Loveland, Ohio - Loveland’s Amazing Race has decided to hold the event in Miami Township and the City of Milford next year, leaving Historic Downtown after seven years.
Next year's race will be known as Loveland's Amazing Race 8 - Miami Township/Milford Tour. It will be held on June 15.
In a press release issued today exclusively to Loveland Magazine, the Race Board said they are very excited to accept the “welcoming” invitations by Miami Township and the City of Milford to host the race in their “beautiful communities.”
The only comment the Board is making at this time about why they are leaving Loveland is, “The Race Board simply sees the issues of this past race in a different light than some Loveland city administrators.”
Ten days before this year’s race, Loveland City Manager Thomas Carroll refused to issue the necessary Special Event permit unless either the Race Board give the City $5,000 for the permit, or Race Board Member Martin Schickel sell a piece of prime real estate for their Loveland Station development project. Carroll e-mailed a demand letter to event Board member Schickel, requesting $5,000 to secure a Special Events Permit. Carroll said, “If not, the event shall be cancelled this year.”
Carroll said Schickel's refusal to sell a prime piece of real estate he owns in Historic Downtown Loveland to developer Rick Greiwe has cost the City money, therefore the charitable, non-profit organization Schickel helped found, must now pony up $5,000 to make up some of the difference.
An explanation for how Carroll justified the exact amount was not given, however Race organizers met and decided to deliver a cashiers check and sort it out after the race was over. They said at the time that they has seriously considered canceling, but felt they had too much responsibility to protect the City’s reputation, and a greater responsibility to those who had entered and the charities the race supports. They specifically mentioned participants who came from other states, and those who arrange vacations so they can be in the event. They said they were at a “turning point” and the race may have to be cancelled.”
1,000 contestants and 500 volunteers get involved. Many local organizations and businesses support the race by setting up challenge stations, providing their own support to the overall goal of raising money for local charities.
Then, despite receiving the money, Carroll issued the permit, but penciled in the word, “Tentative.” There was no reason offered for that move either. Eventually the money was returned. The past month, Race organizers and City officials have met to resolve their differences.
Read background story here: City Manager Threatens to Cancel Loveland's Amazing Race
An FBI investigation has been requested by an area resident. They have requested that Loveland Magazine not publish their name.
It is now known that even though Carroll blames Schickel for “killing of the Loveland Station deal” the project was for all intents and purposes already dead in the water because developer Rick Griewe had lost the financial backing of his partners, North American Properties. Griewe has since shrunk the scope of the project, let real estate contracts expire, and has found no other source of funding. The City is now interviewing other developers who might complete the project. (New Developer Makes Pitch to Build Loveland Station)
Historic Downtown resident and business owner, Kay O’Grady has participated in every race since the second year when she entered to test the physical and mental challenges the race provides. When told that the race was being moved from Loveland she said, “Oh man, what a shame. Oh, jeez. I’m speechless.” Kay and her husband Tim own Whistle Stop Clay Works in downtown. Their business has been one of the challenge stations two times, and Kay has volunteered at other challenge stations over the years. “Very, very sad - and sad for the reasons they are leaving. Extremely sad.”
O’Grady said the race leaving will hurt the viability of area businesses. She related how she currently has a young student taking lessons at her business that found out about them because it was a fun challenge station this year. She said the young girl and her mother came back after finishing the race. “They were very excited about the fun they had and signed up for classes.”
The always enthusiastic and positive O’Grady eventually said, “Well, the positive in this is that I can enter the race again next year because we won’t be so busy.” She also looked at the slight name change as hopeful that the race will someday return to Loveland.
Also today, Race organizers announced a record $60,000 will be distributed to over 25 Loveland, and area charities from the event this year. In previous years, they have given more than $300,000 to local charities.
Miami Township resident Jenny Lytle has participated in every race except the first. She said that her brother did the race the first year and when she heard about it from him she said, “Oh yeah, that looks like fun.” Lytle and a partner came in fourth one year and she did live TV commentary one year as the race progressed. She said, “It was such a good showcase for Loveland.”
Lytle said that she was so mad at the actions of the City this year that she was probably not going to enter next year if it was still in Loveland. She appeared recently at a Loveland Council meeting and expressed her dismay. She said today, “I’m mad about the way they tried to cover up what happened.” She also is disappointed that Councilwoman Angie Settell’s efforts to “reprimand” Carroll for his actions failed. “I just think it was wrong.”
About the race moving to Miami Township and Milford next year Lytle said, I’m glad it’s going to a city that appreciates it. Oh yeah. I’m definitely doing it next year now..”
The Board will open registration for next year's race on Wednesday, August 1st at 6 PM. “We believe it could sell out faster than the record 20 hours of last year. We will only be able to accept the first 600 teams who register.”
“The Amazing Race Board would like to thank the entire Loveland Community for all the support over the last seven years. Without the support of all the businesses and volunteers of Loveland, we would never have been able to build such a successful event that raises needed funds for all the worthy charities.”
They said that as in years past, next year's course will remain a secret until the night before the race. “We think we have a great territory to bring you twenty new challenges in areas you have never seen before.”
What: Registration for the Loveland's Amazing Race 8 - Milford/ Miami Township Tour
When: August 1st at 6 PM
Race Date: Saturday, June 15th, 2013