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Discussion Starter #1
this letter was written by a local racer when he heard what fees/rent that the airport and local county gov. was trying to impose on the racetrack.



"Eleven years ago when Immokalee Regional Raceway opened its doors on one of the runways at the Immokalee Airport it was hardly a get-rich-quick scheme for track operator Ralph Hester. Seeing the dangers that illegal street racing brought on, Hester saw an opportunity and took the necessary steps to lease the little used runway space and open his drag strip. The facilities were slowly improved over a course of years to include adding concrete retaining walls for safety, repaving the surface, paving additional parking and even a go-cart track for young children. The track brought jobs to the community, and entertainment to a town that needed something to do on a Saturday night. More importantly, it took illegal street racing off the street. Drivers who wanted to test out their cars were no longer looking for a stretch of open road.

It brought in money too. The economic impact of the raceway could be felt across Collier County as locals with competitive spirits bought parts for their cars at local speed shops, purchased trucks to tow their cars with at auto dealerships, spent money on fuel, tires, food, and all the other associated expenses of spending a weekend at the races. A few times per year the track plays host to racers from out of town for large sanctioned events. Those racers and devoted spectators stay in hotels, eat meals at restaurants, buy fuel at local gas stations and generally spend money in our community.

The track has played host to charitable events too with fundraisers and community awareness events. When the Collier County Sherriff's Office needed a place to conduct training and test out vehicles, the track welcomed them with open arms and free of cost. Open track days allowed anyone to come in and experience the thrill of putting their vehicle through its paces. Certainly this operation has as much of a place in our community as a zoo, a water park or a boat ramp, yet tax payers have never been asked to foot the bill -- the track always paid its own way.

In these tough economic times, airport management is looking to raise the raise the rent - demanding that the raceway commit to a three year deal at significantly higher rates than it had been paying in the past. The concern is that with track attendance, and subsequently revenue, down consistently in parallel with the economy, the track just cannot bear the extra expense. The airport is looking at this captive audience to make up for its own expense and revenue problems, and in the process, could very possibly kill the Golden Goose it is attempting to harvest.

If you took the drive to Immokalee and enjoyed a night at the strip with family and friends, or if you work at one of those businesses that benefits from racers doing business in the community, or even if you just appreciate the idea of having a safe place for kids of all ages to spend an evening, now is the time to take action. Take a minute and follow the link below to tell your County Commissioner that the track is important. A few minutes of your time could make a very big impact for the community.

http://www.colliergov.net/Index.aspx?page=30"

Philip E. Osborne
Vice President
Naples Boat Mart
829 Airport Road N.
Naples, FL 34104

www.immraceway.com
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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done email sent every racer that has gone there should send an email that track is our second home Ralph is the man when it comes to the racers
 

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Email sent, I am going to be down there between the Feb 11-20
we are a week later coming down than usual , is there going to be
any racing
 

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The Dude Abides
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Good luck gentlemen.
 

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They can probably care less if your renting that land, sounds like they may not want you there , maybe thats why the rent is going up and they want you to do 3yr deal
 

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I emailed them but the track could make way more money if it was taken care of and preped correctly. I live 20 min away and we never ever go there to test or race cause we are 2 tenths faster at Bradenton on an average night. Lat time we raced there we crashed our car. I really wish we could use the track or even rent it but until it is widened and taken care of correctly i cant see it making any real money. Sorry this is not to bash just saying what everyone is thinking but no one wants to say.
 

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I kill parts
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^ why is "the track" almost always at fault in a crash? I'm sure it had nothing to do with him way over-driving it during a test pass.... - We've unfortunately totalled one car out there ourselves and I've done 100mph donuts in the camaro, funny part is I don't blame the track at all, I simply say thanks for maintaining a safe racing facility. Had it not been a safe facility, my father or myself could easily be gone.

I fully agree that during open track TNT there needs to be some sort of "tech" in place to keep the track in good condition though.
 

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I kill parts
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I will copy/paste and post this on all the local forums.

My email to all the above listed contacts:

As a business manager and as a racer who has been at this facility many times each year since the very first time it was open, I would like to see it continue on. Raising the lease cost, especially significantly as proposed, would likely end the existence of this facility. Being a member of many internet racing forums from local to global I know what it means to have a good safe place to go pursue a passion for hot-rodded cars, and I also know of the many people who also do so illegally and un-safely on local streets. Without Immokalee Regional Raceway, the many that choose to enjoy their passion legally will be forced to either travel hundreds of miles to the next closest facility, or will more likely be inclined to participate in illegal/un-safe street racing.

I live in near bye Lehigh Acres, yet like very many locals I only visit the Immokalee area due to the racing facility. Not only do we visit the track, but because of doing so we often dine in local restaurants and purchase various items from local stores and gas stations. If we loose our reason to be in that area, then those places too will be loosing our business.

I understand times are tough, but the track is down just as much as anyone else during these times, if not more so. Local drag racing is not a professional program, but instead is a hobby. Most local racers are “blue collar” middle class people, many of which have been forced to side-line their hobbies in these current economic times, and therefore the track is already suffering a large financial burden just to remain as it has for these many years. I fear any cost increase would likely be the end of this wonderful facility and it’s positive impact on the local economy.

I hope you take the time to re-consider the proposed lease changes,

Sincerely,
Justin Shawgo
 

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Super Rod 2413
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As soon as I get to a computer I'll send an E mail. Bump
 
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