Best in the Desert Racing Association and the Bureau of Land Management have changed their minds and will not be charging spectating or camping fees for the 2021 Parker 425. The announcement came down late Monday night on BITD’s Facebook page.
BITD had been planning to charge a $40 per vehicle fee of spectating. This was mandated by the BLM to help control crowds on the lands they hold.
The statement from BITD read as follows:
“Attention racers and spectators: No camping of spectator fees for 2021 BlueWater Resort Parker 425 presented by Jimco. After further review and discussion regarding the matter, the Bureau of Land Management, in collaboration with Best in the Desert, has worked out a plan so there will be no camping or spectating fees for the 2021 Parker 425. However, while on BLM land, you will have to abide by the COVID-19 mandate of masks and other COVID-19 protocol.”
The announcement of spectator fees was greeted with almost universally negative responses on social media.
BITD's Scot Harden said these are challenging times, and they have had to "jump through a lot of hoops" to keep the race going this year.
Earlier, on Dec. 29, the Colorado River Indian Tribes cancelled those portions of the race that were on Tribal land. As a result, BITD decided to hold the race entirely on land held by the BLM. The starting and finish land will be on Shea Road, near where the old Parker 400 had its start and finish.
The race is set for Jan. 15 and 16.