Rendezvous Back to Route 66 in San Bernardino

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Oct 062015
 

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There’s no getting away from it – San Bernardino in the fall means classic cars and Route 66.
Gleaming chrome and the throaty roar of souped-up engines.

A little drive down Memory Lane.
On Saturday, car buffs can do it all again, cruisin’ back to E Street, where it all began.
The third annual “Where it All Began — Rendezvous Back to Route 66” (and back to downtown) revs up the memories — the good old days of cruising in classic cars and nostalgia for the Mother Road.
So polish up that chrome until it gleams, the candy-apple red paint until it dazzles — happy days are here again.

Join the 400 already registered car enthusiasts from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday when a community comes together for all-day entertainment, cars. cruisin,’ food and fun.
This year’s edition again celebrates the glory days of San Bernardino’s love affair with the automobile, going back to the city’s roots as a “car town.”
The event, presented by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Bernardino, returns to downtown San Bernardino at Court Street Square.

Judi Penman, chamber president and CEO, says this year’s edition keeps the spirit of the Route 66 Rendezvous alive in San Bernardino.
“I want this to be a community project,” she said. “We want to have something San Bernardino can be proud of again. We’ve brought together San Bernardino City Unified School District, Parks and Recreation, the YMCA, City Hall, the Neighborhood Association Council and nonprofits to help make this a wonderful event,” she said.
Dave and Mary Raphael of Long Beach are especially glad to see the Route 66 celebration back in downtown San Bernardino.
They are owners of a 1948 Ford Woodie they had taken to the traditional Rendezvous for 10 consecutive years.

“We had it on the stage with the Beach Boys back in the ‘80s when we first finished it. Then, it was at the San Bernardino Beach Boys concert a few years ago,” Mary said.
“It has been on TV and movies and weddings and mostly to the beach with our family. We can hardly wait for Oct. 10.”
There will be lots of neon and thunder, but you’ll also get to hear the sounds of the Beach Boys — thanks to Chris Farmer and his Beach Boys Tribute Band.
You can enjoy fantastic food and a Car-toberfest Beer Garden and creative kids’ games including a toy train for the little ones to ride.

Look for a variety of merchandise vendors, while food vendors offer tastes from different countries, including the U.S., Mexico and Asian countries. Of course, there will be bratwurst to make “Cartoberfest” official.
Two Beer Gardens will be on site offering tastes of Anheuser Busch fine products.
The Beach Boys Tribute Band is set for 4:30 p.m. at Court Street Square — and dancing in the streets is allowed.
Also, Thumper the DJ will be playing those memorable tunes from the ‘50s and ‘60s and maybe even some newer ones throughout the day.

And then, the thunder rolls.
Following the Beach Boys concert is the Open Header Contest, judged by John Mihovetz, known for his Accufab Lucas Oil 2010 Mustang Shelby pro street race car.
So then comes the Grand Finale, a Neon Light Parade with all the cars participating.
Get ready for awesome — the neon light parade should be a lot like low fireworks.
There should even be some ooohs and a few ahhhs.
People’s Choice Awards, designed by Quiel Bros. Signs, will be presented to the best of the best.
It’s so good to have “Rendezvous Back” back.

– By Michel Nolan, The Sun

Route 66 Rendezvous renamed, relocated to Ontario

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Apr 242013
 




SAN BERNARDINO — Two months after the annual Route 66 Rendezvous car show stalled out, one of its organizers said she’s jump-started the show – and is moving it to Ontario under a new name.
Shelly McNaul, who previously served as the director of special events for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced the move Saturday on the Route 66 Rendezvous Facebook page.

“I will be continuing under another name called the ‘Route 66 Reunion’ that will be a three-day car show modeled after the Route 66 Rendezvous scheduled for the same weekend, Sept. 20 to 22, 2013,” her post read in part.

The event, which pays tribute to classic cars, hotrods and the famous Mother Road itself, has been huge in San Bernardino for more than two decades, drawing thousands of visitors from outside of the city, filling local hotel rooms and filling local businesses with customers.

Jim Gerstenslager, chairman of the board for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau – which stopped day-to-day operations in March – said the Route 66 Rendezvous is San Bernardino’s signature event and nobody ever talked to him about it.

“We can’t stop people from having their own event as long as they don’t infringe on our trademark,” Gerstenslager said. “Our Convention and Visitors Bureau owns the name and Stater Bros., as title sponsor, owns Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous. We’re sticking to it and it’s absolute. “

In Ontario, which is actually a few miles south of the original Route 66, Gerstenslager’s counterpart was already gearing up for the launch of an Ontario event, which the city sees as its own way to attract visitors.

“We’re finalizing details on bringing it to Ontario under a different name,” said Michael Krouse, president and CEO of the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Krouse went on to say, “It’s a great opportunity to bring visitors to our city, and the goal is to make it bigger and better. “

McNaul had hoped to move the event – which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to San Bernardino each summer – to Glen Helen Regional Park, she wrote, but will instead be moving it to Euclid Avenue in Ontario. McNaul has been hired by the Ontario Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, she said. The San Bernardino convention center announced in February that, after 22 years, this year’s Route 66 Rendezvous was canceled because of a lack of funding. In early 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown shut down redevelopment agencies around the state, and redevelopment funds had previously been used to help cover clean-up and security at the event. Several months later, the city declared bankruptcy.

“The challenges with doing the car show on the downtown streets of San Bernardino became greater with an unpleasant element at night,” McNaul said. “We want to give the car enthusiast back the freedom they once had to relax and enjoy the reunion of family and friends while sitting next to their babe. “

Public safety staffing has been an issue in the city.

Between declaring bankruptcy in July 2012 and March 2013, the city lost 285 employees, nearly one in four, including dozens of police officers. Police emergency response time has risen 30 seconds, to 5.4 minutes, and non-emergency calls now average a 30-minute response time.

That hasn’t stopped San Bernardino organizers from organizing something.

Meanwhile, an alternative car show, Rendezvous Back to Route 66, is scheduled for the same weekend at San Manuel Baseball Stadium in San Bernardino. The car show is being planned by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce and car clubs, including Over the Hill Gang, according to chamber president and CEO Judi Penman.

“It’s already on the car club calendar,” Penman said. “We’ve had a great response so far, with people coming forward to participate.”

Ontario organizers are keeping the spirit of the original Rendezvous.

In her post, McNaul wrote that the Route 66 Reunion will have the same “elements” as the Rendezvous, with vendors, entertainment and a continuous three-mile cruise route looping around Euclid Avenue, from Holt Boulevard to 6th Street.

She added that the surroundings are ideal, with Euclid having three lanes to park cars on both sides and cruise down the middle. Businesses, historic homes and a grass median provide trees for shade for the crowd.

“It really has a great feel, and I think it would be a perfect location for the car participants,” she wrote.

McNaul will be mailing out vehicle entry forms in May, she wrote.

By Beua Yarbrough and Michel Nolan – The Sun

Curtains for Rt. 66 Rendezvous

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Mar 182013
 






Route 66 Rendezvous volunteers got the bad news on Thursday: The classic car show, along with the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau that produced it for 22 years, is going the way of the horse-and-carriage.

The CVB had been funded since 1988 by a 2 percent surcharge on hotel stays.
But when the city hit hard times, it had the redevelopment agency take over funding the visitors bureau.

Of course, when Gov. Jerry Brown decided redevelopment must end in California, the city of San Bernardino had inadvertently left the CVB up a creek without a paddle.

CVB Special Events Director Shelly McNaul had put off announcing the demise to her Route 66 volunteers until she was sure no other organization was going to step forward to produce the event.

“The SBCVB Board of Directors and staff… have explored numerous options to make the SBCVB self-sufficient to no avail,” McNaul wrote.

“Therefore, the SBCVB Board voted to begin the process of closing the SBCVB, relinquish(ing) the franchise of the California Welcome Center and eliminat(ing) production of the 2013 Route 66 Rendezvous.”

The Welcome Center, opened just in 2007, handed out maps, brochures and tourist information at a pit stop off Interstate 10. The state only allows a handpicked few, and now San Bernardino will lose its center.

In a letter to the mayor, SBCVB Chairman Jim Gerstenslager reviewed the bureau’s accomplishments since 1988: publishing an annual visitor guide, hosting the Rendezvous, forming a Youth Sports Alliance to bring soccer and Little League tournaments to the city.

Losing the funding for the bureau puts one more nail in the bankrupt city’s coffin.

– By Cassie Macduff

Last Day: Route 66 Rendezvous begins by giving thanks in San Bernardino

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Sep 162012
 





Nice way to start the last day of the event…

SAN BERNARDINO — Car enthusiasts at the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous started the last day of festivities by giving thanks during a church service in downtown’s Court Street Square.

Preacher Ralph Provost, of Christian Rods & Customs, addressed a small crowd of attendees at 9 a.m. during the nondenominational service. Music was also provided during the service.

“We’re car enthusiasts that love the Lord. We do church services, hot rod church,” said Provost.

“Sometimes we call our cars a pulpit on wheels,” Provost continued. When people see our cars, “that kind of opens the door to share our testimony of Christ.”

By mid-morning, vendors were already setting up their booths and prepping for the crowds. Hot weather is forecast again today. The National Weather Service anticipates a high of 92 degrees today in San Bernardino, with a slight southwest wind.

The Rendezvous shuts down at 4 p.m. today.

Vehicle check-in for the Sunday classic car cruise began at 8 a.m., with the cruise beginning at 10 a.m. through downtown streets. Car owners can get a half-off, Sunday-only registration for $40, according to event organizers.

The Parade of Champions cruise started at 11 a.m. today. The burnout contest will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Fifth Street and Arrowhead Avenue.

The band Cold Duck takes the stage from noon to 2 p.m. at Court Street Square.

By Andrew Edwards – The Sun

Route 66 Rendezvous isn’t going anywhere

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Aug 262012
 

 



I find the article interesting only because while they are stating the rendezvous WILL take place – BUT they are still asking for donations. Also, I feel if this years event fails – it might be the last time this takes place….

The 23rd Annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is taking place in downtown San Bernardino from Sept. 13-16. That is a fact. And, in an effort to provide some background information and clear up any misconceptions, here are more facts regarding the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Route 66 Rendezvous.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is solely owned and operated by the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau, a non-profit 501c(6) corporation, with major support from our partnerships with the city of San Bernardino, the county of San Bernardino and our event sponsors, particularly our title sponsor, Stater Bros. Markets. The first Rendezvous was held in 1990 in Devore with the collaboration from the Over the Hill Gang. The event has grown each year and now attracts over 500,000 spectators during the four-day extravaganza.

Established in 1989, the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau’s main mission is to serve as the marketing arm of the city by promoting travel and tourism opportunities.

Initial funding for the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau was provided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of San Bernardino, whereby the SBCVB would receive 20 percent of the TLT (Transient Lodging Tax) collected by the city. As the economy became depressed, over the years that percentage has decreased and for the past three years the majority of our funding came through the Economic Development Agency.

In order to produce the annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous all of the funds received from our sponsors, vendors, and car participants are used to pay the costs of the event, with an annual shortfall covered by the SBCVB. With the elimination of the Economic Development Agency and the subsequent loss of funding, coupled with the city’s current fiscal situation, there are no longer any funds available to subsidize any future losses on the Rendezvous.

While the 2012 Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous will take place in downtown San Bernardino this September, we are asking for the support of local businesses and individuals to help us cover the loss of funding and in-kind support from the city, as well as to help us continue to move forward in planning for next year’s Rendezvous.

Donations made will be allocated exclusively for the operational expenses of keeping the Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.

Donations can be made on the www.route-66.org website by clicking on the different dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making the donor a “Friend of the Rendezvous” as bronze, silver, gold, super or ultimate cruiser. There is also an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401.

Or, businesses can become “Business Friends of the Rendezvous.” For a $2,500 or $1,500 donation, businesses will receive a large banner to display at their business, hundreds of billboard images on the large electronic sign on the 10 Freeway near the 215 Freeway junction and the San Manuel electronic billboard on the 215 Freeway near the Second Street exit.

Wayne Austin is president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and wrote this article.

Route 66 Rendezvous in jeopardy without funds; organizers call on public’s help

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Aug 172012
 


SAN BERNARDINO – Without $36,000 in donations from the community, there will be no Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous this year, the event’s producer said Thursday, citing the city’s bankruptcy as the reason for the shortfall threatening the city’s signature event.

Wayne Austin, president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau – producers of the Rendezvous – said that organizers have raised $34,000 of $70,000 needed to put on the 22-year-old event. But another $36,000 is needed to make up the difference the Rendezvous would normally get from the city.

That has Austin seeking help from the community.

“Due to the bankruptcy of San Bernardino, we need your help,” Austin said, adding that he is expecting people to step up and help out.

“It is important to keep this major event within the city of San Bernardino, and we are asking business owners, city and county officials and the public to invest in this classic car show. We value your support.”

The annual Rendezvous, set this year for Sept. 13 through 16 in downtown, attracts about 500,000 spectators, where cars are the stars, along with music, entertainment, sponsor displays, legendary guests, contests and commercial exhibitors. It brings about $40 million to the city.

Typically, the Rendezvous is paid for by car participants, sponsors and vendors.
Total costs for the four-day car show extravaganza range between $520,000 and $550,000, according to Austin.

Of that, in year’s past, the city’s share has been $140,000 in in-kind services such as security, trash collection and traffic control.

But because of the city’s filing for bankruptcy, the city was restricted by what it could provide.

“We simply had no capacity to help any more, given our budget and the bankruptcy,” Mayor Pat Morris said.

That left the producer with the bill for the free event, including the costs of tents, insurance, electrical, private security and special events staff expenses.

“This year, they can only provide $70,000 in in-kind services and then send me a bill,” Austin said.

Still, Morris and others say they’re confident the money would come from a community that loves the event.

“We did put the cry out for donations, and already people are responding,” Morris said. “We will produce a wonderul Rendezvous.”

Austin, too, was seeing a response.

“I am feeling a lot of love so far,” Austin said.

Morris said the event comes at a time when the city deperately needs a celebration – the city filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

“We’ll take a moment out, have a good time for a few days. This is a boon for our city,” Morris said.

Jack Brown, chairman and CEO of San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. Markets, touted the value of the event, which his company has sponsored for 15 years.

“Hopefully, this Rendezvous will bring a revival to downtown San Bernardino,” Brown said. “We invest more than $600,000 in the Rendezvous as title sponsor and have more than 300 of our people as volunteers – vendors and suppliers. This is a very important financial commitment for the car owners, as well,” Brown said.

Brown said making the event happen is pivotal at a time when the city is suffering.

“I think this terrific community will step in to help in this time of financial crisis for the city,” Brown said. “Our benefit comes from having a really nice weekend for people – that’s why I always insist it be free admission.”

Austin said he is working with the city, and police will still be there, but the visitors bureau is paying for it.

Austin is putting a promotional package together for area businesses and looking at $1,500 and $2,500 levels as Business Friends of the Rendezvous.

The package would provide a 5-foot-by-10-foot banner that busnesses can hang inside or outside their building. At the $2,500 level, the banner package also offers select spots for “thank you’s” acknowledging businesses that are Friends of the Rendezvous.

Denny Shorett, president and CEO of Crown Printers – which is providing the banners – said he is glad to help the Rendezvous.

“We’re pleased that in spite of the troubles San Bernardino is having, the Rendezvous will go on. It will be good for businesses to come forward and show their support,” Shorett said.

Donations can be made through the Rendezvous website, www.Route-66.org by clicking on the dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making you a Friend of the Rendezvous as Bronze, Silver, Gold, Super or Ultimate Cruiser.

Tony Canul, owner of Molly’s Cafe in downtown San Bernardino, on Wednesday presented Austin with a check for $1,200 to keep the Rendezvous in the city’s downtown streets.

“All the money we receive in donations will be used to replace what we no longer will get from the city,” Austin said. “That is the reality.”

There has been an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401. Checks are payable to “Friends of the Rendezvous.”

Michel Nolan, The (San Bernardino County) Sun