For the first time since 1957, Laguna Seca Raceway (currently known as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca) will not be managed by SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula) as the Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved a contract with A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC to manage the racetrack and its surrounding campground through the end of 2023.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the new deal with A&D Narigi Consulting LLC during a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, November 19.
SCRAMP raised the money to build the racetrack in 1957, the same year it went into operation, on land owned by the U.S. Army. SCRAMP managed the racetrack ever since, even after ownership of the land was transferred from the U.S. Army to Monterey County.
SCRAMP, a non-profit organization run by a small permanent staff and hundreds of volunteers, continued to manage the racetrack under a concessionaire agreement for decades with costs and revenues shared by SCRAMP and Monterey County.
Following accusations of mismanagement by SCRAMP, which were backed up by independent audits, Monterey County took control of the racetrack in 2017, hired SCRAMP as a management company to run the racetrack under a new three-year agreement scheduled to end December 31, 2019, and started searching for a new group to run the facility.
The final leg of that search was kicked into high gear in October, when the Monterey County Board of Supervisors sent out a request for proposal seeking parties interested in managing WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The deadline to submit the multi-year, multi-million-dollar proposals was just two weeks later.
Monterey County received three proposals: One from SCRAMP; one from Laguna Seca Management LLC, a group led by long-time racing promoter and motorsports industry veteran Chris Pook; and one from A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC.
A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC is an entity established by John V. Narigi, who has “over 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, covering all disciplines of the profession. Most recently, he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa for over twenty-five years,” according to the proposal submitted by A&D Narigi Consulting. Narigi has no direct motorsports experience but is “passionate about racing and what Laguna Seca Recreational Area and WEatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca could become.”
The five-member Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the deal with A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC, which will go into effect January 1, 2020.
“The most favorable and aligned with what was sought by the County was the proposal from A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC,” read a report from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. “County staff has negotiated an agreement with A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC, as attached, for Board consideration. While all firms were considered, A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC brought a unique local business/hospitality approach to the forefront and is most closely aligned with the timeline and business model required for future success. Staff concluded that A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC would be the best firm to move LSRA to the next phase. Staff and A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC continue to be committed to working with all volunteer groups to value and honor their continued service and spirit of volunteerism at LSRA.”