The Sea Otter Classic seems to consistently draw favorable reviews from both industry and attendees. The venue is outside, the trade show portion coincides with a full race schedule of nearly every variety, and there’s plenty to do whether you’re there to have fun and watch some racing, or you just want to see what’s new product wise. At a time when many of the more traditional trade shows seem to be struggling to keep attendance up, the Sea Otter Classic seems to have their formula figured out. Now they have their location on lock, as well. Starting out in 1991 as the Laguna Seca Challenge, the Laguna Seca racetrack has played a key part in the festival’s success for the past 26 years. And it looks like it will continue to be a part of the fun for at least the next 15 years after it was announced today that they have signed a 15 year facility use agreement. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the event apparently has an annual economic impact of $31 million on the community in Monterey County.

This year, the cycling world will again drop in on Laguna Seca from April 20-23 for the 27th Annual Subaru Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM. See you there…

From The Sea Otter Classic:

MONTEREY, Calif. (January 31, 2017) Sea Otter Classic, Inc. announced today it has signed a 15-year facility use agreement with Monterey County for the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. The Sea Otter Classic cycling festival, now in its 27th year, has always called Monterey County its home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As one of the top events in Monterey County, the Sea Otter Classic has an annual $31 million economic impact on the community.
In addition, the agreement will allow the community outreach efforts of the Sea Otter Classic Foundation to continue. The Foundation supports many local charities and clubs. It also hosts an extensive school outreach program that promotes cycling and encourages school children to exercise more by riding their bikes.
“We’re looking forward to working with our partners to strategically plan the future of Sea Otter. A long-term agreement allows us to plan and allocate resources to ensure our continued development and growth,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. “Monterey County provides the perfect destination for the cycling community to gather and enjoy the sport we love.”
“Monterey County is pleased to host the Sea Otter Classic for several more years,” said David Spaur, Economic Development Director for Monterey County. “We welcome the thousands of cyclists and cycling fans who come to Monterey each year for the festival because they are our kind of fans. We hope some of the companies that display at the Sea Otter Classic will consider opening a business here in Monterey County to live, work and recreate. This agreement is great, not only for the cycling community in the area, but for the many local businesses that benefit from the influx of visitors brought in by the Sea Otter Classic.”
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5 years ago

I’m surprised this happened, given that nearby residents of Laguna Seca are stuffy rich octogenarians, whom you might remember from the old Scooby Do shows as the old timers who always raised their fists and proclaimed, “Those pesky kids!”

Laguna Seca, the raceway, is virtually useless due to the lame noise limits imposed on it by the county. The track was built in the late 50s, way before these old timers moved there. They knew it was there, moved there anyway, and now are crying NIMBY over having their afternoon tea and book parties interrupted by the sound of automobiles (“Horse-drawn carriages were so much quieter!”).

That being said, I’m glad the Otter has found a long-term home. I just wish the XC and DH race courses ran through the estates of the nearby residents.

5 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

Your vendetta against the community surrounding laguna seca is interesting, as I have I haven’t sensed any of that stuffy stuck up vibe you have mentioned. From my experience, the majority of the monterey community is stoked on bicycles and really value the trails surrounding laguna seca.

While I agree the imposed sound limit on laguna seca is silly, it is a red herring in terms of a bicycle event (unless i9 reveals a prototype hub for a fat bike, which may exceed the decibel limit).

Maybe try avoiding skidding across people’s lawns on your e-bike next time if you do not want some geezer shaking his ‘entitled’ fist at ya

5 years ago
Reply to  gaspedal

Ha! actually, I think you’re right in some ways tbh. thinking about it again, there is a lot of what you described going on but I just don’t think it has ever exceeded a threshold for me to notice when I do ride there (although the politics there are getting somewhat ridiculous)

5 years ago

Have raced Mtb there since the original sea otter ( used to be in March) …have also race motorcycles there …I understand flatbiller argument and anger….I’m also a builder and nimby’s arrogance and selfishness enter that arena as well…I don’t have an answer but happy sea otter event is still there and happy I can still race my motorcycles…at least for now