Letter: Thunder Valley Rally should be moved from Old Town
Old Town is no longer a proper venue for Thunder Valley Rally. To reach this startling conclusion, I read the applicable minutes of the Parks and Rec Commission meeting pertaining to the Thunder Valley Rally and applied my own rational thoughts about the rally.
I believe it is unfair for the event to be imposed upon the merchants in Old Town. If the event was to be based in Fry’s Shopping Center, I’m sure that the merchants and the owners of the shopping complex would adamantly refuse to have it at their location. Would the City Council agree to hold it at the airport, which would probably require the airport to shut down for the weekend, I sincerely doubt it.
A significant number of merchants in Old Town seem to prefer having the event elsewhere. They could still reap the rewards of being open to customers both locally and those attending the rally.
Now, many close their businesses or if they stay open, they seem to have a decrease in business with an increase in cost by staying open.
At some point in time, Thunder Valley Rally will outgrow Old Town. I suspect that has already happened. If the City Council decides to continue the Rally in Old Town this year, it will just be a matter of time before Old Town can no longer accommodate the event.
The committee might want to look at other locations to host the event. Jerome might be a possibility in the vicinity of the Gold King Mine which is a mile out of Jerome -- far enough away to decrease the noise to residents of Jerome, close enough to Clarkdale and Cottonwood for eating and sleeping.
However, Gold King Mine is a private enterprise and the event could not be imposed upon them as it has been with Old Town. Still, it may be worth considering. It should be moved from Old Town.