The Coast News Group
Immediately after an auction sign was posted for leftover Valitar equipment at Del Mar Fairgrounds, there was a flurry of interest in the available items, including the 45,000-square-foot red tent, from rental companies, Pala Casino and dealers that buy and sell horse ranches. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Valitar’s big red tent is going once, going twice …

DEL MAR — Anyone in the market for an enormous red tent should save the date. 

On Jan. 29, beginning at 10 a.m., the 45,000-square-foot infamous structure that’s taken up a large portion of the Del Mar Fairgrounds parking lot for the past several months will be sold at an everything-must-go auction.

All funds collected will be turned over to a bankruptcy court to pay off creditors of Equustria Development Inc., the company created by Mark Remley to produce Valitar, a Cirque du Soleil-type show featuring horses and humans.

Originally planned to run in Del Mar from Nov. 16 to Dec. 31 before heading out on a 10-month, five city tour of the United States, the show was unexpectedly canceled after only four public performances.

Remley allegedly stopped paying show expenses, including the performers, and Equustria Development filed for bankruptcy in mid-December.

Fischer Auction Company was hired to liquidate the company’s assets. In addition to the main tent, which cost millions of dollars to erect, the 126 additional items that will be auctioned off include stable, performer, concession, entry and VIP tents, a copier, shredder and refrigerator, a variety of furniture, chariots, hoses, construction materials and fire extinguishers.

Jeff Bloom, co-owner of the family business, said Fischer has conducted many bankruptcy auctions, but never one with a 45,000-square-foot tent.

He said there has been interest since the auction sign was posted on the structure last week from rental companies, Pala Casino and dealers that buy and sell horse ranches.

A preview of available items will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 28. The auction will be held live and online, with a 15 percent Internet buyer premium.

All accounts must be settled at the end of the auction. Only cash or credit cards will be accepted. A pre-auction authorization will be performed to establish available credit.

For all items other than the tents, checkout will be immediately following the auction and Jan. 30 and 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For the tents, buyers must make prior arrangements and be ready to have them dismantled and removed from the fairgrounds within seven days.

The dismantling contractor must provide proof of insurance. A $1,000 to $5,000 cleanup deposit, due at the time of purchase on the tents, flooring and sand, will be refunded once the lot is left clear of debris.

If a tent or large purchase over $10,000 is made, the buyer will have 24 hours to make wire transfer or payment arrangements. Cash will be due by noon Jan. 30 or a credit card will be charged.

Buyers must take down, pack and arrange for shipping if needed. All items must be removed by the designated dates. There will be no refunds for items left onsite. Everything is being sold on a where is/as is basis.

To say fairgrounds officials will be happy to see the remains of Valitar removed is an understatement since they can’t access the site.

“It’s out of our hands,” Linda Zweig, fairgrounds media director, said. “We can’t even go inside the fenced area.”

There will be no minimum bids and bidding will continue until all items are sold, Bloom said.

“We’re expecting a large turnout,” he added. “It should be a fun auction.”