Thunder Motorsports has canceled three big events in Wildwood this year, a boardwalk car show and monster trucks in September and a motocross event in early October.
The business posted a statement on its website.
“Due to the differences between the corporation and the city of Wildwood and other circumstances, we regretfully have to inform you that we are unable to put on the following scheduled events: Sept 20-23 Boardwalk Classic Car Show, Sept 28-30 Thunder on the Beach Monster truck competition, and the Oct 5-7 Thunder in the sand motocross,” it reads, promising full refunds. It was signed by Alan Myers, listed as the owner of the business.
The same statement is read on the business’ answering machine. No one immediately responded to a message left at the business phone number.
The organization owes Wildwood more than $40,000 for previous events, according to city administrator Chris Wood.
“I think that’s the major difference. They owe us this money and they either don’t have it or they’re not going to pay,” he said.
Wildwood increased several fees for the use of the beach this year, as part of an effort to close a budget shortfall without increasing taxes, requiring beach tags or resorting to layoffs. According to Wood, Thunder Motor Sports still owes money from a spring event.
Wood indicated that the city would be willing to work something out, but officials have not heard from the company.
“I don’t think they’ve tried. We’re happy to negotiate and try to talk things through,” he said.
Each of the events has been a big deal in Wildwood, drawing thousands of visitors each fall. The business has had a presence on the boardwalk in other years. According to Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr., what is generally known as the Monster Truck Building is city owned, and the business owes two years of rent. This summer, the city has leased it to a different organization, and Troiano said it will bring in $1.6 million in to the city.
Troiano also said that the city had sent Myers a notice about money he owed the city, and warned that if the bills went unpaid, it could jeopardize the event permits. Myers then responded by canceling the events.
While these are major off-season events for the city, Troiano expects similar events to take place regardless. He said that the Hotel Motel Association was “already all over” trying to find a new organizer for the events.
“I don’t see these events going away,” Troiano said. “If it’s not run by one person, it will be run by another.”
“We will be issuing full refunds to all pre-reg car show participants and all Thunder on the Beach ticket holders,” reads the statement from Myers. “We are truly sorry that we were unable to put on these events and we hope that in the future that we are able to resume schedules of our various events and our monster truck rides. We will keep you informed. Thank you very much for your patronage and we hope to see you soon.”
The Wildwood Chamber of Commerce sent out an email including Myers’ statement this week.
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