Tremblant event not without its challenges
After being pushed out of Montreal by NASCAR's deep pockets, Champ Car is faced with several challenges for its Mont-Tremblant event. Certainly Mont-Tremblant will be more scenic, and a driver favorite, but for the event to be a success, the following must be overcome:
1- The 1st of July in Canada is Canada Day where most people tend to be with their families. They also attend various outdoor activities to celebrate Canada Day. Therefore attendance will be effected unless the promoter can get families to the race.
2- The 1st of July in the Province of Québec is traditionally called "moving day". This is the day that a lot of apartment leases end (so much so that there is usually a shortage of moving trucks).
3- The metro system offered the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve a great deal of walk-up general admission. These people decide to attend the event on the very morning of the race. With Tremblant a 1.5 hour drive (without traffic) away, walk-up crowds will be either small or nonexistent unless the promoters can get families to Mont Tremblant during this holiday weekend.
4- Speaking of traffic, the road leading to the main entrance of the track is quite narrow. Spectators will have to be VERY VERY patient before getting to their seats.
5- Erecting temporary seating in safe locations yet still providing clear views of the on-track action will require time and money. Money should not be an issue for race promoter Mr. Strohl, however, the track will need further modifications to accept Champ Car's paddock, pit exit, pit lane and spectator areas.
6- In 2005, Mr. Martin Spalding, general manager of the Molson Indy Montreal was "too tired" to answer journalists' questions. That was when he had to do 2 events in the span of 2-2.5 months. In 2007, he will have to deal with 3 events in the span of 1.5 months. We wonder how efficient he will be in all 3.
7- There seems to be a lot more advertising about the NASCAR Busch race in the Montréal market than there is about the Tremblant Champ Car race. So far, no promotion, no ticket sales, no ticket information and no website, which is exactly what Normand Legault did for the Montreal race and we all know how that ended up. Legault is supposedly involved in the Mont-Tremblant race too........the tradition of non-promotion continues.
The event will happen, but will it be a success? Can it stand on its own in years to come? Will it generate enough sponsorship interest to have the gate money as "the gravy"? How much money is the new owner ready to pump into the event before second-guessing? These are the questions that must be answered between now and July 1st. Mark C.