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STEEL STAMPEDE-UpDate

01/19/2024, 12:24 PM

STEEL STAMPEDE-UpDate

“IT’S A BUMMER”

 

Last Monday (01/15/24), Ranch Matters published a report titled, “NO STAMPEDE?” regarding information circulating that the 2024 Steel Stampede Event had been cancelled by the Ranch Board of Directors.

 

We contacted the Ranch Administration for confirmation and was told that Manager Judy Lapora “HAS NO COMMENT” and we were referred to the promoter.

Later that night, the Board of Directors held their Regular Board meeting and Manager Lapora stated: “If its all right with you Kari (President Kari Vickery) I would like just to address something that was brought to my attention today…”

LAPORA’S RESPONSE

 

Manager Judy Lapora: “This is regarding the Steel Stampede and the Ranch hosting this Event. We did it for, what 17 years I think and it was always very successful. However, it was very, very labor intensive for all staff that was involved. When you’re talking about that you’re not talking just about time you’re talking about money too. Those people are being paid to do a job and they’re having to spread their duties out to include that Event in it…”

“Back in August the Board reviewed, oh sorry, the Board reviewed the financials on that Event and made the decision to no longer host it, but to offer the Steel Stampede Event area to the promoter to do it themselves. That would help alleviate some of the stress from the department heads, the department workers and not incur costs to the Ranch which then, if you follow the trail, goes down to the residents.”

 

MYSTERY MONEY TRAIL

Lapora: “In the Work Session of August 7th, there is in the Minutes, it says, Vice President Erdekian made a motion to withdraw as organizer for the Steel Stampede.

The Event area will be offered to the promoters on a rental basis. The motion was seconded by Director Randall and approved unanimously.

 

I reached out to the promoters, which basically is Jason and I can’t pronounce is last name and we went back and forth, back and forth and back in forth and we made him an offer, he came back with an offer and we could not meet in the middle.

At the November 20th Regular Meeting, the new contract was reviewed by the Board in Executive Session and then we came out of Executive Session and the Minutes reflect a motion to engage in a new contract with the Steel Stampede promoters was made by Director Randall, seconded by VP Beveridge, zero in favor and eight opposed, defeated the motion. So, basically I let them know that we were not willing to rent the facility, provide what they wanted us to provide, for what they wanted to pay us.

I believe they’re getting another location and I have been in contact with Jason and its on a very good terms. He asked if we have any Steel Stampede things that we would like to sell, which we do. So, we’ll be working with him to buy some of the metal things and they can move on with that Event.

I think its not going to leave Central Oregon as far as I know, but it’s not going to be hosted by the Ranch. Does that make sense to everybody?

Anybody have anything to add to that or correct me?”

 

Lapora cites the August 7th Work Session as part of the Board’s alibi, but a closer look will expose the truth.

When Vickery adjourned the meeting to Executive Session, she did not disclose anything remotely related to cancelling the Steel Stampede Event.

.Vickery said the purpose for using the Executive Session was related to “CC&R Violations and Employee Relations.”

Additionally, the Work Session Agenda for said meeting made no mention of the Steel Stampede Event and only reflected the following: “Sponsorship for the Ranch-Vice President Erdekian.”

SNEAKY?

Director Ara Erdekian added his two cents. “With the amount of meetings that took place over the course of the last few years, through covid and after covid, talking to the promoters, talking to the vendors, talking to all of the heads of the departments that actually worked on this and the time spent…”

The proceeds of this Event went to the Ranch Enhancement Committee…”

“What we spent in time and money was almost an exponential factor of what we were taking in and what actually went to the Ranch Enhancement Committee. Then it was kinda of off the shoulder, but it would save the Ranch not only the Ranch residents money by just giving Ranch Enhancement the amount of money that we were making off of the Steel Stampede without incurring expenses…”

“Events come and go and I know in the 16 years, but again, a lot of us were elected for how do you spend the money and that is the thing we looked at most critically.

It just got to the point where the money spent was not worth the money that was coming in or even the exposure…”

WHY NOT SHOW US THE FINANCIALS?

“Thank you Judy for the synopsis and the specific dates. That August meeting happened after many meetings with the Steel Stampede promoters as well.”

“MANY MEETINGS”?

Lapora responded: “I’m hoping, with Ara’s help, that we can put on some really good events here that people will enjoy and will provide some funds for that committee.

I really think we can and I think we really got a lot of talent on this Ranch that we can take advantage of. A lot of people of varying interest.

I’m just going to say I don’t think that fund is not going to be restored if you will. We’ll just have to figure out how they want to do it and what we want to do.”

PROMOTER RESPONSE

Jason, one of the promoters, told Ranch Matters: “The Steel Stampede is no longer being hosted by Crooked River Ranch.” Jason confirmed last years Steel Stampede was successful and added: “What it came down to is that Crooked River Ranch Board of Directors decided to no longer host the event.

 

Jason: “We tried some negotiations on how to move forward with that and then it went to a final Board meeting and was denied any further action.”

Jason confirmed the issue started in August (2023) and that there were proposals and counter proposals between August and November. He said they-the Ranch, were considering hosting the Event “only as a rentable event.”

Jason is currently in negotiations with another venue and is working on getting a contract signed. He wants to keep the Event local and in the Central Oregon area. He did confirm that the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center is “a likely contender.”

Jason: “I was merely a Volunteer for the Event that had a decent role in making sure things went smoothly.”

Jason’s contact person on the Ranch was Manager Lapora and he said he never met personally with any Board member.

“NEVER MET PERSONALLY WITH ANY BOARD MEMBER”?

Jason: “Mostly email is how I caught word of it and I was kinda a third party to all of these decisions as well.”

“There was a wrap up Steel Stampede/follow-up meeting. We always have a meeting that I attend for the Steel Stampede volunteer people. We discussed how everything went and what to do to move forward and after that meeting is when I received the letter.” Jason confirmed that the date of the wrap up meeting was August 3rd, 2023 and that was the last time that he was on the Ranch and met with anyone regarding the Event.

According to Jason, nothing was said at the wrap up meeting suggesting the Event might be cancelled by the Ranch. He said he wasn’t necessarily shocked by the Board’s decision, but admitted to being “bummed.”

Jason: “Steel Stampede was hosted by the Ranch and they collected all of the proceeds from the Event. I believe that money went into the Events Committee’s fund as far as I know. Myself and others were merely volunteers and we did not handle money.”

Jason confirmed he made no money off of the Event-did spend money for the Event and repeated he was just a volunteer.

The negotiations focused solely on “renting the space” for the Event and only the rental fee revenue would go to the Ranch. “The proposal, you can rent the track for X amount, can I rent the track for X amount, I don’t know, let me see, come back with Y amount, I don’t think we can work here, is there middle ground and that’s when it went up for a vote and it was done.”

“It’s a bummer, but again from my perspective, not being a citizen of the Ranch, I’m looking at it as keeping the sport of racing and something for the community alive. It’s just essentially finding a new location.”

A 17 year Event, a Ranch tradition, was cancelled by the Ranch Directors with absolutely no public pronouncements or public input. In fact, the Board, in typical fashion hid from the Association members their true intentions, discussions, numbers and facts by employing the Executive Session process to render their final blow to the Event.

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RANCH MATTERS CRR, LLC

JOHN STEVENS & DAVE STANGLAND

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