Today’s automotive enthusiasts share a passion for sharp curves, fast cars and stunning scenery, but there’s also a real camaraderie that exists among them. 2020 created unprecedented challenges for both our motor-heads and our own event-planning team, but what we collectively proved along the way is that we could put the pedal to the metal when it counts – and help pave the way for better days ahead.
The Automobili Rally
The annual Automobili Rally unites exotic and luxury car owners for a three-day, high-octane trek across some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain. The 2020 route started in Denver, ended in Snowmass and covered three mountain passes along the way. It also included a track day at the acclaimed Aspen Motorsports Park, granted motorists’ access to keynote speakers, organized day drives, a socially distanced car show, and other automotive events and fanfare along the way.
The rally gives back by raising money for the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation through its Automobili Rally Fund. THE CSPFF seeks to give back to the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to keep everyone safe on the roads. Established in 1980, CSPFF offers support and resources for Colorado State Patrol officers and their families who are facing unanticipated hardships or crises.
Combatting COVID-19 Challenges
Originally planned as a 100-vehicle, 200-person event, Automobili Rally started looking like something we’d have to put the brakes on when COVID-19 began working its way across the U.S. After careful consideration and considerable planning, we made the decision to move forward with the event with the theme, “We all need something to look forward to”. This directly related to the mantra of Automobili Rally “Cars, Community & Camaraderie”. Albeit 2020’s rally was at half-capacity with countless adjustments made to the original format.
With the original target of 100 cars and 200 participants, pre-covid. We cut that figure in half, then split the list into two groups (with 25 cars and 50 participants per group). At time of check we required all participants to undergo temperature checks before entering, complete covid questioners, and provided touch free hand sanitizer stands at each stop. We provided custom event masks and hand sanitizer in our gift bags, implemented new track protocols, moved events outdoors wherever possible and split our initial welcome party into two venues to allow for social distancing.
We even introduced COVID-19-appropriate meal and dining opportunities for our outdoor lunch stops and welcome celebration, offering up single-serving appetizers and pre-packaged lunch options to enhance safety.
A Community-Wide Effort
We coordinated with three separate counties where our events would take place, researching their specific COVID-19 guidelines to ensure compliance and maximize safety for our guests, some of whom were immuno-compromised.
We also worked closely with hotels and event venues to tool – and retool – our plans in response to regulatory and rule changes that inevitably arose along the way.
The Joy of the Ride
Combating the constant challenges and the inevitable bumps in the road caused by the ongoing pandemic meant our event looked a whole lot different this year. It would have been easy to simply cancel it, but we felt our community needed something to look forward to now, more than ever. By moving forward with the rally, we knew that, for at least three days, our community could come together responsibly and safely at a time when we all were craving those connections with others.
Ultimately, the 2020 rally proved more challenging and uncertain than those held in years past, but it also proved to be much more rewarding and meaningful. All participants remained healthy during and following the event, offering evidence that you can plan and execute safe special events during this time.
While we can’t say for sure what the road ahead looks like, we know this much: we plan to be back on the road again in 2021. We’re eager to create more meaningful and lasting relationships through automotive experiences. We can’t wait to see you, and be back behind the wheel!