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Attention A Must See Lee Mills And Key West

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Old 10-10-2003, 08:16 PM
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Default Attention A Must See Lee Mills And Key West

Greeting People down here in Key West enjoying the sun before St. Pete. Stumbled accrossed this article in today's paper If there's not 40 boats for the race in key west lee mills won't get his 85,000 from the city. So make sure your prize money is garaunteed it's up to you whether lee mills makes it or fails. Here's the link to read the FULL article...

Check it out http://www.keysnews.com/278843380954523.bsp.htm

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Old 10-10-2003, 09:14 PM
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File photo by MIKE HENTZ/The Citizen
Power boats will race through Key West Harbor in November, but organizer Lee Mills must bring in 40 boats to receive the $85,000 allocated to the races by the Tourist Development Council.

KEY WEST -- The November roar of power boats will be heard in the Key West Harbor, but local tourism officials decided Thursday that at least 40 boats have to show up in order for race promoter Lee Mills to get $85,000 from the county.

The District Advisory Committee for Key West, DAC 1, allocates Tourist Development Council funds for Key West events and voted 16 months ago to set $85,000 aside for Mills, who signed a contract in July stating that the world championship boat races would be sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association. Those funds come from bed taxes visitors pay when they stay at hotels and other lodging establishments.

Ongoing business and legal disputes involving Mills and others within the APBA led the organization to refuse to sanction the Key West races, meaning the winners of the races in Key West would not be considered the winners by APBA.

As it became clear that the races Mills is promoting in Key West would not be nationally sanctioned, Assistant County Attorney Suzanne Hutton advised DAC 1 and TDC members that the July contract would have to be amended or rescinded.

Those amendments were debated and eventually finalized Thursday morning at an emergency meeting of DAC 1, where members heard from Mills about the ongoing problems within the sport. They also heard from lodging industry officials, who said they support the power-boat races and encouraged DAC 1 members to continue their financial support of the event.

But Michael Knowles, general manager of the Hampton Inn, reported that he was down by 210 room nights when compared to last year's race week. In other words, a number of rooms that had been booked for several nights each, were either canceled or not reserved at all.

Joy Smatt, a DAC 1 member and general manager of the Pier House, said she has been experiencing cancellations due to the sanctioning issues, while Steve Robbins, general manager of the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, said his bookings were up for that week, but he could not specify whether it was because of power-boat reservations or not.

Although most who gathered in the conference room at the Pier House Resort Thursday acknowledged that the annual races benefit Key West financially, many were frustrated by the eleventh-hour changes to Mills' contract, and wanted assurances that the event would, in fact, take place and would be successful.

"I can't tell you how many race teams will be here," Mills said. "That changes day by day."

Some race teams have opted to cancel their Key West plans and participate in an APBA-sanctioned race elsewhere, but Mills repeatedly told the seven DAC members present Thursday that he did not know, specifically, how many teams and boats would show up, and would not have a final tally until, possibly, the week of the races.

Melissa Kendrick, who sat on DAC 1 last year when the initial contract allocated $85,000 to Mills, spoke during the public comment period Thursday, emphasizing the importance of a national sanction.

"One of the things that was very important for me was that national sanctioning," she said. "How do you feel about the bait and switch?"

Kendrick also pointed out that $75,000 of the allocated $85,000 was to be spent on the sanctioning fee charged by APBA.

"There's not going to be a sanctioning fee paid, and if you don't prove that that sanction means something, you will never recoup it," she said.

Others who spoke placed more importance on the number of participating boats rather than the sanctioning body, and DAC 1 members had several questions for Mills, including whether or not he would produce the race event without the $85,000.

Gregg McGrady asked Mills whether he planned to produce the event without TDC funding, to which Mills eventually replied that he would not.

"There's no question that the promoter breached our agreement," said Alan Eckstein, who recently joined DAC 1. "We're also sort of being held ransom by him saying there won't be a race without the money. I think the way to handle this is to put some stringent requirements on this contract."

Mills' contract is called a turnkey contract, which means he will not get the $85,000 until after the event -- provided the criteria are met. Some applicants for TDC money sign "destination contracts," which means they receive money prior to the event, but that money must be spent on advertising.

After much debate, DAC 1 members voted 6-1, with chairwoman Julie Fondriest dissenting , to grant Mills the $85,000 contract. But they decided Mills will only be entitled to that money if at least 40 boats show up, including at least one category of the "big boats," or Super Cat class, which draw the most attention for live spectators and television viewers.

The contract now also stipulates that there will be at least two days of races in the Key West Harbor and that Mills will spend some money on advertising the event prior to race week.

"I share everybody's frustrations," Fondriest told the board members prior to the vote. "But I want to support our destination. Yes, it's a sorry state of affairs with this contract, but how do we salvage it for this year?"

Fondriest said she was concerned that the 40-boat minimum was perhaps too stringent, and could "be killing the event."

"If Mr. Mills can't get 40 boats down here, what's the point of giving him $85,000?" Eckstein asked.

Fondriest voted against the amended contract, which passed with six other votes. DAC members Amy Culver-Aversa and Phil Hogue were absent.

Immediately following the vote, Mills said he would have to think about the new contract and decide whether he would sign it.

By mid-afternoon, he had reviewed the document with Hutton and was in agreement.

"I have no problem with the contract," he said later Thursday afternoon, adding that the spectator area will be set up in the city-owned portion of the Truman Waterfront. "I feel that the requirements are very reasonable under the circumstances and am confident we'll have at least 40 boats."

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This story published on Fri, Oct 10, 2003
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:14 PM
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I hope he chokes on it!!!!
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:33 PM
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I hope 39 boats show up!
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:40 PM
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Kendrick also pointed out that $75,000 of the allocated $85,000 was to be spent on the sanctioning fee charged by APBA.



Hmmm, sounds like is wanting an easy $75,000 pure profit. I can't believe they even considered giving it to him.
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:48 PM
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We are going to KW, if a boat race show's up Great if not no big deal, Key West is a place to chill out.

The politics with the races sucks.

The races in the past have let us visit area's we would not have gone too.

Scooter races start at Hog's Breath at 6pm on Nov.21 come early and reserve a spot, entry fee is more then you can afford and wear helmets and life vests.

Registration starts some time afternoon (12pm).

The course will be a run to the southern most pointy and back......

Pre registration will probably be at Fat Tuesday's or Sloppy Joe's or the tity bar up stairs, TBA.
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Old 10-10-2003, 11:22 PM
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Give it a rest. Either go or don't but stop beating this dead horse.
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Old 10-11-2003, 12:31 AM
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Obviously this is not a dead horse because new info keeps coming to light. How many boats showup, whether or not any TV coverage, payouts to the winners, we all know of at least one Key West promoter who does not pay his racers.
 
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:55 AM
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so we go to beating 2 dead horses!
 
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:58 AM
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Fat Tuesday's Scooter Races 2003!
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