Aerial image of the Mohave County Fairgrounds (Photo by Draco Aerial Solutions)
Story by Emily Black and Aaron Ricca
KINGMAN – The Mohave County Fairgrounds Association and Cerbat Motosports are at odds over issues regarding changes in lease agreements and property storage.
A recent email to Cerbat Motosports from the MCFA has sparked a controversy about a long-term lease.
MCFA General Manager Tim Woods sent an email April 4 to Cerbat Motosports informing the group that they must now provide insurance, pay its bill and show proof of a business license or special event permit. It also was sent to High Desert 66 BMX.
The email read:
“According to the new lease with Mohave County Supervisors and MCFA, the MCFA can no longer rent any part of the property on a long-term basis. The MCFA will be able to rent the Motor Sports or BMX on a per-event basis only.
“All personal property will have to be removed within 30 days from this notice or will be surrendered to Mohave County.”
Joe Webber, owner and organizer of Cerbat Motosports activities, is angry he must remove all racing equipment from the property within 30 days and begin renting established spots on a per-event basis.
He said some of the property includes three buildings, 196 concrete barriers, a tractor shed and a water truck. He’s upset because he can’t do a long-term lease and that it would take thousands of dollars to move the property before and after events.
“I will be working out of a truck and a trailer and that’s impossible,” Webber said. “I can’t leave anything there, and the main thing is anyone and their brother can come in and rent my track that I built. It’s just not fair.”
Cerbat Motosport events include motorcycle, quad, utility vehicle, off-road, truck, mud bog and scramble car races.
Webber himself has been using the fairgrounds to host those activities since 2012 and estimates about 1,500 people attend the night races. He said he’s operated under a verbal agreement made with a previous fair manager and has underwritten his insurance on the fair’s policy.
The new contract requires him to provide his own insurance and sign a written rental contract. Currently, he pays no rent or storage at the fairgrounds.
“If they don’t want to meet my goals I’m going to be forced to pull out,” said Webber. “I have a realtor looking for land. I want to stick with the city instead because they think we’re great.”
Woods said the MCFA is trying to add more educational opportunities activities to accompany entertainment.
“We’re asking him to do nothing different than any other vendor,” he said. “We don’t want personal property here because we don’t want to be financially responsible.”
Cerbat Motosports is a for-profit group and Mohave County Supervisor Gary Watson said they currently take up 20 percent of the fairground’s 65 acres. He said it’s up to the MCFA to decide the rent and conditions of a new rental agreement and that Woods is trying to show board of supervisors he can make great improvements within the new one-year lease.
“The new MCFA is very accomplished,” Watson said. “They are very dedicated to our community and I’m very pleased with the accomplishments I’ve seen so far.”
Future improvements include kitchen renovation, new and updated access points, covered arenas and the possibility of growing corn, pistachio trees and grass.
Mohave County Supervisor Jean Bishop said there is plenty of work to do including cleaning revitalizing the racetrack and adding liability insurance to MCFA activities.
“For the first time in my memory the community is interested in making improvements,” she said. “We want it to be more than dirt and weeds. We want it to be beautiful.”
Bishop, Watson and Woods are all looking forward to the improvements.
“There are exciting things happening with the growth of the fairgrounds,” Bishop said.
Motocross members and participants are expected to discuss these issues with MCFA at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Blvd.