A new operator is being sought for Colorado's Pueblo Motorsport Park after a disagreement over the length of the lease lead to the leaseholder walking away from renewal discussions. FAASST Motorsports, which has operated the facility since 2013 after it was the only bidder when the City of Pueblo issued a Request for Proposal (RFP), has elected to walk away completely following the row with the council.
Prior to today's dramatic developments, discussions had been ongoing for several months about a renewal of the lease. FAASST says it had secured backers for a $1.5 Million park improvement programme. It hoped to rebuild the road course out and around the drag strip, incorporating a longer drag return road into a new extended road course design. Other improvements were set to have included:
In return, FAASST had asked for a "long-term" lease in order to secure a return on the investment of its backers. However, the firm says the City Council raised doubts about the its ability to make the improvements and declined to offer a longer lease, electing instead to reopen the RFC process.
"Our investors and partners, therefore, have removed themselves from the park improvement project. It will not happen," said a statement placed by FAASST on the circuit website, which added that it had been invited to bid for the new RFC but had decided not to do so.
The new RFP will be launched on January 1, with bids due in by January 29 and the operator selection process beginning on February 1, according to the FAASST statement. It is not clear how long the selection process will take, though several groups - including the Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA) - had provisionally included Pueblo Motorsports Park on its 2016 calendar. For its part, FAASST says no contracts or deposits have been taken and these groups are "free to work with the new track operator once the City chooses one" or elect to move 2016 dates to another facility.
The MRA, which had two events scheduled, hopes to work with the City Council to ensure that the RFC includes commitments to honour its previously announced dates.
FAASST's statement concluded that it would cease operations at midnight on December 31 and wished the City of Pueblo "the best" with the future operations of Pueblo Motorsports Park.