Portland, Oregon – The Craton Promotions team has done the official merchandise of the Portland Grand Prix for several years now but the 2023 Bitnile Grand Prix of Portland had so many “First Times” to it, that we felt like it was all brand new to us.
With all of our contracts and clients in 2023, we have had to spread out the team and crisscross the United States in a sort of divide-and-conquer fashion. For the 2023 Grand Prix of Portland, we all seemed to be coming from different directions to converge on Portland, Oregon for race weekend.
Owen drove from Rome, GA (Craton Promotion’s fulfillment center location), and Charles, Calley, and Alan flew out of the Atlanta, GA airport. Since the Portland store set-up days overlapped the Virginia International Raceway store breakdown days, Micah and I finished up in Danville, VA after working late into the night, took a nap, then drove to the airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, and flew to meet the crew in Oregon. What a crazy couple of days that was for all of us.
The race was good, and the fans were great, the 2023 Bitnile Grand Prix of Portland was a success but the things that stuck out in my mind were things that we did while the race was NOT going on.
First Charles somehow got invited to do a ride-along in an actual Indycar on the Portland International Raceway. Everyone was excited for him, but the look on his face was pure excitement. Afterward, Charles told us it was one of those “bucket list” experiences.
While I was out in front of the store doing my thing with the music and mic I noticed a group of corner workers behind me and was lucky enough to have a moment to walk over to them and get to know them. My corner worker crew taught me some things about what a corner worker does and what some of the many different colored flags meant. One of them came from Australia just to work the race. I love meeting new people and learning things I did not know from them. Good Times were had by all.
Now if you have been following the blog for a while you know that we always go out for a team dinner after each event and since we have been to Portland several times already we decided to try something different. We began the dinner by going out for a drink at the “Ravens Manor” which has a haunted house theme throughout the entire place. It was a fun experience and we all got different, haunted house-themed drinks. We followed that up with a walk to the “City Grill” where we ate dinner in a highrise building with glass walls that overlooked the city.
There are a million more parts to this story but I have forgotten more than I can remember. It is a crazy but fun world we live in touring the best motorsports tracks in the country. Did you know that we operate a slew of different stores online as well? Check them out below,
I hope to see you when we come to your city. Don’t be shy come over to the store and say hello.
Grateful to be here with all of you – Tony Batman Pucillo