There are many excuses to go to Las Vegas - a business meeting, honeymoon or, our personal favorite, bachelor party. But no reason stands up to MFest. The three-day weekend embodies everything awesome about the BMW community whether you're into racing, show cars, cruising or just having fun. MFest has it all and more.
The 4/10 MFest marked its fourth anniversary and it defied expectations of both size and sheer entertainment. Pre-registration sold-out months before with more than 600 hotel rooms booked at the host Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino. With so many people and cars crammed into one place, the reserved underground parking lot overflowed with M machines. However, one of the most rewarding activities was the caravan into town, which put MFest in the Guinness Book of World Records.
In '08, an Isetta gathering set the record for largest parade of BMWs with 178. But MFest shattered that number when caravans from CA, TX, NV, IL and even FL converged 25 miles outside Sin City to form a single line of 195 BMWs. The achievement put a smile on everybody's face, but that was only a taste of what the weekend had in store...
After checking into the hotels, night fell and the festivities resumed with a complimentary karting session at Pole Position Raceway. Afterwards, the fun continued as hundreds marched into Palazzo's Lavo nightclub and lounge.
Saturday morning arrived with nothing but blue skies and warm sun. The BMW convoy then traveled to Las Vegas Motor Speedway where the car show, track sessions, autocross and raffle would take place.
From morning 'til sunset, the roar of M engines echoed across the venue. More than 50 BMWs from naturally-aspirated to forced induction demonstrated their performance. Not just for the pros, any driver was welcome on the track from beginner to intermediate. Different run groups were divided by skill level with instructors available. However, the highlight of the road course was the tuner lap where companies like HorsepowerFreaks, VF-Engineering, Gintani and GT Haus joined the same group. Sadly, not every car carried a transponder but the fastest recorded lap belonged to Oscar Trevizo's HPF widebody M3, which posted a 1:58.59sec lap. He's also our competitor for the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge, so this isn't the last you'll see of him.
While racing was an important element of Saturday, so was the car show. Rows of top-notch BMWs spread across the pits including M3s, M5s, M6s and other models. Top honors went to Nik Saran from VF-Engineering for his widebody E92 M3. We should also note Mert Contapay's M5 won "best mild" show car (featured in this issue) and Chris Bergemann from HorsepowerFreaks won "best wild". Sonax USA supplied all show winners with detailing kits.
One of MFest's biggest claims to fame is the insane raffle that rounded out the day. This year, VF and Gintani gave 50%-off supercharger discounts, Forgeline and Savini handed out a set of wheels each and StopTech kicked down big brake kits. The girls at MFest weren't ignored either, with Louis Vuitton handbags raffled in a separate drawing.
The event continued into the night with the official MFest party. The rooftop of Tao Nightclub at the Venetian was closed off for the first two hours of operations. And if that wasn't enough, drinks were on the house. The rest of the night remains confidential: What happens at MFest, stays at MFest!
"We elevated our game this year," explained Chris Naguit, the guru behind MFest. "There were lots of surprises. Nobody knew we would break the record or have an open bar at Tao."
The following day, a spirited cruise to Nevada's Valley of Fire state park closed out the event. About 40 cars made the morning cruise but others had to drive home early or were too hungover from the previous night.
Many were sad to see the fun-filled and intoxicating weekend come to an end. "People were leaving the garage teary-eyed. They were emotional because the weekend was ending," Chris told us.
MFest has a profound effect on attendees because new friendships are created and old ones reacquainted. MFest prides itself on being one big happy family, so rest assured they'll be back next year; and you won't want to miss it.