BULLETIN: Paso cops clip “No-Cruise Night”
May 23, 2008
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
Paso Robles police officials are trying to corral the “First Annual No-Cruise Night” even as the spontaneous resurrection of a 30-year Memorial Weekend tradition gains steam. Participants want to return to Paso Robles one of the largest custom car events in the nation, and hundreds of the cars and their owners are expected to show.
Capt. Robert Burton arrived at the doors of Hunter Auto Body early today, said Vice President Joe Torres, to inform Torres that he lacked the proper permits for holding an event on his commercial property. Torres had slated a concert by the Bad Boys Band, but Burton squelched that, said the businessman.
“We are planning to let people come in and park at the shop… this won’t change much,” Torres promised. “We’ll move inside if we have to.”
Torres said he was told by Burton that there was “still time to apply for a city permit, but not to bother” because the application would go through both Burton and Chief Lisa Solomon, “and he guaranteed me it would not be approved.” A subsequent attempt to file a permit application at Paso Robles City Hall was rebuffed, said Ron French, co-owner of the venerable Pine Street Saloon.
By post time, Burton had not returned phone calls from UncoveredSLO.com.
The West Coast Kustoms Cruisin’ Nationals left abruptly for Santa Maria last year after the Paso Robles City Council demanded a $30,000 fee to cover what officials termed additional police enforcement costs associated with the holiday event.
Taken by surprise, local business owners were left to worry about lost revenues; many said their businesses typically experienced a five-fold increase in sales over cruise event’s duration.
But legions of auto aficionados plan annual vacations around the Paso Robles cruise, and many of those have long-standing reservations at area hotels. So after the Santa Maria run is completed Saturday morning, a long line of customized, classic vehicles will head for the North County.
Hunter Auto Body is located at 1236 Railroad Street in Paso Robles, right across the street from the French’s historic saloon.