Car Show Enjoys A Turnaround Year

LA MESA -- The Back to the '50s Car Show finished its summer run Thursday night and Jonathan Baron couldn't help but sound like he was taking the victory lap.

Baron, who runs the refurbished Regal Bar and headed up the car show committee of the Village Merchants Association, was praising his partners, the car clubs, the sponsors and the city efforts that clearly revived what had been a struggling brand.

"We broke even,'' Baron (pictured above) said, saying the event costs the merchants about $30,000 which is largely covered by the sponsorships and fees. "We aren't looking to make money on the event itself, but the community and several of the merchants clearly have good nights on Thursday night.''

Attendance at this year's event increased markedly as Baron's team, which included Deena While of Reader's Inc., and Laurie MacDonald of Sparrow Bridal, attracted a new mix of car clubs that had abandoned the show in past years and new music, vendors and entertainment that gave La Mesa Boulevard more of a festival feel than simply a weekly meeting of the car obsessed. "We had a lot of compliments from the car clubs,'' Baron said. "They wanted to know the dates for next year right away.''

Baron said he hoped to return again next year to help build in the new success the car show enjoyed this week.
Not every business downtown can say it benefits from the car show crowd. High end jewelers and wine shops, Baron said, don't see a big boost, but the overall traffic does help with the downtown's visibility.

And there's always Oktoberfest and Christmas in the Village looming to draw a different mix. 

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Tags: Back to the '50s Car Show, Car clubs, Christmas in the Village, Jonathan Baron, La Mesa, La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa Car Show, Laurie MacDonald, Oktoberfest, Regarl Bar, More…Sparrow Bridal, Village Merchants Association


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Comment by Deena on August 26, 2011 at 11:52am

Thank you to Jonathan for a great car show.  Thank you to our fabulous La Mesa car dealers - Drew Ford and Bob Stall Chevrolet - for their large financial support and for each dealership bringing out two cars every week to help close off the streets.  These generous community-minded businesses were a big part of the success of this year's event, and all the past shows, too.  Thank You!


 One thing I'd add here is that the show did not break even.  It would be better to say that we stayed within our budget....this year's car show was $10,000 short of breaking even.  The La Mesa Village Merchants Association sponsored the shortfall.  LMVMA's purpose is to promote the village and the businesses through special events such as Car Show, Oktoberfest, Christmas In The Village and Antique Street Faire.  These events, combined, bring hundreds of thousands of guests into the village each year, showcasing our cute little village and the city of La Mesa.  These guests in turn spend money in our shops and restaurants, generating sales tax revenue for the city.  When the village is full, the city benefits greatly.  LMVMA is pleased to be a revenue generating partner with the city of La Mesa for nearly 40 years.

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