The 19th annual Thunder in the Valley drag racing event in Port Alberni has been cancelled.

In the past, the event brought racers and spectators from all over B.C. and the U.S. for one of the most popular gatherings the valley hosts.

The Alberni Drag Race Association says Thunder in the Valley has a huge economic impact on the community.

“We are sorry to the Alberni Valley for the large loss of revenue to local businesses, non-profit organizations and youth groups that we supported and supported us,” says Dave Beecroft of the Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association.

The drag races have been held on Stamp Avenue since 2016 and they were supposed to move back to the airport this year after renovations were complete.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District had a closed-door meeting last week and decided not to bring the event back to the airport, citing technical and legal information that was reviewed.

The option to go back to Stamp Avenue was still being looked at but the site was recently been bought by investors and now space is limited.

“There is shortage of available space to host the event this year,” says Beecroft. “We have no other choice to cancel for 2019.”

The association's goal is to bring drag racing back to the valley for 2020 and the regional district says it will work with the group to find a long-term home.