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Motorsports group at odds with Mohave County Fairgrounds over lease dispute

April 12, 2019

A circus showed up at the Mohave County Fair Association board meeting Wednesday night as the association butted heads with advocates of Cerbat Motosports about the new lease of the fairgrounds between the association and the county.

At the heart of the discussion, which at times was more argumentative than anything else, were changes to the fair association’s lease with the county, which is now only for one year per a vote of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. One major component of discussion was insurance for motocross events.

In the past, the fairgrounds provided insurance for Cerbat Motosports and its events. However, it will no longer do so as its insurance no longer covers motorsports or BMX events.

That issue was quashed later in the meeting, as Joe Weber, owner of Cerbat Motosports, said he has already reached out to insurance providers.

The more pressing issue dealt with what is going to happen to the equipment Cerbat has at the fairgrounds, equipment that Cerbat Motosports brought to the venue and maintains.

“Them asking us to pull out of here is not right,” Weber said. “They’re not asking us to leave, we can still run events here, the problem is we have to move all the concrete blocks out … then move them all back in. You’re talking way too much work.”

He later added, “If I’m forced to move all the concrete blocks out, I am forced to move our buildings out, I am done here.”

Correspondence sent from fairgrounds Manager Tim Woods to the motocross group said it had 30 days to remove its property from the Mohave County Fairgrounds. Woods told The Daily Miner on Thursday that the email resulted from him misreading information within the lease.

Responding to Weber’s statement was MCFA Chairwoman Ramona Auld. She said the property is an events venue and that the association no longer has an extended lease with the county.

“The county no longer allows us to have that sort of lease, and it’s their right, it’s their property, it’s their business,” she said. “We were given the option to sign the new lease, which the county took care of with their county attorney’s office, and they revisited the landlord-tenant issue.”

Part of the stipulations within that lease, she said, is that the fair association cannot sublease property. She also did what she could to address the allegation that the fair association is trying to remove events for children and families.

“We want the kids here, we want BMX here, but we’re just an event center,” Auld said. “And what you’re not told is we have no control over leasing the property.”

Auld, and the fair association board seemed to agree, that they were not supportive of that 30 day window. In fact, the whole issue may be moot as there was some talk that the equipment could stay with the stipulation that everything be ready to move within 30 days of the county taking over control of the fairgrounds in the event that should happen.

“I told Joe that I’m not holding to that 30 day email,” Auld said.

The Mohave County Fairgrounds Association will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. April 29 to discuss the issues with representatives of Cerbat Motosports and perhaps BMX. No vote or additional detailed discussion could take place Wednesday, as the matter was addressed only during public comment and was not on the agenda.