Monday, January 10, 2011

CES and Save The Ring

First up: CES 2011. I've written a show report from a car-nerd's point of view following my trip to Vegas for the Consumer Electronics show. You can find my show report here.CES 2011 show report.
Secondly: I don't know if you've ever driven the Nurburgring Nordschleife but if you haven't, you should. And therein lies the rub. Up until last year, the Ring was publicly owned but last year it was sold to two venture-capitalists who added a bunch of stuff that the Ring didn't need - a huge shopping mall and massive hotels that are always empty, a roller coaster that has never worked, and a bunch of other enticements for tourists. They did this without due diligence - ie. they did this based on the published numbers from the German tourism authority who had stats about annual attendance at the Ring. Unfortunately, the stats had been somewhat padded. In one year, 370,000 enthusiasts turned up but the published attendance figure was over 2 million. Anyway, the two venture-capitalists are now bankrupt and the Ring is faced with a $400M bill with no way to pay it off. Nobody is quite sure what the future holds now but there's a very real possibility that Nordschleife will be closed, only to live on in memory and racing video games. As a car nut, this will clearly be an intolerable thought to you, so if you're on Facebook, please sign up to the Save The Ring page and watch for updates.

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