agreement scheduled for the consent agenda, but a request to move it to the regular agenda in the meeting was a success. FX Promotions, Inc. has hosted and produced this event since the year 2000. Every year it brings in more attendance and sales which boost the tourism numbers for the city’s economy.

“There’s a strong tourism component in that people come from all over the United States bringing their motorcycles here,” said Katsenes. He points out that the attendance at the show continues to grow and it’s uniqueness is being supported by Scottsdale motorcycle dealers and motorcycle manufacturers.

“The size of the show is 30,000 attendees and growing, 15,000 motorcycles and growing, five days of event and six figure event revenue to the city,” said Katsenes.

A three-year contract with two one-year extensions ties FX Promotions and the city to holding Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld. The contract includes a $25,000 fixed base use fee each year for three years, a three percent increase for the year if extended. The RV sites will have a charge of $100 for each event and site; WestWorld will receive 34 percent of the sales from the RV site convenience store. Also, WestWorld will collect five percent of the gross food revenue but nothing on alcohol sales.

“I think my concern was what I saw initially is a $25,000 fixed base use fee, I realized it goes down and down and down as they are given credits for first one thing and then another and I think what finally caught my attention was the fact that the expectation for their, for WestWorld’s realized revenue from this event next year would be according to what you sent us, $110,000 which appears to be about seven and a half percent less than we got last year and perhaps a third less than what we got two years ago,” said Councilman David N. Smith.

With this concern from Smith, Katsenes noted they spent a “substantial” amount of time on these questions Smith brought to the table, with the producer of the event and the team and the agreement that was brought to the council is the situation everyone in the production of this event agreed on.

“This is a project that is supposedly growing, getting bigger, getting better every year and we’re getting less money for it. That’s a problem for me. We do have a lot of money we need to make good at WestWorld. Accepting programs for less money is not one way to do that,” said Councilwoman Kathleen S. Littlefield.

Littlefield pointed out that last year and the year before when this event was at WestWorld, there were many complaints from people who live nearby about noise and the light pollution in conjunction with a few of the Bike Week programs, and was curious as to whether or not this issue was being dealt with.

Katsenes said that most of the light complaints were coming from portable lights that were being run by generators and they usually vibrate and move around. Because new buildings have been built, the need for these portable lights has decreased and fewer complaints about the light issues are expected this year.

“Noise is in the ear of the beholder, so a motorcycle being revved is music to some people’s ears and it’s a distraction to others and this is an event venue of over 300 acres ... so it should be no surprise that we have events that sometimes have noise and so we do the best we can … (to be) sensitive to that,” said Katsenes.

The discussion among council members on the proposal to approve the Arizona Bike Week WestWorld Event Agreement ended with a five-two vote in favor, with Councilwoman Littlefield and Councilman Smith opposing.

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