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Arizona Concours Closes Its Doors

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A
Best of Show - 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A (photo: Michael Tobian)

Organizers of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance have cancelled the event held annually at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix during Arizona Auction Week. The directors of the event (founded in 2014) stated the level of corporate support necessary to continue operations was not sufficient.

The all-volunteer members of the Arizona Concours steering committee and board of directors thank the many people whose hard work have made this event possible, and which has benefited such a worthy cause as Make-A-Wish® Arizona. The Concours raised $300,000 for its charity, enabling more than 30 wishes for young people battling life-threatening illnesses.

“In the beginning, we set out to achieve a word-class Concours and an event that would positively impact the lives of children in need,” said Kevin Cornish, executive director of the Arizona Concours. “The group of people responsible for the Arizona Concours take great pride in what has been achieved and we thank all of those who worked so hard to make this, our dream, a reality.”

The conclusion of the Arizona Concours reflects a larger issue in the classic car event community, as many events have run into similar economic issues over the years. Outside of the successful events such as the Pebble Beach Concours, Amelia Island Concours and a small handful of others, the economic reality of hosting a top-tier Concours has become a tougher equation to manage in the face of increased competition for corporate dollars. We unfortunately anticipate more will follow the Arizona team out the door.

Here’s an official announcement from the Arizona Concours d’Elegance:

We are humbled by the critical acclaim bestowed upon the Arizona Concours d’Elegance over the past four years by the public, the media and our participants. Our sincerest gratitude goes to the dedicated Concours Committee, many faithful volunteers, our wonderful entrants and judges, as well as numerous sponsors.

When we set out to create the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, we did so with two primary goals: to create a quality event with integrity; and to provide financial support for our charity, Make-A-Wish Arizona®. With the contributions of many individuals and organizations, we’re quite proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time.

However, the long-term success of events such as the Arizona Concours is built on sustained corporate support. Although the event has been a critical success, it unfortunately has yet established the financial foundation necessary to support it sustainably into the future. Not wishing to compromise the quality of the event, the Directors have concluded it best to retire the Arizona Concours d’Elegance.

We thank every one of those who have supported us with your investment of time, talent, enthusiasm and resources. You all have been directly responsible for raising more than $300,000 for Make-A-Wish, enabling the granting of more than 30 wishes for young people who face the most serious of life’s challenges.

We also are thankful for the many friendships that have enriched our lives and the lives of so many children.

[Source: Arizona Concours]