A popular classic car show hosted in Victoria is no more, according to the organizer of the event.
Al Clark, the organizer of Northwest Deuce Days, says he won’t be going forward with a 2021 event — or any beyond that. The car show was held once every three years in B.C.’s capital.
“A big thank you to Victoria for all of the bike lanes, Northwest Deuce Days is history,” Clark wrote on Facebook, taking a tongue-in-cheek shot at bike lane construction in Victoria’s downtown core. “After 21 years of hosting the event, we have decided to call it quits. Thanks to everyone that supported it.”
The post has since been deleted, and Clark later clarified to CHEK that the main reason behind the cancellation is that he’s simply exhausted.
“It just got too big, and I guess you could say we’re a little burned out by it,” he said.
The event was continuing to grow and was selling out hotels, but tourism officials and operators say it was worth the maxed-out parking lots.
“First of all it was visually stunning, and also high value spending customers,” said Paul Nursey of Destination Victoria. “The economic impact we calculated for the 2019 event was $1.3-million.”
However, Clark wasn’t making a penny.
“Financially, we’re not millionaires from it by far,” he said. “The money they pay to register, we basically give it all back to them.”
The bike lanes provided another obstacle, he said.
“It affected us last time, especially along Wharf Street. We normally parked cars along there and the bike lanes are there,” he said.
Responding to the cancellation, the city issued a statement saying: “Deuce Days has always been a tremendous event and it’s unfortunate it will not be moving forward.”
“The City has not received a permit request for the next event. If we had, we would have worked with the applicant to manage any and all traffic impacts just like in previous years.”
Deuce Days has been a popular event, drawing classic car enthusiasts from the Pacific Northwest to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The last event to be held in 2019 had on display up to 1,200 collector vehicles, according to the city’s website.
Reaction to the news was largely that of disappointment.
“Big Al, this was without any doubt one of the best, if not THE best, event I’ve been to over a lot of years. The venue was definitely a big part of it, but the overall quality and professionalism of it was outstanding,” wrote one commenter.
While Clark says he’s content to go back to fixing up custom cars in his garage, thinking about what he’s leaving behind is tough.
“We had all the cars that, beautiful cars that I don’t have much time to look at them. And the people, I guess I’ll miss the people,” he said, becoming emotional. “And they were all here. I’m gonna miss that.”