Complaints are mounting at the Better Business Bureau from drivers who paid to participate in the Michigan Mile event that was scheduled to take place at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek during the 2014 Air Show and Balloon Festival. Organizer Alex Conley, through his limited liability company MotoMedia LLC reportedly charged drivers more than $200 each to participate in an event that never happened, and won’t refund their money. According to comments made by Conley to Festival organizers, he had 70 drivers registered to race July 4-6. Based upon complaints received by the BBB, one-day registrations averaged $207 each, and weekends were more than $400. If Conley signed up 70 drivers at $207, he would have walked away with more than $14,000. When the event was cancelled, Conley refused to refund money to the drivers.
Complaints received by the BBB include this comment: “the owner of this event Alex Conley has up and cancelled with no notifications of a postponed event. Nor returned any calls or emails on the matter.“
Conley has not yet responded to the BBB concerning these complaints.
Another frustrated driver wrote: “The event was cancelled due to "contract negotiations" two weeks before the event was to take place. The contract should have been worked out before Alex Conley collected mine and many other riders money.”
BBB has talked with organizers of the Air Show and Balloon Festival, and found that the first Michigan Mile took place in 2013 and Conley never paid for his participation in that event, owing the Festival $4500. When Conley refused to pay the amount owed for last year, and would not pay up front for this year’s event, the Festival pulled the plug on the one mile time trial being promoted at TheMichiganMile.com. and MotoKure.com.
A third complaint reported: “He has refused after three requests to refund the money…Alex claims that ‘Capital investments are made well before any show takes place and thus full reimbursement is not always an option.’“
The event website registration form includes this language:
“By agreeing, you agree to all terms and conditions of The Michigan Mile as follows. All fees and funds are final and not refundable. Rain or Shine. All efforts to accommodate participants in these unlikely events will be made as quickly as possible. Capital investments are made well before any show takes place and thus full reimbursement is not always an option… By submitting this document, you are giving permission to MotoMedia LLC to withdraw funds in the agreed upon amount.”
Conley, the event owner runs the websites, MotoKure.com and TheMichiganMile.com. The websites are still showing advertisements for the event that never happened. “MotoKure.com is bringing back another exciting event for the 2014 season.
The Michigan Mile was a big hit in 2013 as it was it's first event. A show that has never been done before with Battle Creek Airshow. This truly was a show that family off all ages will enjoy. You have it all, show cars, race, movie, fast planes, carnival, live music concerts, balloon show, all types of food and all types of fun family events.”
BBB received its first complaint two weeks ago, and forwarded it to Conley for his response. Thus far, Conley has not responded. Since that time three more drivers have filed complaints, all asking for their money back.