Okoboji event went great and now I am stuck dealing with the Manvel/500 cancellations...
I started searching for replacement venues for the 500 date two weeks ago and had 5 venues as possibilities, slowly that list started swindling down due to factors out of my control like conditions and lodging.
I spent the last two days talking to Naytwahwaush, Pine Lake, & Park Rapids as my hail mary options. Pine Lake still has the pipeline workers in town so no lodging available, Naytwahwaush has plenty of lodging at the nearby casino but my concern was the condition of the lake after a Feb 13/14 race for the March event scheduled, and lastly was Park Rapids. The plan for the event at the end of February is to run the terrain event but if they do not get snow we will move to the lake backup, we discussed alot of "What if" scenarios and again like the decision with Naytahwaush we don't want to risk ruining the conditions for the lake in case we need to move the end of February event there.
Last Saturday while in Okoboji I received an email from Big Powderhorn with concerns about hosting the March 27/28 event due to current COVID restrictions in Michigan. We both agreed that the unknown between now and then may and will change but with all the planning happening they were concerned that it won't be allowed to happen. I had already put a contingency plan in place for that event with securing Whitecap Mountain in Hurley, WI as a backup. I made the trip to the resort Tuesday and worked out the details and scouted the course, it will be a typical xc with minimal spectator viewing but the course routed over their property with have a lot of elevation changes and be a very fun course.
With the cancelation of Manvel and the 500 that leaves us at six races, many of our sponsor contracts are for 8 points races so with that we will be running the last two ski hill events as two one day points events. Saturday and Sunday will be run as two separate points races, separate purse, and separate awards.
The awards banquet is another concern in regards to indoor restrictions in MN and we will make a decision in Mid March a plan for that, currently it is to be held at Giants Ridge Sunday after racing is done but if restrictions do not allow we will secure a venue in the Hudson, WI area. It is within 20 minutes of St Paul and WI is not restricted right now, people will be able to come to the banquet then spend the weekend doing tourist stuff in the twin cities.
Yesterday I completed the 21/22 schedule and have verbal commitments for 9 races, that schedule will be announced on Feb 12.
The remaining schedule is:
Feb 27/28 Park Rapids
Mar 6/7 Naytahwaush
Mar 27/28 Hurley (Upson)
Apr 10/11 Biwabik
This is not the ideal situation or plan for the remainder of the season but honestly it is now just a matter of survival, we need to get these races in and have the budgeting to carry the business to make it to the 21/22 season.
I am doing all I can to keep us going and this is not what we envisioned 12 months ago when we committed to the acquisition of USXC but it is what I am dealing with now.
I am grateful for all the words of support these past two weeks, our sponsors who support us through thick and thin, and lastly my crew. They are die hard in their commitment to help put on this great series and many go unnoticed...