Late 2012. A race was moving north from Florida and reached out to me. They sounded promising – they’d run a bunch of races already – feedback from the locals was middle of the road – some people had problems with them, others had fun.
We got involved with Dan Barrett, and started getting excited to launch the 2013 Spring OCR season with Jungle Cup.
By the time April came around, it was clear Jungle Cup was struggling. They had a poor race in DC (we reviewed it here), followed by a cancellation, followed by the New England event falling through. We had a lot to say about this reschedule (and eventual cancellation) here.
It turned out to be a common problem for OCR in 2013. Events that were reasonably successful in their home regions decided to hit the road – quickly they found that tapping attendance in a new region was considerably tougher than they thought it would be, and the expense of moving their circus around is pretty steep. This caused the demise of well respected events, like Hero Rush and is showing in the low attendance and troubles of other events, like Superhero Scramble.
Jungle Cup just happened to be the first time we saw this.
Of course, Hero Rush was actually, officially bankrupt. Active.com stepped up to the plate and refunded everyone they reasonably could. Jungle Cup just vanished. No replies to emails, no replies to phone calls, no social media interaction. Thats hardly the same ask declaring bankruptcy. The owners behind Hero Rush seemed to actually *care*. Dan just vanished.
One of their last communications was that they would be refunding everyone, or offering transfer to a future race – this has yet to happen.
It’s since been a busy 2013 season. We’ve attended many many quality races in New England. A few have fallen by the way side, and refunds or transfers have been handled fairly well – and no race has left that bitter “I’ve been ripped off” feeling that Jungle Cup left behind.
So – imagine our surprise when suddenly the Jungle Cup Facebook page lit back up again. Dan Barrett, the man in charge was back in the press – not for ripping people off, or even going out of business – but for opening a training facility in Miami.
I’m not sure who wrote the article, but it’s a funny read. Claiming to be the only gym of it’s kind is quite amusing, showing little knowledge of the wider OCR world – in New England alone, Shale Hill Adventure Farm in VT and Unleashed in RI surely have something to say about that. Calling Dan the “mastermind” behind 11 OCRs is technically true, but I’m not sure they mean it in the same context I mean it.
There were also photos popping up of the new training facility – and some impressive looking equipment indeed! We asked – jokingly – if we were part owners, due to the fact refunds hadn’t come back to the community yet – and when they started replying to Facebook posts, it seemed that Jungle Cup was back, in some form or another.
So, about those refunds?
Shortly after taking this screen shot, the comment from Jungle Cup was deleted. As of writing, the post is still there, but no response from Dan or Jungle Cup.
Jungle Cup owes people money, and is apparently still in business. Somehow, they expect to still make money from somewhere to pay those refunds …
I’m not holding my breath.