SKUSA SUPERNATIONALS XII RETURNS TO RIO CASINO HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS Annual event heads back to 'The Strip' for November weekend LAS VEGAS, NV (July 7, 2008) -- They said it couldn't be done. They were wrong. The SKUSA SuperNationals XII will...
SKUSA SUPERNATIONALS XII RETURNS TO RIO CASINO HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS
Annual event heads back to 'The Strip' for November weekend
LAS VEGAS, NV (July 7, 2008) -- They said it couldn't be done. They were wrong. The SKUSA SuperNationals XII will return to the Rio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas on November 20-23, 2008.
If one were to point to a single race in North American karting as the race of the year, it would be difficult for anyone to overlook the SKUSA SuperNationals in deserving such distinction. For 11 consecutive years, the marquee race of the Superkarts! USA organization has been the pinnacle event of the karting season, drawing a worldwide contingent of the best racers on the planet.
The SKUSA SuperNationals has always been an event that has commanded tremendous competitor interest and media attention year after year, but even SKUSA owner Tom Kutscher would be the first to concede there's always room to improve. "It can be very tempting to rest on your laurels in this sport," explains Kutscher. "You have people coming up to congratulate you throughout each event, telling you that 'this has been the best race ever.' That can make it hard to be self critical."
And despite the tremendous success that SuperNats XI enjoyed, it wasn't long before Tom Kutscher knew -- even with the positive feedback -- improvements were essential. "I began hearing the buzz circulating; yet what people didn't realize is that, internally, I had my own staff compiling lists of ideas. We assembled a pretty lengthy document when it was all said and done -- and I knew I had my work cut out for me this year."
Anyone who's raced with SKUSA long enough will likely tell you, "The SuperNationals events held at the Rio Hotel were among some of the best ever." The location has always been highly touted, though not without its share of complexities. "It's no secret," remarks Kutscher. "Casino hotels in Vegas make their revenue from gambling. Approaching the Rio about putting on another SuperNationals was not an easy sell."
Months of negotiations and proposals were passed back and forth between the two companies, and as time passed it looked increasingly unlikely the deal would come together. However, through exhausting deliberations, phone calls, and hotel visits, the deal finally materialized. "Vegas is a city built on gambling," adds the SKUSA president, who was a competitor at the last Rio-hosted SuperNationals. "It's fair to say the Rio is taking another gamble on karting. My bet is that it will be HUGE!"
The event will take place November 20-23, 2008, and is slated to be the one of the biggest SuperNationals ever. SKUSA has been diligent about addressing many of the most common competitor concerns, and is proud to announce:
* The event will be shorter in duration, addressing issues with time off of work and school. On track days will be limited to Thursday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Nov. 23, making for a more consolidated event structure.
* The Rio has extended an unprecedented room rate to SuperNats participants and guests, even less expensive than when the race was held there in 2003! Rates will be $99 Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday nights just $129. However, the room block will be limited to 300 rooms, so competitors are encouraged to book early, starting July 10, when the special pricing kicks in. The special code word to get this pricing will be announced soon!
* The final track layout is still in process, but you'd better believe SKUSA will design a track "badder" than ever -- plus one that will meet CIK certification, in order for the European karting contingent to participate in the event.
* Confirmed classes in the line-up include these marquee race groups: SuperPro, TaG Senior and Masters, G1, S1, and Spec Honda classes S3, S4 and S5 Jr.. SKUSA is also considering new class additions to the fold -- such as HPV-2 Junior -- ensuring densely contested race groups.
Ah -- but what about the prizes? The SuperNationals has always been by its nature one of the richest races in North American karting. At the previous SuperNationals XI last November, SKUSA -- together with event sponsors -- paid out more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. This year will surely be no different, despite the economic downturn in North America. "Everyone recognizes that prizes are great," comments Kutscher. "And they will be for this race. But, then again, at the end of the day what karting really needs... what drivers really want, is to also feel like they're part of an historical event. Of course, we're going to have an amazing prize package -- but the emphasis this year is really to make SuperNationals 12 the biggest event it can be. Did I mention -- the sponsors we already have lined up are amazing!"
Furthermore, SuperNats competitors from previous days at the Rio will admit that there was room for improvement from a promotional standpoint. "From the moment the competitor checks in, until the time they leave -- our goal is to make them feel that they're a part of something big," says an elated Kutscher. Rio has granted SKUSA the opportunity to promote the race comprehensively throughout the facility, including signage, displays, and exciting cross promotions. "Everyone talks about bringing karting to the public, and if we execute the game plan accordingly, not only will Rio patrons know about the SuperNationals, but the entire city of Las Vegas will, as well."
Extensive details about the event format will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. However, starting July 10, 2008, competitors will be afforded the opportunity to begin reserving rooms at the Rio and are encouraged to do so immediately. "Getting this many rooms at such a killer price was indeed a challenge," urges Kutscher. "Once they're gone, they are gone and the price goes up to their standard rates -- which could be double or more." Competitors are encouraged to reserve early to secure necessary accommodations. Race entry process will begin shortly thereafter, with online entry for the event going live on midnight August 1, 2008.
"The mood is one of excitement in the SKUSA offices, more so than in a long time. I think we're all just excited again," echoes a jubilant Kutscher. "I know these aren't the best times financially for all of us, but we've managed to get a very desirable location, at a great price for the competitor, with a more conducive event schedule than ever. It's definitely a huge step in the right direction."
In a sport begging for assertion and leadership, SKUSA is committed to the future of building the awareness of karting. The Rio Hotel Resort and Casino has taken another chance on the sport, and SKUSA aims to prove it's not in vain. "We know what the racers bring onto the track, that much is a given," added Kutscher. "A big goal going forward, however, is to show others how SKUSA competitors bring considerable value wherever they go. We're going to announce some exciting promotions going forward that encourage our contingent to stay and play -- at the Rio -- ensuring that it's mutually beneficial for everyone." With this exclusive deal in place, the SKUSA SuperNationals XII will truly be the trifecta of the karting world in 2008. With a great event, great location, and great promotions all combining, Superkarts! USA is poised to deliver what should be the biggest and best SuperNationals ever.
Watch www.ekartingnews.com and www.superkartsusa.com for info and updates, as plans for SuperNats XII progress!