For the host-city of any given event—go-fast boating or otherwise—local economic impact is the ultimate measure of success. It’s also a key metric for event organizers, particularly those who live and work in the local community. Such is the case for Dave Johnson of River Dave’s Place, a longstanding popular online performance-boating community, who has partnered with Super Cat Fest founder Alvin Heathman to produce Super Cat Fest West, April 25-30, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
To that end, Johnson has come up with a clever card-hand buying strategy for the event’s Saturday (April 29) poker run.
“All participants need to do is bring receipts from the trip—all from local businesses in Lake Havasu City—to the closing Saturday night party at Horizon Motorsports,” he explained. “Every $500 you spend will be worth one poker hand, and money spent with event sponsors will be worth double the value. Bills from local hotels, restaurants, fuel and even boat repairs will count toward poker hands.”
To keep participants from attempting to corner the market on poker hands, the total value of receipts turned in by any poker-runner is capped at $10,000. Cash awards for the top-three hands have not been finalized, but Johnson estimates paying out $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place.
DCB Performance Boats and Kicker Marine Audio are sharing the co-title-sponsor role. Additional business sponsors include Barrett Custom Marine, Eliminator Boats, Horizon Motorsports and Hamilton Marine Finance. The event also has support from individual participants including DCB owners Mauricio and Angie Vivanco and Kenny Gonzales.
The lake’s newest such facility, Havasu Riviera Marina will be Super Cat Fest West event headquarters.
“Almost all of the events I go to don’t offer a lot of advance promotion for sponsors,” Johnson explained. “I am trying to create a promotional blitz before the event to create more value for them.”
Super Cat Fest West happens the week after Lake Havasu City-based Dessert Storm. The timing of the two events, said Johnson, is another value-add.
“People think there’s some big competition between Super Cat Fest West and Desert Storm, and it’s not that way at all,” he said. “I just had lunch with the new owners of Desert Storm today. I know them. They live here. They’re great guys. We’re actually working with them by having our event the week after theirs.
“If we had it much earlier or later than Desert Storm, people from the East Coast and Midwest wouldn’t do that long haul twice in the same year,” he added. “They’d choose one event or the other. The majority of participants I’ve talked to so far are coming to both this year.”