The San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce is considering a slimmed-down version of the annual Route 66 Rendezvous, which was suspended last week due to funding cuts and the City of San Bernardino’s bankruptcy, according to the Redlands Daily Facts.
“There is a concern that if we don’t have an event this year, it may never come back,” said Jim Gerstenslager, the chairman of the board of directors of the chamber and the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau. “If there is a possibility, through some means, that we could put on a smaller event, just to keep the enthusiasm going, it might make sense.”
A part of the problem is the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, a key organizer of the event, will be disbanded next month.
The chamber may assume “a custodial role” of the Convention and Visitors Bureau while it’s in a “dormant stage,” which would give it “some kind of control over the Rendezvous,” Gerstenslager said.
But nothing has been settled.
“A lot of people have a lot of ideas and suggestions, but until we come up with solutions, there’s not going to be a Rendezvous,” Gerstenslager said.
Danny Flores, a longtime auto enthusiast, thinks San Bernardino business owners should band together to organize an event, even if it’s scaled down.
“This is a void. If San Bernardino doesn’t come up with something, Ontario or Rancho Cucamonga will,” said Jerry Casillas, the owner of the Windjammer store and the nearby Ray’s Deli, two E Street businesses that have benefitted from Rendezvous crowds.
The Rendezvous already has received invitations to move to Ontario, Calif.