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  1. #16
    GSCOOKEMNSTER
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    Yup, you can't please everyone,

    I've been to only a few nationals (Trenton, Charlestown, Vermont, and West Bend) and only the Vermont and Trenton rallys have I been able to attend the last day. The others I've had to leave Sat morning to get back home by Sunday evening. I'd like to attend next year's rally in Gray, Tn., but it will be the same situation, leaving Sat. So while I'll have 5 days to get there and can enjoy the trip, getting home means leaving the rally early, so I'm on the fence as to whether I'll attend.

    There are always lots of theories, but dealing with customer response metrics all day in my job, theories are worthless. Response by the customer is the only metrics and it is predictable and repeatable given a large enough population. I would said that the test of having a rally far from club members with minimal good riding was greeted with tepid response by the club members. I would predict that next years rally will have very good attendance given its location. Of course the other variable, that we can't really test, is what would attendance be if the rally were held Tues-Thurs.

    Oh well, suns shining (finally), time to go for a ride.

    Brian

  2. #17
    Billings in 2015 Sue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    In terms of attendance, I think you have to go back to circa 1993 to find a less-attended MOA rally than Gillette.
    Fredericksburg, Texas. Everyone obsessed about how hot it was going to be, the bad riding . . . . blah blah. Small attendance that year - less than 5,000 as I recall. (was that 1996?)

    The Hill country of Texas was delightful, the weather ideal, and for the 5,000 of us who went, it was wonderful!

    and with those odds, I STILL didn't win a bike. sigh.
    Sue Rihn #43753
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  3. #18
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Vermont is inside of 500 miles from NYC, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Montreal and a whole lot of people.
    With so many members living 6-10 hours away, the opportunity to decide at the last minutes, based on a current forcast, probably impacted Vermont's attendence too.
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  4. #19
    Billings in 2015 Sue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    With so many members living 6-10 hours away, the opportunity to decide at the last minutes, based on a current forcast, probably impacted Vermont's attendence too.
    That's true. Imagine if the weather would have been sunny with temps in the 70's everyday. Vermont would have blasted right past the 10K attendance mark, without a doubt.
    Sue Rihn #43753
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  5. #20
    Rob Mayes
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    Having the maximum attendance is not the most important issue. It is the ride. While the Gillette location had some issues, it was in a cool location for side trips.

  6. #21
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Different people expect/do different things at an (Inter)National Rally. I have attended every one since 1984 except 1993 in Moodus when I had just changed jobs and had zero vacation. I seldom do much riding once the rally starts - but usually take the long way-good roads to and from the rally.

    This year was no different. We arrived Monday evening and spent Tuesday and Wednesday helping with Camp GEARS. We left the rally site only to go shopping for food for the GEARS campers.

    Thursday I prowled the vendors, bought several "essentials" to replace stuff I wore out (boots, helmet) and attended a couple of seminars. Friday I presented 5-1/2 hours of seminars, and another hour or so answering questions after the seminars were over. Saturday I spent from 8:00 a.m until about 1:00 a.m as a judge for the K Bike Koncours. I spent a little time listening to the music and having a beer or so on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Not a lot of time for exploring greater metropolitan downtown Gillette. But the ride to the rally, approaching from the west was dynamite - 16, 14, 14A, Yellowstone, Lolo Pass, and more. (We went to Alaska before the rally).

    At the same time, I know folks who used the rally as a base for riding the good roads. Short trip to Devils Tower, middle sized trip to the Black Hills and Custer Park, long ride to and from Beartooth Pass. The three days were pretty well consumed riding.

    Different people. Two different rallies. And lots of possibilities in between.

    The biggest problem Gillette posed was for those riders who were 1,200 to 1,500 miles away and are used to 250 mile days in congested regions with a choice of a dreadful interstate or a village every 8 miles. Many couldn't even imagine the distances in the west, let alone experience them. Too bad! They missed a good rally.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  7. #22
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    In terms of attendance, I think you have to go back to circa 1993 to find a less-attended MOA rally than Gillette. Location, lack of BMW dealer-support, and no impressive proximity riding (Hundreds of miles away roundtrip, i.e. Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Rushmore, etc. doesn't really count) all contributed to a rally that we can learn from and improve.

    Given the low number of members that take the time to contribute on the forum, I agree with you that 'internet discussion' can hardly be made out to be the villain here.

    I like your idea of a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rally! Though I am retired and could accomodate any schedule, many members need to combine travel time with actual rally attendance, and your concept of a week's vacation allowing for both is interesting. Too late for '09 and probably '10, but I hope the Rally Selection Committee picks up on this suggestion and gives it some study.

    Nice thinking 'outside the box.'
    GREAT idea, so we will never see it. Guess I'll have to wait for a rally to come back this way or hit the power ball and retire early.
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
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  8. #23
    dpeace
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    My two cents worth on the rally: Yes the numbers were down from last year and yes there were fewer venders and fewer dining choices but the bottom line for me was that the riding was incredible!! It was not that far from the great rides in South Dakota or Devil's Tower. The ride to Sheridan to the Bighorn Mountains and then through Tensleep Canyon was the best ride of my motorcycling career! I was a happy man with all the riding choices available.

    I rode 2000 miles each way to and from the rally and added another 1000 miles while there and still had time to watch Skert pick up a downed 1200RT, catch an excellent presentation by Helen Twowheels on riding alone and to visit with friends. I spent $500 on gas and $160 on a tent at Ted Mayberry's Sherpa tent village. Except for the storm Thursday night (or was it Friday) the weather was a lot like last year, not a big deal.

    I hope the rally committee will continue to look for locations that provide opportunities for us to visit all areas of the country. Breaking attendance records should not be our goal.

    Dan Peace

  9. #24
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rihn-Manke View Post
    Fredericksburg, Texas. Everyone obsessed about how hot it was going to be, the bad riding . . . . blah blah. Small attendance that year - less than 5,000 as I recall. (was that 1996?)

    The Hill country of Texas was delightful, the weather ideal, and for the 5,000 of us who went, it was wonderful!

    and with those odds, I STILL didn't win a bike. sigh.
    Pity you didn't win a bike. As hard as you worked on last year's rally, you deserve one.

    I agree that rallies are not about setting new attendance records. It's about offering as much as possible to those who do choose to attend, and of course, 'knowing' what they want is not always a given.

    West Bend was an outstanding rally in my opinion.

    Gillette suffered from location. Like we didn't see that coming.

  10. #25
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Gillette suffered from location. Like we didn't see that coming.
    And Greenwald, we still don't, you speak in inaccurate generalizations.. Many, many people went to Gillette without the negitive blinders you wear, and had a great time because of the location. You personally had a bad time.

    The location was different, but at risk of repeating myself from a previous post in this thread, show me a ride out of Westbend, that even stands close to the beauty, the grand of Wyoming. I don't buy that your motorcycle and your butt couldnt handle a 60 mile ride or a 100 mile ride; many of us commute further than that each day!

    I and many others felt this rally, Wyoming, and the physical location of the facility in the Gillette worked out just great. Hopefully Tennessee meets your stringent qualifications; I don't think I could take another year of persistant bitching about the location.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSCookeMnster View Post
    As was noted, Vermont is central to large population centers and has great riding and uncrowded roads.

    I believe Gillette was down simply because of location. Its a longggg way from anywhere. There are many who will ride to where ever the rally is located, but then there are many club members who don't have the time to ride that far. I agree that moving the rally around is great, but I also think having it closer to centers/pockets of the club members would generate more interest and attendance to the rally. And I really don't think the discussion of the benefits/faults of the Gillette location on this forum had much if any impact on attendance.

    I also believe if the rally were held Tues-Thurs, that attendance would increase. With that schedule, it mean that members have a full 3 days to travel both before and after the rally and still stay the full 3 days of the rally. So a week of vacation time allows for a great week of riding and Beemers.

    Brian
    I second you on the Tues-Thurs rally. With only one week vacation in the summer months, it sure would be nice to have the extra days to go to and from the rally. I had to borrow on next year's vacation to make the Gillette rally.

  12. #27
    OldAndBusted
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSCookeMnster View Post
    I'd like to attend next year's rally in Gray, Tn., but it will be the same situation, leaving Sat. So while I'll have 5 days to get there and can enjoy the trip, getting home means leaving the rally early, so I'm on the fence as to whether I'll attend.
    but think of all the riding on the way! there won't be 500 yards of flat land from here to there and back. i'm excited already.

    i didn't go to gilette because it was so far and because i would have had to go more or less the same direction as i went to west bend, and i really didn't enjoy that ride all that much. too flat. the riding in wyoming itself meant little to me. when i'm at the rally, i stay AT the rally to enjoy all the bikes and things, not to go riding around the area so much.

  13. #28
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redclfco View Post
    And Greenwald, we still don't, you speak in inaccurate generalizations.. Many, many people went to Gillette without the negitive blinders you wear, and had a great time because of the location. You personally had a bad time.

    The location was different, but at risk of repeating myself from a previous post in this thread, show me a ride out of Westbend, that even stands close to the beauty, the grand of Wyoming. I don't buy that your motorcycle and your butt couldnt handle a 60 mile ride or a 100 mile ride; many of us commute further than that each day!

    I and many others felt this rally, Wyoming, and the physical location of the facility in the Gillette worked out just great. Hopefully Tennessee meets your stringent qualifications; I don't think I could take another year of persistant bitching about the location.


    The single biggest factor in rally attendance appears to be proximity to population. How many people live within 500 miles of the Vermont rally? I'd bet more than 50 million. There may not be much more than 2% of that within 500 miles of Gillette. Considering the distances, the attendance was pretty damn good.

    More than any rally I've had the pleasure of attending (admittedly, not that many), this was a riding rally. People were telling stories of the amazing places they'd ridden and were going to ride because of where the rally was. Some did a little of it in the few days of the rally, most did it on the way to and from. I know I enjoyed the location.

  14. #29
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Vermont is inside of 500 miles from NYC, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Montreal and a whole lot of people.

    We also put some extra effort into attracting first timers from these areas.

    Between the concentration of riders within 500 or 1000 miles and our efforts to attract rally virgins we shattered the record.

    I think Gillette was down due to the economy and to some degree our very own forum.
    I don't think our forum does as much as we'd like to believe.

  15. #30
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by redclfco View Post
    And Greenwald, we still don't, you speak in inaccurate generalizations.. Many, many people went to Gillette without the negitive blinders you wear, and had a great time because of the location. You personally had a bad time.

    The location was different, but at risk of repeating myself from a previous post in this thread, show me a ride out of Westbend, that even stands close to the beauty, the grand of Wyoming. I don't buy that your motorcycle and your butt couldnt handle a 60 mile ride or a 100 mile ride; many of us commute further than that each day!

    I and many others felt this rally, Wyoming, and the physical location of the facility in the Gillette worked out just great. Hopefully Tennessee meets your stringent qualifications; I don't think I could take another year of persistant bitching about the location.
    Given the attendance, weather, revenue and post-rally commentary, West Bend hardly needs defending. Sue and her crew (along with Mother Nature) did a fantastic job.

    All of the WY locations you flaunt are not within 50 (and sometimes, not within hundreds) of miles of rally central. As for West Bend, you had access to the Kettle Moraine twisties and Rustic Roads well before you ventured 50 miles from the Washington Co. Fairgrounds. Thus ends the geography lesson for today.

    I wear neither blinders nor rose-colored glasses. I see with a critical eye, enjoy life and feel that if improvement is needed, to speak out, as do you.

    Relax - I have no motivation to critique the TN location for '09, anymore than many of the 'faithful' declared Gillette a success the moment it was announced a year ago. I didn't think Gillette was a wise choice. But in fairness, I went to see for myself.

    I have already ridden the Smokies many times and look forward to this location for the 37th BMW MOA Rally.

    Location, Location, Location.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 07-26-2008 at 01:57 PM.

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