Targa rally must go, ac­cord­ing to angry cafe owner

South Waikato News - - What’s On - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

A cafe owner’s sub­mis­sion to have a pop­u­lar two-day mo­tor rally stopped from com­ing to Ara­puni has been un­suc­cess­ful.

Rhubarb cafe’s Bryan Sa­muel’s last minute bid to get the Targa Rally redi­rected has left him dis­ap­pointed.

A late round of sub­mis­sions eight days out from the event left coun­cil staff with no time to ne­go­ti­ate with or­gan­is­ers.

South Waikato Mayor Neil Sin­clair said they would have more time to con­sider mak­ing a change next year.

"Give us a plan early to show how we get the ben­e­fit."

The rally is sched­uled to come through on Satur­day May 14 which Sa­muel said is his busiest trad­ing day.

"What amazes me is they come in here and rip up the roads and do any­thing that’s il­le­gal for any other per­son.

"It an­noys me a bit, but that’s what I ex­pect."

Sa­muel said he lost around $1500 last year when he bought in ex­tra staff and sup­plies to cater for the event.

"Based on pre­vi­ous week­end trad­ing for this time of year and tak­ing into ac­count the ex­tra costs we were down for the days trad­ing as many of our nor­mal customers stayed away.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said he didn’t think look­ing at one event in iso­la­tion was fair and the cafe gets to ben­e­fit from other events.

"I be­lieve we’ve done very well in in­vest­ing in events to bring money into the district.

Sa­muel said Hobbs didn’t have a clue how much money was spent in the district when he asked and this was con­firmed at the Cor­po­rate and Reg­u­la­tory meet­ing

"The ben­e­fits for us are the ex­po­sure to the trails." Sa­muel said.

They will have to cut back on staff and make up lost rev­enue on Sun­day.

Bryan Sa­muel

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