The FUTURE of Laguna Seca Recreational Area

We’d like to introduce ourselves and discuss what’s at stake for Laguna Seca Recreation Area.

Who We Are
We are Friends of Laguna Seca, a non-profit public benefit corporation. We formed earlier this summer because we care deeply about Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA), a precious asset belonging to the citizens of Monterey County. It has brought great enjoyment to our families and our local community for more than SO years. We are driven by a passion for motorsports and a dedication to our community and share a long history of philanthropic involvement. We are staffed with expertise in financial management and operational excellence. Our founders includes: Ross Merrill (President), Thomas Minnich (Treasurer), Lauri Eberhart (General Manager), Bruce Canepa, Jonathan Feiber, Gordon McCall, and Ned Spieker.

We are proud of the people and organizations that have agreed to work with us. We have a broad set of endorsements from business, community and motorsports leaders. All recognize the need for a fiscally capable, community-led focus.

They include:
– Zak Brown, Just Marketing International (JMI)
– David MacNeil, WeatherTech, 2016 IMSA road race series title sponsor
– Petersen Automotive Museum
– Bruce Meyer, Meyer Pacific
– Rob Dyson, Dyson Foundation
– National Auto Sport Association (NASA)
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
– Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group
– Jameson Classic Motorcycle Museum
– The California Parks Company

The Friends donor relations community advisors include local leaders such as Don Chapin, David Gill, Kurt Gollnick, Bruce Taylor and Warren Wayland. Longtime Laguna Seca Raceway volunteers Don Ask, Dennis Farber, Marge Ann Jameson, Neil Jameson, Pat Kelly, Carlos Noreiga, Diane Noreiga, Bill Reichmuth and Lee Shepherd have also joined in our effort for new local management.

Our Community Mission and Values
We are dedicated to revitalizing the Laguna Seca Recreation Area for the advancement of the greater community and the economy it serves. We value the hard work of volunteers who bring a personal touch and community pride to events. We also value transparency, accountability and reliability from leader­ship. All these values will be embedded into our partnership with County officials to make Laguna Seca a success, again.

Our Local, Non-Profit Commitment
We believe a well-managed, locally-run non-profit is best positioned to revitalize Laguna Seca to its former glory, reinvest in the facility infrastructure and reinvent LSRA for a new genera­tion of community enjoyment. Friends of Laguna Seca answers to the citizens of Monterey County. We are committed to ensuring LSRA benefits the greater Monterey region and Salinas Valley.

Our General Manager
Lauri Eberhart, a 20-year motorsports veteran, will be our on the ground General Manager. Lauri has held positions at Speedway Motorsports, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Michigan International Speedway and Nazareth Speedway. She has a wealth of experience in speedway operations, management and strategic planning. While she was VP of Speedway Motorsports, the company grew from two to eight speedways. Texas Motor Speedway was constructed, Bristol Motor Speedway was rebuilt, and Sonoma Raceway underwent a $35 million modernization. She has successfully managed communications, marketing, corporate sales, ticket office, media center and credentials, legal affairs, and guest services and logistics. Lauri has literally done every job at a speedway facility including negotiating sponsorships with Fortune 500 companies to handling camper line up and cleaning the grandstands.

Mismanagement Led to County Call for a New Concessionaire

The County of Monterey issued a Request for Services Proposal (RFSP) for a new manager for the Laguna Seca Recreation Area following years of management failure by the current concessionaire. Three inter­ested parties responded: Friends of Laguna Seca, a nonprofit, and two for-profit entities. A County decision on the organization that will gain control and oversight of the facility is expected this September.

Friends of Laguna Seca Proposal
Our proposal includes a 25-year commitment to rebuild the Laguna Seca Recreational Area complex and implement a new business model that will include:
• A $50 million dollar capital improvement plan with $25 million invested in the first five years
• Establishing a profitable mix of events that will utilize all the assets of the Laguna Seca Recreational Area
• Maximizing sponsorship opportunities and race track rentals
• Developing premium camping areas an an upgraded rifle/pistol range
• Enhancing the end-user experience facility-wide
• Bring new events and premium programs to increase utiliztion within current restrictions taking particular care to respect our neighbors on Highway 68

The Choice
Friends of Laguna Seca is singularly focused on LSRA, both financially and strategically. We are organized and operate exclusively for charitable purposes and return any profits to the community. We are the only organization focused on improving the entire Laguna Seca Recreation Area – not just the track – solely for the benefit of the community. The other respondents are tied to for-profit entities whose purpose is to maximize net income and assets for the private benefit of shareholders. The distinction and its implications are significant.

Join Friends of Laguna Seca
If you feel strongly LSRA should remain in the community as a non-profit and do not want to see the raceway operated as part of a for-profit entity and directed by people not based in Monterey, click here to join us.

Thank you for getting involved to preserve Laguna Seca as a locally-operated community asset.