As the organizer of Concours in the Hills, I’d like to clarify some points with regard to the show and fees.
I started Concours in the Hills because I wanted to do something to draw attention to our town, since I think it languishes in relative but undeserved obscurity, which hampers growth.
That first year, 2014, we had 220 cars, a few thousand people, raised $25,000 for charity. I approached the president of the Chamber of Commerce for support but, despite several phone calls and e-mails, never even had a response.
Every year I have asked the Chamber for support but, to the best of my knowledge, the Chamber has never done anything to support or promote the show. I assumed that their mandate was to grow the town in any way possible.
The show has grown to 941 cars, 20,000-plus people, 108 sponsors and $155,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It receives national publicity, and I hope is a boon to our town. It could not happen without the tireless efforts of a great many volunteers, including town employees.
A few years ago the town started charging us $7,000 for the use of the park; which I pay, plus tens of thousands more, out of my own pocket. The waiving of that fee for the first few years was the town’s desire to help make the event successful. As a resident, I don’t think that any well-established event should be given a free pass. To think that these events will disappear if they are charged a fee is ludicrous. Mine certainly won’t.
Councilman David Spelich contacted me asking about the fees we paid and brought to my attention that others were not being charged. At a time when additional revenues are needed, I thought this was a worthwhile initiative.