Revitalizing for the Future, Preserving Local Legacy
Why was Friends of Laguna Seca formed?
Friends of Laguna Seca (Friends) formed as a direct result and in response to Monterey County’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process whereby the County invited interested parties to participate in a process that will result in the selection of a new concessionaire to manage the Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA).
The founders of ‘Friends’ feel strongly that a new community-based nonprofit staffed with expertise in financial management and operational excellence is the best long term structure to continue LSRA’s legacy and preserve the facility for the next 50 years.
Three interested parties responded to the County’s RFQ: Friends of Laguna Seca, a nonprofit, and two for-profit entities. The concession will be awarded directly to one party.
LSRA should be managed by a local, community-based non-profit. The LSRA should not be operated as part of a for-profit entity and run by a group that is not local to Monterey County.
A Community Commitment First and Foremost
What is the advantage of a nonprofit managing the Laguna Seca Recreation Area?
Friends of Laguna Seca is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and not for the private gain of any person. The other respondents to the County’s requests are tied to for-profit entities whose purpose is to maximize net income and assets for the private benefit of its shareholders. The distinction and its implications are significant.
Friends of Laguna Seca officers and directors understand the citizens of Monterey County and have a strong commitment to ensuring LSRA is a well-managed success that benefits the greater Monterey region and Salinas Valley. We are driven by a passion for motorsports and a dedication to our community and share a long history of philanthropic involvement.
We feel strongly LSRA should remain in the community as a non-profit. We do not want to see the raceway operated as part of a for-profit entity and run by people not based in Monterey. We are also quite proud of the organizations that have agreed to work with us.
What is Friends of Laguna Seca’s relationship to SCRAMP?
While a number of Friends board members have participated on committees and advisory groups associated with SCRAMP, there is no existing relationship between Friends and SCRAMP. We have enormous respect for SCRAMP’s past achievements. However, as the Civil Grand Jury report confirms, there are substantive reasons why the county decided that SCRAMP should not maintain the LSRA concession.
What can you tell us about how you will use the facility?
When the track was initially developed more than 50 years ago it was a part of a military base in a rural part of Monterey County. Much has changed since then in the surrounding community since the facilities were originally developed. First and foremost, we want to be good neighbors. Our focus is on revitalizing, reinvesting and reinventing LSRA, including the raceway and related facilities, into a world-class venue, consistent with the constraints and challenges presented by the surrounding area.
Does Friends of Laguna Seca have partners or other sponsors?
Friends of Laguna Seca has partnered with The California Park Company (park management), Frost Motorsports, LLC (motorsports financial consultant), Denise Duffy & Associates – Land Use, Environmental and Resource Planning, Ausonio Incorporated (construction), Freytag & Associates (acoustic consultants), Kittelson & Associates (transportation consultants), and Geoconsultants, Inc. (ground water development and protection consultants). We continue to seek like-minded individuals and organizations that share our goals, mission and vision for the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. If you are interested in partnering with Friends of Laguna Seca, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How is Friends of Laguna Seca capitalized?
Friends of Laguna Seca is an entirely self-financed group of like-minded individuals. We are building a coalition of supporters from the public, businesses and private citizens to fulfill our charitable purpose and mission to revitalize, reinvest and reinvent the Laguna Seca Recreation Area.
Will you require Monterey County General Fund support?
Friends of Laguna Seca intends to operate, manage, rebuild, and maintain the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, its related facilities, activities and events in a self-sustaining manner that does not require support from the Monterey County General Fund. We understand the deferred maintenance issues that currently exist at the facilities. If chosen as the new long-term steward of the facility, we will take the responsibility to plan, finance and implement much-needed repairs and extensive capital improvements. We will fully leverage and realize all of the potential revenue generating areas and opportunities of LSRA, including non-motorsports events.
How much capital will need to be raised and what’s your plan to secure funds?
We are putting together a full business and operations plan that will include a detailed review of capital requirements and a fundraising target. We will submit detailed pro forma financials as we proceed through the County process. The goals of the first five years of the plan will be:
- To stabilize the operations and finances of the LSRA;
- To preserve the legacy of the volunteers that help promote events at the LSRA;
- Assess the needs of the LSRA facilities with respect to deferred maintenance and required capital improvements;
- To restore the facilities and the entire LSRA to its prior glory;
- To reinvest net income from operations into the improvement of the events, activities and facilities.
Who are Friends of Laguna Seca board members and what expertise do they bring?
Friends of Laguna Seca’s board include business and community leaders who bring key expertise in fiscal management, fundraising, planning, construction, design and motorsports. They also all have a passion and years-long involvement with cars, motorcycles and racing. You can read more about the board members here.
How do you envision overseeing the volunteers who help to promote events?
We are committed to preserving the history and legacy of volunteers, neighborhood representatives, local businesses and local industry associations that value LSRA. These stakeholders, with their passion and support, are at the heart of what makes LSRA an important community jewel. Their ongoing involvement supports a number of community interests and needs.
We are dedicated to continue the volunteer spirit of LSRA and to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation with the local community for the benefit of the entire Monterey County. Volunteers and business and community groups can let us know of their interest on a form available here. You can also send an email to: email@example.com
How can I stay informed?
We will share updates on our website. Those interested in staying informed can register here.
How can I donate?
We are not actively soliciting donations at this time. If awarded the concession, Friends of Laguna Seca has partnered with the Community Foundation for Monterey County to ensure donations are tax deductible (while the Friends of Laguna Seca’s application for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charity is pending).