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Leadership Changes Announced For Desert Storm Poker Run

With the weather-forced postponement and eventual cancellation of the top-speed shootout, an unpopular venue shift for Friday and Saturday night activities and a date change that created schedule conflicts with another major event, the 2017 Desert Storm Poker Run earlier this month left many participants and sponsors questioning their return to the popular happening. Far from a failure—the Desert Storm street party did draw a crowd of thousands once the sweltering heat abated and the poker run did attract a 130- to 150-boat fleet of high-performance catamaran and V-bottoms—moving forward the event will be in the hands of Jim Nichols, Jr., and Christina Crane of Phantom Productions, LLC, a new organization that will manage Desert Storm and Monster Bash, both of which happen on Lake Havasu in Arizona.

The news was announced this morning in a press release from Jim Nichols, Sr., of Lake Racer LLC, the longtime manager and producer of both events.


Former longtime Desert Storm (above) and Monster Bash organizer Jim Nichols said he hopes the new management team will bring a fresh and younger perspective to the events. Photo courtesy/copyright Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos.

“We’ve had a large amount of review and discussion with family and friends, participants and sponsors about the recent event and the future of Desert Storm,” Nichols said in the release. “Most suggestions involved returning the event to a more private, participant focused-event, removing the Power In The Park venue (the site of Friday and Saturday night’s post-poker run activities). My partner, Jim Russell and I are in agreement that the ‘experiment,’ while successful in many ways, did not the get the traction and with the public and draw the crowds it was intended to.

“I have also been approached by multiple entities interested in purchasing both Desert Storm and Monster Bash, planning changes that they feel would ensure continuation of the events ” he continued. “Recent increased demands from my employer due to a new role I accepted last year, has also emphasized change is needed. Ultimately, after much consideration, I have decided to step back from an active role and transition event management to a new organization.”

The new “operational directors” for Desert Storm, Nichols, Jr., and Crane have been involved with Desert Storm in various roles for many years, according to the release. Nichols said that moving forward he will act as a “silent partner,” consultant and staff member as needed.

Questions on future Desert Storm and Monster Bash events should be directed to Nichols, Jr., and Crane, Nichols stated in the release.

“They bring a fresh younger perspective and I think will ensure the Desert Storm and Monster Bash events’ longevity,” he said. “I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of my past sponsors, volunteers, key staff members and especially my family for all the years of support”

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