According to the Press-Enterprise newspaper: A highly popular offroad motorcycle track in Lake Elsinore recently closed its gates to the public amid a legal dispute and its future is in doubt, the operator said Monday, Dec. 23. Giovanni Nanci, whose company Vision Quest Enterprises runs the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, said he doesn’t know if the venue will be reopened for public activity after it shut down in October.
“It’s up in the air; it’s pending a lawsuit,” he said. “I filed a lawsuit against the property owner and we’ve been in a long battle for almost a year.”
The park still intends to fulfill its contract to hold previously scheduled national offroad truck racing events sponsored by Lucas Oil in 2014, Nanci said. But the closure of the section that had been open daily to riders for an admission fee is a blow to followers of the sport in this region. Nanci contends in his complaint filed in Superior Court that the property owner, Keeton Holdings, broke its promise to finance more than $2 million worth of improvements within the 93-acre motorsports park and an adjacent 80 acres paved for parking and other activities.
“We brought in an investor to help us expand the venue and in turn he wants to sell the property to a housing developer,” Nanci said. “So, it’s put everything on hold for now.”
Keeton Holdings proprietor Bruce Keeton and his attorney, Fletcher Paddison, could not be reached by phone for an interview Monday. In the attorney’s response to the lawsuit, Keeton denied Vision Quest’s allegations. Keeton said the company paid $1.35 million to Vision Quest for site improvements that were not worth nearly that much and that the latter had agreed to terminate its lease of the property at the end of last year.
There is no mention in the court filings of what Keeton wants to do with the park property. The case has been set by the court for binding arbitration on Feb. 10.
Keeton Holdings entered the picture in mid-2012 after Vision Quest renovated the motocross park and reopened it in December 2011. The facility was closed about a year after a previous operator’s lease ran out while unsuccessfully attempting to navigate a conflict with the city over permit requirements. While working on the park’s rehabilitation, Vision Quest began looking for an investor. Keeton Holdings came forward to buy the land and form a partnership with Vision Quest, known as Lake Elsinore Entertainment Center. The agreement, however, quickly began to unravel, according to the allegations in both sides’ court filings.
“When you get into litigation like this it puts a damper on everything,” Nanci said. “It destroys your reputation. It destroys your family’s reputation. It destroys everything. For what? So we could build some ? houses over there?… It’s sad.”