After months of negotiations, Beeline Cruise-In Auto Show organizers have found a new place to park all those import, classic, hot rod, low-ride, roadsters and award-winning cars.
Green Valley Park will host the 16th annual auto show April 24 through April 26. Organizers had toyed with the idea of hosting the event at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, but after hotel officials wanted to renegotiate the original contract, Rim Country Car Show Director Ken Sigsbee pulled out.
“The original deal could not be kept,” Sigsbee said of the casino.
Looking for a new place to park his candy apple red 1956 Ford pickup and around 300 entrants’ cars, Sigsbee approached the town of Payson about Green Valley Park.
After meeting with Mayor Kenny Evans, Vice Mayor Su Connell and Director of Tourism and Economic Vitality Cameron Davis, a deal was made.
“They agreed wholeheartedly to move it,” Sigsbee said.
In 2008, the car show was held on Main Street, bringing in an all-time record with around $24,000 raised for local charities. However, several businesses complained that on Main Street, space was limited and businesses blocked.
Former car show organizer Vern Leis said blocking Main Street for two days with 396 cars, was hard on businesses.
“We did not have the flexibility to grow, ” Leis said.
The park offers an unlimited amount of space for cars to park, vendors to sell and spectators to roam freely.
Sigsbee hopes to raise more money this year with more vendors selling food, jewelry and other merchandise.
“Last year, vendors could only be at the Senior Center or Womans Club, which is not a lot of space,” Sigsbee said. “But the more money we can raise through sponsorships and vendors, that is money that we give to charities.”
After expenses are paid, every dime raised goes to more than 20 charities. Raffles are another source of funding. Last year, $12,000 in prizes were raffled.
Last year 350 cars participated and more than 5,000 spectators roamed the street oohing and ahhing over a 1932 Ford Roadster that won Best in Show.
Sigsbee said a shuttle bus would run spectators around town to different businesses to incorporate the whole town into the show.
Several churches near the park and along Main Street will provide parking for visitors.
Although the Rim Country Classic Auto Club has 80 members, you will not see any of them enter their cars into the show. Sigsbee said it is not polite for club members to enter into their own car show.
“We don’t compete in the show, although our membership has cars as good as you would find anywhere,” he said. Sigsbee said he hopes to create a separate place where club members could park and compete separately.