A Langley City business owner is trying to rally his fellow merchants to keep the Cruise-In where it is.
David Stingl, owner of the Everything But Diamonds store on Fraser Highway, launched a Change.org petition Friday urging Langley City to work to keep the Langley Good Times Cruise-In in the City.
“One of the reasons we came here is because they have this event that draws people from across North America,” Stingl said.
The Cruise-In’s organizers are seriously considering packing up the event and moving it to Aldergrove. As of last week, discussions with the Township were taking place over permits to close down part of Fraser Highway in that neighbourhood for the scheduled Sept. 9 car show.
The Cruise-In typically attracts well over 1,000 classic and modified cars and tens of thousands of visitors for its annual free show.
However, over the last few years the organizers have argued, last year publicly, with the City over policing costs.
This year the City asked the Cruise-In board to pay 25 per cent of RCMP costs for both the day of the event, and the Friday night before. The Cruise-In organizers balked, and opened negotiations with Langley Township. Township Mayor Jack Froese indicated the Township wouldn’t ask the non-profit to pay for Friday night policing.
Although preparations are underway to move the Cruise-In, there’s still a window in which things could change, said Cruise-In board president Wayne Patterson.
“It’s not a done deal 100 per cent, so there’s still a possibility,” Patterson said.
There is a deadline looming, however. The Cruise-In is expecting to file paperwork for events and road closures with the Township in a little over two weeks. After that, the event will definitely be moving east.
Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer said the City hasn’t heard from the Cruise-In since late February.
“It was their decision to leave the City,” Schaffer said. “We understand, that’s their business decision, we didn’t chase them out,” he said.
Stingl said the City is being shortsighted in letting an event he compared to the Abbotsford Airshow or the Vancouver Celebration of Light slip away.
Although he’s “not a car guy” Stingl was looking forward to the Cruise-In bringing customers to Langley City’s downtown.
“It puts my business in front of their eyes,” he said.
He’ll be putting the petition online, and also lobbying his fellow business owners one-on-one, he said.
Once he has enough signatures, he’ll present the petition to Schaffer.
The online petition is on Change.org, called “Please Keep the Langley GoodTimes Cruise In event in downtown Langley.”