Fears are growing that the 2020 Knight Frank Cycle to MIPIM will be cancelled, due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and companies withdrawing delegates from the MIPIM property conference in Cannes in the south of France.
MIPIM organiser Reed Midem said today: "MIPIM will open for business on March 10. We understand and respect the concerns of clients who have decided to cancel their attendance. In the rapidly-evolving environment we are monitoring developments continually. The health and safety of our clients and staff is our priority."
At Cycle to MIPIM organiser Club Peloton, chief executive Nick Hanmer briefed cyclists last night that the ride would go ahead unless the UK Government advised citizens not to travel to France. He reiterated that position this morning.
However, Cycle to MIPIM headline sponsor Knight Frank has followed CBRE in withdrawing from MIPIM. In an internal memo, the company advised staff to postpone events which involve people from countries affected by coronavirus. As a result, Knight Frank employees cannot take part in Cycle to MIPIM.
Estates Gazette reports that Lloyds Banking Group, Knight Frank, Grosvenor, Greycoat and Landsec have all also pulled out of MIPIM. Some of these companies have riders on the Cycle to MIPIM and their riders do not know if they will be allowed to take part.
Delegates to MIPIM and Cycle to MIPIM riders are specualting that companies' duty of care to their employees will force them to follow Knight Frank. "How can my company send people to MIPIM if other companies have withdrawn?" asked one exhibitor. "If one of my team got ill, how would I feel? And what is my legal position?"
"Our take was as soon as Cushman's made their announcement, everyone else would fold sooner or later," said another delegate.
If the cyclists cannot ride to Cannes, the first stage between London and Folkestone and Valencia-Girona may still go ahead. Club Peloton's ability to replace French stages with extra UK or Spanish legs is limited by insurance terms, which might not reimburse Club Peloton unless government advises against travel or Reed MIDEM cancels MIPIM, which seems unlikely.