Tahoe Concours d’Elegance a no-go for Carnelian Bay this summer | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Concours d’Elegance a no-go for Carnelian Bay this summer

Kevin MacMillan
The famed Thunderbird (top), a 55-foot 5-inch Hacker-Craft Commuter built in 1939 for the late George Whittell; and Dispatch, a 33-foot Gar Wood Triple Cockpit Runabout, delivered new to Singer Sewing Machine heir Arthur K. Bourne's Lake Tahoe estate in 1931, were among several classic wooden boats on display at the 2012 Concours d’Elegance.
Courtesy h2omark.com |

CARNELIAN BAY, Calif. — Contractual disagreements are the reason why the 44th annual Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance classic wooden boat show will not happen in Carnelian Bay this summer.

The Aug. 8-9, 2014, show is on hold while the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation’s board “works diligently to secure a new location … to ensure the continuation of the Lake Tahoe premier event,” the foundation said in a statement Wednesday.

The event had taken place the past 20 years at Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay on Tahoe’s North Shore.

“We want to thank Sierra Boat Company for the close working relationship and amazing venue over the past 20 years that helped solidify the spirit of the Concours,” TYCF President David Olson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, there were several conditions that were added by Sierra Boat Company, under the license agreement, that jeopardized the boat owners, judges, sponsors, event personnel and volunteers, as well as the charitable status of the show.”

Further comment was deferred to the event’s planner, Liquid Blue Events.

Neil Horning, a partner with Liquid Blue, said yacht club officials had a conference call scheduled Wednesday morning with a potential Tahoe venue, although he declined to give the location.

Horning did give some insight, however, into the agreement between the yacht club and Sierra Boat Company.

“Over 20 years, with that contractual agreement, a lot of investment has been made on foundation’s side to rent that marina each year,” he said Wednesday. “Over the years, things in the contract just got more detailed, and there was some new language that gave more control of the event to Sierra Boat Company to some extent.”

Also Wednesday, Sierra Boat Company co-owner Herb Hall said he made the call to not host the event after the yacht club took issue with certain language in the contract, the same used for last year’s show.

“I realized I was opening myself to a lot of exposure to do the show here,” Hall said. “As a business, you have certain business practices and certain protections that always have to be in place, and they were basically asking me to give those up and turn over the marina and all my rights to the marina to them for the duration of the show, and I wasn’t going to surrender that.”

The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance Wooden Boat Show, founded by members of the Tahoe Yacht Club in 1972 and hosted by the club’s foundation since 1994, is regarded nationally as the premier event for maritime enthusiasts.

It’s also become a major tourism attraction for the North Shore, drawing thousands of locals and visitors annually to the weekend event.

Over the years, Sierra Boat Company’s annual contract with the yacht club has reached $30,000, Hall said, and as low as $18,000 during the Great Recession.

The contract for the 2013 event was $22,000, Hall said, and the request this year was for $20,000.

“With what they wanted, I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t willing to compromise this year,” Hall said.

The Yacht Club plans to make a formal announcement on the event’s status, or a possible new location, “as soon as possible,” according to its Wednesday statement.

Learn more at http://www.laketahoeconcours.com.

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