HOT IMPORT NIGHTS 2000 – by brad
By the time you read this, Hot Import Nights(HIN) in San Bernadino will be all said and done, but definitely not a passing memory. This was quite easily one of the best HINs that Vision Entertainment has pulled off. Not content with the warehouse setup, Vision opted to go with an outdoor, New York theme that blended surprisingly well with the Orange Show Fairgrounds. I had the opportunity to see the event in its before & after stages. Booths were generally setup on Friday with vendors trying to get their tents up as quickly as possible, due to the excessive heat in San Bernadino. I use to think it got hot down in San Diego, but I now realize that SD doesnt hold a flame to the heat in SB. While vendors were busy getting things setup inside, I observed a growing line of show cars on the other side of the fence waiting to be classified and inspected by the show employees. I guess I could best describe it as such: The length of this line was so long that it in itself would be the very best reason to get early to HIN, especially if you have a showcar; no one likes waiting in line, especially in excess of an hour or two. I left on Friday around 10pm, and the line was still outrageously long. Next day, I learned a very hard lesson myself: Make sure you get early on the day of the show, vendor or no vendor. This is the only place that I fault Vision; the parking setup was lousy to say the least. I had to park and pay where the spectators parked, even though I could prove I was vendor. Apparently, they didnt have enough parking. Once inside the show though, I quickly forgot about the parking incident, and instead focused in on the atmosphere of the fairgrounds. Since I got in before the show officially started, I was able to see all the people cleaning up their show cars, and vendors making last minute changes to their respective booths. The fairgrounds had an air of outward calm, but hidden anxiety of waiting for the show to start. Once the night got started, I checked out the show first hand, and was impressed with what I saw. I really liked how Vision had the vehicles parked around the pond on the fairgrounds. The lighting was excellent by these vehicles. Unfortunately though, for vehicles that were parked on the other side of the firgrounds, and were not in a booth, it was very difficult to get a good look at them since the lighting wasnt as optimal as it could be. Of course, thats why its called Hot Import Nights; its nighttime damnit! I would have to say with the exception of the stage where the music was playing, the SDSTREETRACING.COM booth had the most action going on, but maybe Im just being bias. But I can guarantee you that every time I did pass the booth, it was either filled with guys talking to the models, or drooling over Keith Tas highly customized Supra that was on display. Speaking of models, they were in attendance and like usual, looking sexy as hell, but that is expected. The party rocked on until 2:00am. Then security came out and started corralling the few stragglers out of the fairgrounds. As far as I know, there were no incidents, and thats always good. Only bad news is that we didnt get out to 4:00am that night, on the account that they wouldnt let us get our trailer from the parking lot back inside to get the stuff out of the fairgrounds until 3:30am. But other than that, it proved to be an excellent night indeed. If youve been to a HIN before then you know where Im coming from, and if you havent, then you owe it to yourself to try and catch one and find out why this is one of the most well known & liked events in the import community.