The ARA of Kentucky offered a powerful weekend of events when it hosted a theft of service meeting Saturday, April 9, and then a member favorite, “A Day at the Races” at Keeneland Racecourse, on Sunday, April 10.
The meeting, which took place at EnCon Equipment in Nicholasville, Ky., featured a presentation by Rep. Matt Lockett (R), the new legislator for the state’s 39th district. He addressed House Bill 553, which he championed. This bill would add rental to the current theft of services statute that is on the books.
“There is a current theft of services law in the state of Kentucky, but items held for rental are not included in that bill. We always felt that this was on our radar and something we could achieve that would be a huge benefit to the membership and the state,” says Ian Goff, CERP, general manager, Goff Tents & Events, Nicholasville, Ky., and ARA of Kentucky president.
“Matt is my representative. I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago and explained what was going on with theft of services and the fact that the bill was in place and how it affected our industry and business owners. For instance, when members met in August, we talked about the impact it was having on us. We estimated that it was costing around $2 million — and that is just among us small, independent businesses,” Goff says. “Matt immediately saw the value of changing that because of not only how it was affecting our businesses but also how it was affecting the state to collect revenue on these contracts that we were basically having to write off as bad debt. Within a few days he filed House Bill 553.”
At the April 9 meeting, Rep. Lockett addressed where in the process that bill is. “He also talked about what we could do to help further the agenda. In addition, the meeting offered a great opportunity for him to meet and see the faces of those this bill directly impacts. We are very hopeful the bill will go through this session as it would help us in the industry and offer a revenue-positive for the state,” Goff says.
The evening wrapped up with dinner and networking time.
Then on Sunday, rental operators gathered for an ARA of Kentucky tradition — A Day at the Races at Keeneland Racecourse.
“This event, featuring horseracing of thoroughbreds in the spring, is something that is uniquely Kentucky,” Goff says. “Plus, it offers a chance for us to gather, have a nice meal, see the races and be together. This event is so popular that it sells out every year. That happened again this year. It was a great opportunity to be together and network as we, like everyone else, have not had that interpersonal communication for a couple of years. It really was special to be back to see each other and see the racing in person.”