In an emotional Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday night, the owner/organizers of Desert Storm—who had postponed the run from April to October because of the worldwide pandemic—explained to viewers why it was necessary to pull the plug on the event for 2020.

As they explained, despite making every effort to pull off some version of Desert Storm in the fall, it was decided that it was in the best interest of the sponsors, participants, volunteers and spectators to cancel it. It’s the first time in 23 years that the Nichols family has been unable to provide an event.

“We thought five months would be ample time for the world to get back to a state of normalcy,” said Storm Poker Runs owner-organizer Christina Nichols. “Unfortunately, Covid-19 has proved to us that this year has been far from predictable and expected. While it is our great pleasure to bring this level of high performance boating to the West Coast, and excitement to Lake Havasu, AZ, each spring and fall, the decision needed to be made to protect all involved. We eagerly look forward to the 2021 event.”

Credentials that have already been purchased by participants for 2020 will be rolled over to next year, she added.

“Christina, myself, and the entire Storm team, have tried, and we are as disappointed as you that the event cannot happen,” said Storm Poker Runs owner-organizer Jimmy Nichols. “Just understand this is not for lack of trying. Christina has been trying to push water up a hill and as we know that is no easy feat. It is heartbreaking to hear her in the office and the sound of defeat when she communicates another municipality or organization has told us no. Over the 23 years, we have cancelled the Shootout twice because of weather, and we have had to make minimal changes over the years to keep the event functioning and work with all the Government municipalities that we do, but never have we been forced to cancel the event entirely.”

Storm Poker Runs hosts two events annually in Lake Havasu, AZ, each with their distinct features/events that make them special. The spring event is a five-day extravaganza that boasts parties, charity elements, and the largest Street Fair, Poker Run and Shootout on the West Coast. The fall event, Monster Storm, is on a significantly smaller scale, covering three days.

Dates for the 2021 Desert Storm are April 21-25.