The Diamond Cup roared back into the Lake City last year. The hydro-planes returning after a 45 year hiatus.
While the event seemed to go fairly smooth, financially the outcome was anything but, with many businesses going unpaid for their services.
Just this past weekend Diamond Cup organizers worked out a deal with H1 Unlimited to sanction this year's race and secure Coeur d'Alene as a stop on the race circuit. But a bigger challenge might be finding companies to work the event since many from last year are still waiting to get paid.
On the surface the 11th Annual Diamond Cup returned without a hitch but underneath the water was choppy. A financial shortfall left businesses unpaid.
"In fact when I did the work I actually gave them a 25 percent discount because I'm a civicaly minded person, I like to help the community," said Ken Roberge with Specialty Tree Services.
Roberge cleared old trees out of the way for race fans. He's still sitting on a $11,650 bill.
"I'm pretty forgiving, I like to help the community and be involved in things but I don't wanna bust his balls, you know, either," said Roberge.
Hite Crane provided 180 and 300 ton cranes to lift the 10,000 lb hydro-plane boats into the water. Vice president Bud Gill only billed the Diamond Cup for man hours, not the use of the cranes themselves. The $11,000 bill still unpaid.
"I can't offer the cranes again for free and I don't know what he's going to do," said Hite Crane vice president Bud Gill.
Diamond Cup organizer Doug Miller acknowledged the debt, comparing it to student loans.
"And now that we've done one and we have the experience of one behind us we know what we need to do to move it forward," said Diamond Cup organizer Doug Miller.
Miller says he's working with Tickets West this year to make sure access to the event is limited to paying fans. Last year, thousands of fans found areas to watch the race for free. Miller says with better revenue collection, he'll be able to turn a profit, as long as the same number of fans return for this years race.
"It will be more than enough financially to take care of our financial obligations for 2013 as well as pay for the 2014 event," said Miller.
Miller will be collecting sponsors for this years race to help offset some of the cost. The Diamond Cup also restructured its organization to open the door for private investors.
A risky venture which again leaves unpaid businesses from last year's race waiting on a check.
"We will be back again if they ask us back for next year but we do need to get paid," said Gill.
"Understandably and justifiably so," said Miller.
Miller added that all unpaid bills have been factored into the cost of running the event for the second time around.
Fans can expect a bigger race this year with less down time between races. Diamond Cup 2014 expanding its entries to include APBA 5 liter closed capsule boats. Re-broadcasts of the Diamond Cup also expected to reach 104 different countries with coverage by CBS slated to increase from 30 minutes to a full hour.