Desert Storm—the country’s largest and most anticipated powerboating event on the West Coast—has been sold by Jimmy and Christina Nichols of Storm Poker Runs to two Lake Havasu City, AZ entrepreneurs.

Steve Ticknor and Jim Russell have pooled their resources and skills to acquire this large poker run and high-speed shootout. This will ensure it remains on Lake Havasu where it was born some 20 years ago.

Steve Ticknor and Jim Russell

Russell owns DSM Events LLC of Lake Havasu City—the largest event production and services firm in the tristate area. Credited with the production of over 100 events of his own, he has contracted to more than 400 events of others during the past three decades in Lake Havasu City. Russell is also the new owner/organizer of the Lake Havasu Boat Show, which is typically mounted the week prior to the poker run. He co-owned Desert Storm with Jim Nichols Sr. from 2014 to 2016, and has also produced the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) World Finals, the world's largest PWC event, for 20 years. In addition, Russell also co-hosts a radio talk show on KNTR, an FM broadcast station in Lake Havsau.

Ticknor started his current company, Sunstone Real Estate Group, when he moved to Lake Havasu eight years ago. Since that time he has been heavily involved in giving back to the community through many charitable organizations. He is past president of the Lake Havasu City Rotary Club, served on the board of the Havasu Community Health Foundation, the Veterans Court and is currently the Executive Director of the Havasu Balloon Festival. In 2018, Steve was voted the Lake Havasu Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year.

Desert Storm will be headquartered at Windsor Beach April 19-22, 2023, following the Lake Havasu Boat Show. The combination of these two very significant aquatic events are a part of title sponsor, Anderson Powersports, launching “Summer on the Lake 2023." All of the famous Desert Storm functions will continue, including Krusin’ 4 a Kause, the Welcome Party, the Street Party, the Poker Run and of course the Shoot-Out, followed by the awards dinner.

Taking place in Lake Havasu City, AZ, Desert Storm was known in its infancy as the Spring Heat Wave. It was conceived by a small group of boaters (spearheaded by organizer Jim Nichols Sr.) in the 1990s who gathered once a year to romp around on Lake Havasu for a day. In the passing of decades, Nichols grew the event to an extravaganza lasting several days. Desert Storm also spun off a second Havasu event, the Halloween-themed Monster Bash.

In 2017, Nichols announced that a new leadership team would be overseeing the festivities—his son, Jimmy Nichols, and daughter-in-law, Christina Nichols. At the time, Nichols said he hoped that the new team would bring a younger perspective that would keep the events fresh.