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#42744 - 10/12/05 05:24 AM Re: Scouting Report [Re: PhillyFlash]  
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Quote:

The Holiday Inn is 3 miles away from the KOA. This isn't too bad, since once you are out of the KOA area, it is all in-town streets, so there is no problem with darkness or deer. However, anyone having a couple of beers at the KOA would have to be very careful crossing those last 2 miles, as I'm sure police enforcement will be present and ready.



I don't see the campers mixing with the hotelers much in this scenario, much like in Staunton. Not as bad as ES, but certainly not as good Un-I (Gunnison KOA) or Cody. I disagree with the move towards acommodating the "trailering set" with focussing on the hotel as HQ, but I'll speak my piece and then sit down as that seems to be the way it's heading.

It is very hard to find "the perfect" hotel that fosters the socializing aspect--which for me is the key draw to ride halfway across the country to meet cyber-friends in the flesh. The history of this site was focussed on the RT and is still largely a SportTOURING site. I'm not sure we should shift our focus so much towards the gentrified hotelers only to lose the "Gemütlichkeit" of hanging out at a picnic table, eating pizza, drinking a beer, walking over to all the bikes, ogling farkles, moving easily from group to group, etc..

At Staunton we were spread out all over the campground and there lacked a convenient, designated "central gathering place", not to mention the Hotel crowd was too far away to conveniently come back to the campground after a long day riding and I agree with Spike that that caused two different groups to form that didn't mingle very much. Though it seems that the hotel crowd is what BMW-AG seems to be focussing on lately as well--is our embracing this shift really that worth it for the majority of the members who might attend? The difference between camping for three-four nights for $7.00 a night vs. $70.00 a night for a hotel, when folks probably had to hit hotels on their way there, could make it less attractive to the other "dirty hippies" like me! Also: I'm perfectly aware that I'm in the minority in this and I'm not doing the legwork for this one. [/soapbox]


Quote:

Gunnison is not a big town (2 miles east to west), so all of this may not be that big of a deal. The Holiday Inn will be new and very nice, but could be pricier. It is very big. My personal preference would be to keep everything on the west side of town, keeping everyone closer together. Just easier logistics.




There is no convenient camping in Torrey (and it's not all that nice from what I've heard), Don't know about Hill country and El Paseo as they move about and camping has never really been the focus of the organizers.

At the last Hill Country Ride we stayed scattered all over in a huge hotel and it really killed the socializing. Nobody knew what (if anything) was planned, if anyone was meeting anywhere, etc., and everyone just went back to their room and only met in small groups for dinner and/or rides with folks they already knew or came with. The place was so large that you could go from your room to dinner to your bike and back to your room without ever running into anyone else!

If we do end up in a large hotel, I would strongly suggest some convenient facility onsite for a really good gathering place with some amenities there: large tent/shelter, ample convenient parking, tables (proximity to food/drink and grass would be a plus). It would also help to CLEARLY disseminate where this place is and what suggested schedule exists for group dining, ride-planning, announcements, seminars, tire-kicking-time, etc.


Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black
#42745 - 10/12/05 01:28 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: KMG_365]  
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I think I know what you mean, Jamie, but to someone who doesn't know you, the thoughts come across as quite holier than thou. I only mention that because I don't think that's the way you mean it, and or at least I hope that's true. The "trailer" and "hotel" and "gentrified" stuff really hits me as condescending, and I don't imagine you mean it that way.


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David C. Baker
#42746 - 10/12/05 06:15 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: David]  
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I think it is just a way of life that the closer the motels are to the campground, the more we will socialize as a total group. The farther away, the less. For many people camping is a choice, not just because it is cheaper. Some people just like to do it, whether they are riding or trailering. I don't care how people get there, or where they choose to stay; I just want to be sure that everyone has as good an unrally experience as possible, and that we stay with the original intent of the unrally - to meet, ride, and socialize with a large group of people who you know from BMWST.COM. Spreading people out too far will degrade the opportunities for all of those, and probably encourage people to stay with the small number of people they already know and ride with. It then becomes more lik other rallies. But maybe the "spirit" of the UnRally is coming to an end.


Howard
'07 Titan Silver RT

"Got a motorcycle and a bottle of gin,
Ima go downtown see what I can get in."
#42747 - 10/12/05 06:22 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: PhillyFlash]  
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David Offline
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Quote:

For many people camping is a choice, not just because it is cheaper. Some people just like to do it, whether they are riding or trailering.




I agree. And I saw more people trailer to the campground than I saw trailer to the hotels.

I just don't think we're well served by somehow implying that trailering is inferior, or only rich people stay at hotels.


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David C. Baker
#42748 - 10/12/05 08:13 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: David]  
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Quote:

I just don't think we're well served by somehow implying that trailering is inferior, or only rich people stay at hotels.



Hey, I edited out the "rich" comment!

David, you've stated on more than one occasion that "BMWST.com folks don't camp" and "we shouldn't bother trying to accomodate those (few) campers"--which could easily also be taken as "holier than thou" and it was that that I was reacting to. I think that is as incorrect as my implication that trailering is inferior (actually did I imply it? I meant to be more clear! )
Basically, I feel the difficulty of finding a hotel that supports the purpose of the UnRally as Philly mentioned, are contrasted by the ease and generous space afforded at a campground. Even if more than half of the riders don't camp, if they can stay very nearby, it's still a better solution IMHO. Some hotels have it, (Chuckwagon in Torrey, Exchange Club in Beatty), but for a group that gets well over 100, or as large as 160+, that makes a hotel based gathering start to seem a lot more like a "business convention" and a lot less like a Motorcycle rally . . . "Un" or not.


Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black
#42749 - 10/12/05 08:25 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: KMG_365]  
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Quote:

David, you've stated on more than one occasion that "BMWST.com folks don't camp" and "we shouldn't bother trying to accomodate those (few) campers"--which could easily also be taken as "holier than thou" and it was that that I was reacting to.






They don't, largely. How's that a condemnation? Look at the MOA and RA Rally and you'll see what it looks like when a larger percentage do camp. When we've made it abundantly easy for folks to camp, it's still a small minority. It's just an observation, not a criticism.

Just so you know, too, the research we've done doesn't not point to $7 camping. It's quite a bit more than that, and often rivals the cost of an inexpensive hotel chain.

Quote:

I feel the difficulty of finding a hotel that supports the purpose of the UnRally as Philly mentioned, are contrasted by the ease and generous space afforded at a campground.




That makes sense to me, but I don't know why we'd need to disparage someone's choice to trailer or hotel. I don't get that at all. The argument should be framed in terms of what's conducive to people getting together, and where they sleep or how they get there is irrelevant.

Quote:

...but for a group that gets well over 100, or as large as 160+, that makes a hotel based gathering start to seem a lot more like a "business convention" and a lot less like a Motorcycle rally.




By your standard, I guess El Paseo is a business convention. We typically have 100+.

Sorry, but I don't get it.


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David C. Baker
#42750 - 10/13/05 12:31 AM Re: Scouting Report [Re: David]  
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The "trailer" and "hotel" and "gentrified" stuff really hits me as condescending, and I don't imagine you mean it that way.

For what it's worth, we aren't interested in camping and it has nothing to do with trailering the bikes. We just like a nice hot shower and a nice cool air conditioned room after a long ride and we don't want to have to hike across a KOA to get it. Camping is great in the right circumstances (We took the Jeep/SeaDoos to Lake Millerton once and camped on top of a huge boulder over the lake. It was awesome.) but I'm not going to camp just for the sake of camping.

I agree with your comments about the need for a centralized meeting spot. I don't care if that's at the campground, or at the hotel. At Gunny, the KOA was a great meeting place. The only time we were at the hotel was at the very end of the night when it was time for bed. For everything else, we always defaulted back to the KOA.

I think the same thing would be true if there were ONE designated meeting spot and I don't think it matters if it is a hotel or a KOA.


Russell
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#42751 - 10/13/05 02:25 AM Re: Scouting Report [Re: russell_bynum]  
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I've been watching this topic develop from afar and I find it interesting, to say the least.

The bigger picture...

As the BMWST.com events continue to grow, so will this issue. There is no way that everyone will be happy with the decisions made about the housing details of the UnRally, let alone the other planned events throughout each year.

With that being said however, I've never once heard a housing complaint about any of the El Paseo events, other than the fact that they might be located in a dry county. The room rates have ranged from $59 to almost $90, and the socializing in the parking lot, without tents and without catering, and sometimes with rain, has always been outstanding. I think those who trailered even had fun, once they were accepted by the group. ( )

So far, it seems that the only "perfect" UnRally location, the one that pleased both the campers and the hotelers, was Cody. From a riding perspective, it seemed to please everyone who attended. It might make sense for the "power brokers" here to consider making Cody the annual or bi-annual UnRally location. This way, one tough decision is already made every year, or every other year.

What I am about to say does not apply to me because I fully understand and expect the politics of organizing events:

If you are going to ask someone to spend an incredible amount of time and energy to organize the UnRally, I'd be careful about criticizing or challenging their every decision about how things are being done, based on how they were done for the first UnRally. I'm not suggesting that this is what is happening here because it isn't, but others could mis-construe your passion and enthusiasm for this event. Then, they could decide that "it" isn't worth the hassle. Then, ultimately, you wind up with the same crew doing the same events every year.

Considering that this is an UN event, it takes a lot of planning and work. Maybe the UN event needs to be like Torrey or El Paseo -- always in the same place, usually put together by the same people, and without as much fanfare as there has been for the UN, which was established the first year, i.e., tee-shirts, catering, etc. Maybe the "measuring stick" needs to be lowered to a realistic level, considering the UN nature of the event. If not, then let's blow this thing out and invite vendors, speakers, stage clinics, etc. I'm saying this with half-a-tongue-in-cheek, but...

I decided that the HQ this year would be at the hotel, only because I'm the chair and I will be at the hotel, but the truth is that I could care less about where the HQ will be.

I'm also still working out details about which hotel we will be using, and the accomodations that we will have to work with at the hotel, keeping in mind our needs for socializing, catering, drinking, security, etc.

I fully understand that there will be a number of campers who will be pissed to learn the the HQ might be at a hotel, and that maybe status-quo might be turned upside down a bit. I also believe that there will be a number of hotelers who will say "Thanks, it is refreshing for us to have a little loving for a change!"

Okay, I'm fired!


Perseverance is genius in disguise...

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#42752 - 10/13/05 12:35 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: russell_bynum]  
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Quote:

I think the same thing would be true if there were ONE designated meeting spot and I don't think it matters if it is a hotel or a KOA.




There was one designated meeting spot at Staunton, the campground, and largely, the hotelers did *not* hang out and interact except to start the morning rides and the ending dinner.

Tasker: right on buddy That is exactly what I did last year, made a decision. And I have to say, that once the decision was made, the conversation ended on it. I think once its "official" you will see the banter die down with respect to '06. Something you may not know though is that we are already talking somewhat about un '07, who will do it, etc, yadda yadda yadda. Conversations like these, while in full plain view of you, are many times concerning a many year timeline. Hope that makes some level of sense.

Last edited by Spike; 10/13/05 12:40 PM.
#42753 - 10/13/05 03:59 PM Re: Scouting Report [Re: Spike]  
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GunOne was a breakthrough. We didn't know shit. Making the KOA the HQ was pure luck. But if you examine it and why it worked, you'll find out a few things.

One, is stuff. Since it was HQ, there were always people hanging around watching your stuff if you were a camper. Motelers had their stuff locked in their rooms. This becomes an even bigger issue once night falls.

The second was proximity. About a mile to the farthest motel. Easy to do. Easy to find.

The third was access. You rode in and there in front of you was HQ, parking, the benches, etc.

Another was the newness of the event. My first and second Torrey I rode around to all of the motels to check out who was there. My, what a gathering! Now, if they want me they'll find me. Regardless I know they'll have a good time. Un may have an element of that as there are several people who've been to at least half of them now.

This is not an effort to push for the KOA. The decision is made and I support it. But I have expressed concern about the HQ's general socialization area. Is it big enough? Comfortable enough? Conducive to intermingling? And is it a DRAW? If not naturally so, then we must attract outsiders to it. With food. With daily announcements. By making it THE place where you log in your routes (so we know where to start looking if you don't show up for dinner). Heck, I'll kick in some door prizes for the person who has the most signatures on their T-shirt (that, or something like that, would drive some getting together and socializing).

Not to change this from an UnRally into a Rally, but some simple tweaking of the normal things that go on could be utilized to ensure that WHEREVER the HQ is, that it is well attended and that the socialization aspect of the Un is watered and fed (pun intended).


Cary, Gleno, Rodger, Paul,
Godspeed, my brothers.
We will never forget you.


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