Best in the Desert Racing Association has announced that their 2021 season-ending event, the BlueWater Desert Challenge Brought to You by Fox, has been moved from Parker. It will be held instead at the Peralta Ranch in East Kern County, Calif. near Cal City on Nov. 4-7, 2021. The event name will also be changed to Cal City Desert Challenge Brought to You by Fox.
Best in the Desert announced the move Oct. 13 after being informed on Oct. 9 that the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) would not allow the event to run as planned. The Tribes cited an increase of new cases of coronavirus COVID-19 among their community as a reason for their decision.
Melissa Newton, Director of the Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, said she was disappointed with the relocation.
“We are sad to hear that the BlueWater Challenge has been moved from Parker to Cal City as Best in the Desert Racing organization brings tourism, and excitement to our area,” she said. “Many local businesses rely upon this event and this change will impact the whole community.”
BITD events usually fill up the area’s motels, hotels and campgrounds. They also create revenue for restaurants, retail stores and gas stations. Parker Town Manager and Finance Director Lori Wedemeyer has told the Town Council on several occasions the busiest times of the year for sales tax revenue are when the off-road events are held here.
In addition to the races, other events were planned. These included a youth UTV race and a street fair to coincide with holding contingency and technical inspection in downtown Parker. Contingency and technical inspection were held for several years at the BlueWater Resort & Casino, but the BlueWater has canceled all special events until further notice.
BITD’s press release said they were disappointed by CRIT’s decision, but added they were excited about the move to Cal City.