As Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas looms, it’s all good news for Scottsdale, undisputed home base of the collector car sales industry. At least for now. The economy may be sputtering, but vintage vehicle sales are still humming, industry experts said.
And the starting up of a third annual auction for the Scottsdale-based industry leader means more attention, and ultimately more well-heeled tourists, for Valley resorts in January.
At least that’s how Barrett-Jackson Chairman Craig Jackson sees it.
“I think it will bring a lot of new people into the hobby,” Jackson said. And it’s a hobby that is mostly insulated from Wall Street woes, he said.
Jackson describes his core customers as “above the economy.”
That appears to be an accurate assessment. Despite a staggering economy, Jackson’s already lined up more cars than expected for his first Las Vegas show — 521, so far — and his top-tier customers have already RSVP’d.
The casinos have rolled out the red carpet and secured skyboxes for their own high rollers, Jackson said.
And he expects to turn a lot of the wealthy gamblers into car collectors. Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau reps will be on hand to make sure the newbie car aficionados show up in Scottsdale in January for Barrett-Jackson’s signature show, said Rachel Sacco, bureau president.
“Barrett-Jackson’s main audience is the high-end customer with discretionary income that we hope to reach,” Sacco said.
If there is one sour note in the situation, it’s that if the Las Vegas show is too successful, it could lure the whole business away from Scottsdale in the future.