MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) A handful of local business executives met at Laguna Seca this morning to discuss preparations for the highly-anticipated Monterey Car Week.
After being cancelled last year due to COVID-19, Car Week is resuming for a full ten days this year starting on August 5th. The festivities will be held in several different locations throughout the area. All Car Week events will abide by state, local, and national health and safety guidelines including a recommended element of distancing. In order to do this, Car Week planners have made arrangements to enlarge event perimeters so as to give attendees the option to distance themselves.
Nonetheless, officials expect a high attendance rate. On a typical year, Car Week attracts over 85 thousand visitors to the Monterey Peninsula and has boasted more than $65 million in revenue from travel.
"I think most hotels are getting near capacity," said Director of Heritage Events and Public Relations Barry Toepke. "Our ticket sales are running as strong as they were in 2019, so that's a fantastic sign. I fully expect this event to be on par, if not better than even 2019."
A hot topic at this morning's press conference was Car Week's impact on locals. "Car week has been called 'Hell Week'," said Elsa Rivera, Events Director for Big Sur Food & Wine Festival. She continued, "We love to increase the messaging around the rest of the story of car week, how it does really bring economic positive impact. It facilitates revenue. That's really important to our mission."
According to Erin Sollecito of Monterey Touring Vehicles, this year's Car Week may very well be just the reset that the Monterey Peninsula needs after a year spent inside. "Everybody is coming in with just such a sense of gratitude, " said Sollecito. "A level of relief that we're getting through all of this and that we are able to gather again."