No day at the park for car dealer's showcase plan

A local auto dealer's bid to use Fuji Park for a three-day showcase of new cars was shot down Tuesday by parks and recreation commissioners concerned that such commercial events might become a regular thing at the popular park.

Capital Ford had sought the use of Fuji Park, which borders the fairgrounds in South Carson City, May 25-28 to display up to 135 new Toyotas, Fords, Mazdas and Hyundais. There would be no actual selling at the park; sales would be referred back to Capital Ford's regular sales office.

Much of the display's purpose, said Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf, would be to offer all the different brands in one spot, and catch the eye of Costco-bound commuters who might not otherwise do their car shopping in Carson City.

Since there would be no sales at the park, recreation officials figured the event would be similar to any number of car shows held at city parks, although with much different purpose and atmosphere.

Fuji Park itself has been approved for car shows, fairs, carnivals and concerts. The bordering fairgrounds can support all those events as well as more raucous ventures like mud bogs and go-cart races.

Moellendorf suggested the commission might approve the request as a one-time thing so city officials could gauge its effects. Deputy District Attorney Michael Suglia, however, cautioned against it.

Once a special-use permit is granted for a particular use at the park, that would establish that use as an acceptable occurrence, he said.

Moellendorf and members of the commission worried the city would become inundated with requests by car dealers based within and outside of Carson City. He also worried the park might become monopolized by dealerships on weekends at the expense of other events and daily drop-in users of the city's only major park that is also dog-friendly.

Parks officials have already received complaints from dog owners who say there are too many special events at Fuji Park.

Several parks commissioners said they would like to support Capital Ford owner Dick Campagni and the city's other auto retailers, but didn't want to set a bad precedent for the use of Fuji Park.

The proposal died when no one on the commission made a motion to bring it up for a vote.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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