After nine years of overseeing the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, the Ignacio Chamber of Commerce is at a crossroads.
Some rally volunteers have said they've donated enough time to the enterprise, and it still isn't the money-making venture that some hope it could be.
At the Nov. 5 meeting of the Ignacio Chamber of Commerce, chamber members discussed what they would like to do with a separate enterprise that the chamber owns, Ignacio Community Events. ICE is a limited liability corporation that has run the rally for the past three years.
Cathy Calderwood, a member of the chamber's board of directors, spelled out three options to chamber members:
1. Keep running it for another year while ICE and chamber members decide the future of the rally,
2. Sell the ICE assets and debts to a private party interested in purchasing it, or
3. Dissolve the ICE corporation, cancel the 2015 event, and default on the debt.
ICE owes $88,000 to creditors, including the Region 9 Economic Development Corporation. That figure includes about $11,000 in bills still owed for the 2014 rally, Calderwood said.
The chamber board would like to pursue the option of selling the event, which would allow both groups to emerge "relatively unscathed," Calderwood said.
Chamber members voted to have the board pursue the sale. Board members did not identify who is interested in the purchase.
Several chamber members said they don't support dissolving the ICE corporation and defaulting on the loan and debts.
"I'll go sell doughnuts," to raise the money before allowing that to happen, said Emily Meisner, the chamber's past president and a former rally chairperson.
Defaulting "would be a huge black eye in the community," Calderwood agreed.
At an Oct. 1 report to chamber members, rally organizers said they were set to make a good profit this year, but the zipline operation ended up costing far more than expected for engineering and installation costs.
Looking back, Johnny Valdez, one of the organizers for the rally, told the chamber members he wished he had just taken a loss on the zipline and cancelled it.
The zipline now belongs to the Sky Ute Fairgrounds and could generate a profit for future rallies, Valdez estimated. When ICE rents the fairgrounds for the rally, it has the use of all of the fairgrounds facilities, including the zipline.
Chamber board members said they will update chamber members by the end of the year on the potential sale.