CHANHASSEN, Minn. (KMSP) - After nine years and their biggest event to date, a popular event attracting thousands of car lovers to the west metro suddenly canceled its next event.
”I think a bit of the charm might be lost because of the garages,” says Lanae Paaverud.
Paaverud and her husband frequent Cars and Coffee, which features high end cars and specialty garages where owners keep them. The first Saturday morning of every month, April through October, car owners open their doors at the AutoMotorPlex garage condominiums and car enthusiasts gather from 8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Paaverud and her husband have taken their own cars to the event and watched it grow, which is why they were shocked to see a post on the organizers' Facebook page explaining the show this Saturday was suddenly canceled as they look for a new location.
New requirements from the city of Chanhassen and the Carver County Sheriff's Office include cutting the 10,000 person crowd in half, plus an off-site parking plan, pedestrian plan and transportation plan to and from the AutoMotorPlex garage condominiums.
“We do see people doing burn outs and speeding and motorcycles doing wheelies down the roads,” said Carver County Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud. “That creates some concern for the people that are doing it and other motorists who happen to be on the roadway while that's unfolding.”
The city and county say cars parked along Audubon Road or in the parking lots of nearby businesses in the industrial area are some of the biggest issues, creating back ups onto Highway 5 and other safety concerns. Chief Deputy Kamerud says an ambulance had a difficult time getting through he crowd for a medical call last month, though Paaverud disagrees.
“People were giving space to where the person was,” he said.
Deputies point to Paisley Park less than a mile away, and the recent shuttles used to coordinate large crowds through a weekend of commemorating Prince's death. Meanwhile, organizers of Cars and Coffee say the events are much different--and they are committed to keeping it as a free event.
“Ultimately I hope this creates a better show and their attendance can be even bigger than it is now,” Paverud said.