Updated: Council narrowly OKs rally contract

A Rockin' good Rally

The Hollister motorcycle rally is officially set for July 1-3 after the council’s narrow support of a new promoter Monday.
Council members approved a contract with Reno-based Roadshows, Inc. to promote the 2016 motorcycle rally in early July. Roadshows was the one company that submitted a bid to the city for the rally after last year’s promoter, Las Vegas-based ConvExx, departed over a dispute of $90,000 owed to Hollister.
The council OK’d the deal in a 3-2 vote. Mayor Ignacio Velazquez along with Councilmen Victor Gomez and Ray Friend supported it. Council members Mickie Luna and Karson Klauer dissented.
In the agreement with Reno-based Roadshows, which runs the Street Vibrations events there, the promoter agrees to pay $135,000 to cover city costs such as police, fire and public works. That is $45,000 less than the desired amount from the city, $180,000. But Hollister officials in the contract would agree to call it even if the promoter would collect city business license fees and sales tax revenue totaling an estimate of the $45,000 difference, according to an agenda report for Monday’s meeting.
Velazquez in a Tuesday interview acknowledged that it’s unrealistic for the promoter to collect sales tax money, which actually funnels through the state. The mayor said the hope is for the promoter and others involved to make money this year despite another late start.
“I see it being what it was last year,” Velazquez said, stressing how the city must build on each rally.
As for the promoter collecting fees and turning them over, the mayor said it had been a prior practice but had not been reliable enough for the city.
“You’re going to collect for the city and make sure the city is paid those dollars,” he said Tuesday.
Also in the agreement, the document lays out several other provisions related to matters of debate during prior rallies.
• The city would require the promoter to pay the $135,000 by June 1 or the deal would be canceled. Last year’s promoter missed his last payment before a July 1 deadline, but the event went on regardless.
• The city would maintain all naming and trademark rights related to the rally, two years after a promoter sought trademarks on the event’s name.
• The promoter would have to maintain all books, ledgers and accounting documents on file for at least one year following the rally for inspection by the city.
After the decision Monday, Police Chief David Westrick announced that the first internal planning meeting would take place a day later, Tuesday afternoon of this week, to get moving for the event five months from now.

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