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Old 03-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Florida State Rally (FSR) No More

The Florida State Rally that was held in Sarasota Florida each February is no more. (The information is contained in a link on the Top of Georgia website. See Top of Georgia Airstream Park » Notes From The 2013 Florida State Rally)This rally will be replaced by R&B Events with Alumaflamingo. See Alumaflamingo
The comment in the report that struck me is "We are no longer the youngsters we once were. The sad fact is we are a diminishing resource without any replacements on the horizon."

I'm concerned that if the WBCCI doesn't attract the next generation, its fate will be the same. Our past IP's may want quality over quantity but the end of the WBCCI may be the result.

How much longer can Sugar Creek hold on?

Change will come whether it's with the WBCCI or without. We see it happening before our eyes with WBCCI events diminishing while R&B events are increasing.

I'm just posting an observation. Nothing stays the same; either you are growing and thriving or you are dying.

I'm sorry to see the FSR go as it will not be available when I'm retired.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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My opinion is that you are witnessing a transistion, not an end. It has become more viable to hand off the rally to a proffessional organizer than attempt to find willing volunteers to organize the event.

I for you would love to see International handled this way. I beleive the biggest problem the WBCCI faces is that the leadership in devoted to running a single event (international) instead of the business of the club.

If an equal effort was made by the WBCCI President to get members and keep units excited as getting people to the big show, we would be further ahead.

I won't even mention that we probably would also save a ton of money by handing it to a third party!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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I have sold my as, but even if I had not, I may have dropped out of the club. My reason was that I was nt able to contribute in any way such as volunteering or even going to rally's. too bad about fsr, it was a great accomplishment by those who could volunteer their efforts. What a fantastic job they did. My opinion as to a contributing factor is the growing number of people who just want to go and look around. No commitments, no membership, they want to enjoy the rally without any responsibility on their parts. If you really enjoy your as, if you appreciate the history, if you enjoy the fellowship then a membership is important. Remember the WBCCI is the only as club with the history and traditions of what Airstream are all about. The powers that be are dwindling, so it is so important for a new generation of owners step up to the plate. Sorry for the rant. Jim
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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I've been a WBCCI member for less than two years. I'm not quite 55 years old, and I still work for a living in between camping trips. My perspective may be different from the normal run of WBCCI members.

I was surprised to hear about the demise of the FSR when I was at one of my Unit meetings this last Saturday. How can a rally that has over 300 attendees be considered a failure? Never mind that it used to have over 1000 in past years, 300-some is still a respectable number, more Airstreams than I've ever seen in one place before. It ain't about the numbers; it's whether the attendees had fun and got their money's worth.

Maybe it was like that old quote from Yogi Berra (I think): "Nobody goes there anymore because it's always so crowded."

Personally, I don't think I'd be comfortable at a rally that big. When it gets too big to meet everyone, and remember at least a few of their names, the whole thing becomes too impersonal for me. That means my chances of ever wanting to go to Alumaflamingo are slim, too. I'll take smaller rallies anytime. Forty trailers at the Mardi Gras Rally is just about the biggest I'm comfortable with. My unit's Angola Rodeo rally next month will be smaller still, but a good time will be had by all.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #5
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I think the bigger issue was they had failed to file taxes for 3-4 years, and no one wanted to deal with trying to clean the tax mess up.

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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I think the bigger issue was they had failed to file taxes for 3-4 years, and no one wanted to deal with trying to clean the tax mess up.
Good luck to them, then. The IRS has a long memory, so not holding the rally anymore won't make the tax problems from previous rallies go away.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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I How can a rally that has over 300 attendees be considered a failure?
The shortage was not of attendees, but rather volunteers to run the show. The president of the Board of Governors said that it took something like 250 volunteers to run the rally and their average age was in the late 70s. Like they say in the Army, everybody wants to wear the beret, but nobody wants to carry the ruck.

The FSR is a fun rally, but there are simply no longer the people willing to put it on the way WBCCI puts it on. As near as I can figure, the Alumaflamingo rally will cost half again as much and will be run by paid organizers and labor.

How can they do it for not that much more money? I can see a couple of reasons:

1. R&B Events won't rent the venue for twice the duration of the rally to accommodate early workers. WBCCI's volunteer labor is free, but the rent is higher than it needs to be to put on the event.

2. I suspect R&B will get by on a whole lot fewer workers than the FSR has traditionally employed. For example, at breakfast they probably had 20 people working every morning, one dispensing each item on the menu. Do they really need that many people? My guess is that 4 or 5 people could do it.

The FSR will evolve into Alumaflamingo, and my guess is that there will be more continuity than most people think. Some things will change, but some will stay the same. That's life.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #8
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The shortage was not of attendees, but rather volunteers to run the show. The president of the Board of Governors said that it took something like 250 volunteers to run the rally and their average age was in the late 70s. Like they say in the Army, everybody wants to wear the beret, but nobody wants to carry the ruck.

The FSR is a fun rally, but there are simply no longer the people willing to put it on the way WBCCI puts it on. As near as I can figure, the Alumaflamingo rally will cost half again as much and will be run by paid organizers and labor.

How can they do it for not that much more money? I can see a couple of reasons:

1. R&B Events won't rent the venue for twice the duration of the rally to accommodate early workers. WBCCI's volunteer labor is free, but the rent is higher than it needs to be to put on the event.

2. I suspect R&B will get by on a whole lot fewer workers than the FSR has traditionally employed. For example, at breakfast they probably had 20 people working every morning, one dispensing each item on the menu. Do they really need that many people? My guess is that 4 or 5 people could do it.

The FSR will evolve into Alumaflamingo, and my guess is that there will be more continuity than most people think. Some things will change, but some will stay the same. That's life.
.
A lot of the same issues I've heard discussed concerning the International, come to think of it. Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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The item from the event website that caught my eye...

"Q: I don’t have an Airstream. Can I still come?
A: Yes! This event is open to any brand of RV. If you aspire to own an Airstream, come on over and check out the people and the product! You’ll learn everything you want to know about them."
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #10
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Well our AS was not road worthy for the event. We did stop by on that chilly, windy, and rainy day. We had a great time meeting folks. One thing that struck me as odd, was the fact there did not seem to be any family stuff. Cool stuff for me, but try to get a 2 and 4 year old to sit through a Presentation on axles or RV maintenance... Other rallies might be different, and I'm willing to keep looking.

I see a lot of conversation about bringing in fresh younger blood. I know there is a lot of families buying, And fixing up old airstreams. I think keeping families in mind during rallies is really important. Selecting sites with playgrounds or activities for kids would be a big bonus. Maybe even a family section? Does the W BCCI have any data on how many families are in the club?
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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I would think the IRS problems are solved by now. Inviting too many non members to a rally dilutes the experience for the members. May be politically correct but not right. My opinion only. Jim
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:11 AM   #12
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I personally am looking forward to a great future of the Rally in Sarasota. The FSR had a great run as it were but things are changing. We just do not have the where with all now to do what was done in the past. I think with R&B running things there will be more time for the participants to enjoy and explore this new venue without having the responsibility of working the Rally. As for the comments about the issue with the IRS, I think the issue was not that anything was done wrong, its that nothing was done about the filing for a few years by the Treasurer. That cost the FSR their tax exempt status. I look forward to having a good time next February. I am booked as well as many of the past participants. Come on down! I hear the do a great job elsewhere across the country with there other Airstream Rallies.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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The intent of opening up the Florida State Rally by R&B to SOBs is to grow the attendance and turn a profit. This will have the same effect on the overall Airstream experience as one can see at Travelers Rest. Since TR opened the door to SOBs the occupancy rate is up, the financial security of the park is secure, but the volunteer coefficient is dropping rapidly. As this trend continue TR will become just another Resort and the rates will rise to reflect the increasing operating costs.

Unfortunately this is a reflection of our overall entitlement society.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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You are positively correct. Jim
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