New non-profit group forms to seek management of Laguna Seca Recreation Area

Friends of Laguna Seca (Friends), a new non-profit public benefit corporation has been formed to respond to the County of Monterey’s Request For Qualifications to manage the Laguna Seca Recreation Area.

New non-profit group forms to seek management of Laguna Seca Recreation Area
Fans watching the race at Laguna Seca
Zak Brown at Laguna Seca
Laguna Seca's paddock
Laguna Seca's paddock
Laguna Seca's paddock
Turn one at Laguna Seca
Sunrise over Laguna Seca
Turn one at Laguna Seca

Friends President Ross Merrill said, “We are committed to managing Laguna Seca with fiscal responsibility and for the benefit of our community. We’re driven by a passion for motorsports, a dedication to our community, and a desire to transform nearly six decades of renowned racing legacy into a new engine for our local economy. Ultimately, our aim is to restore the raceway’s former glory.”

Friends’ team is led by General Manager Lauri Eberhart, a nationally recognized leader in speedway management and motorsports. Its board also includes longtime business and community leaders with a history of Laguna Seca racing.

Eberhart said: “Laguna Seca Raceway is internationally recognized and perfectly positioned to establish a new precedent in motorsports at a time when racing, sport promotion and raceway management is evolving rapidly. Our goal is to incorporate modern trends in motorsports and bring new energy and ideas that can serve the surrounding business community. Equally important, we recognize and value the vital role of dedicated volunteers and how their participation benefits local philanthropy.”

Merrill commented, “Core to our management approach and key to future community benefit from Laguna Seca is that we are a non-profit organization, which enables reinvestment in the raceway and supporting infrastructure.”

Board member Ned Spieker added, “We are realistic about the challenges we face. We will have a huge responsibility to this community and to Laguna Seca visitors. Our first priority is to provide a high-quality experience to all, which stands in contrasts to for-profit companies whose first priority is to generate profits for their investors.

“Our approach will be to reinvest proceeds and make much-needed capital improvements to attract a new generation of visitors, achieve a self-sustaining enterprise and restore the original vision of Laguna Seca.”

The Friends board includes key expertise in fiscal management, fundraising, planning, construction, design and motorsports. “Not only is our team deeply involved in this community, we know racing! We have excellent relationships in motorsports and will bring new event and partnership ideas to the table,” said board member Bruce Canepa.

The County of Monterey is in the process of evaluating RFQs and is expected to select a company to operate the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in the near future.

To learn more about Friends of Laguna Seca, visit www.friendsoflagunaseca.org.

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