First let me say "Hello and Welcome." It would be great to make your acquaintance and you could be a huge source of local knowledge to those of us coming to your hometown!
It's a shame that the prices are what they are. I'm just a lowly Vintage Airstream Intra-Club VP. So I have no say in what the WBCCI charges. I can understand one's sticker shock.
I will relate my thoughts on the Rally and why it has value to me. I guess I would start by saying it's great to see old friends! We have made quite a few enduring friendships in the WBCCI and look forward to renewing these every year! I know that would not apply to you on your first time out, and quite frankly, if you're not camping, I could see a diminished value to the whole experience. It is a camping club, after all. I think that the WBCCI offers the non-camping option to help those members that are now unable to make a cross-country journey with their rigs, but still wish to remain involved and stay engaged with old friends.
There are many events at the rally. Some may or may not appeal to you. I enjoy the seminars given by members on various topics. (Solar power, 12 volt
management, GPS, towing safety, etc.) Of course, I have a vintage interest and enjoy those seminars in particular. We show movies from the old caravans and host various seminars and demonstrations (polishing, riveting, etc). There are programs every night. Usually an interesting assortment of vendors on site that provide RV related goods and services. Airstream corporate execs provide updates on the products (and some really great door prizes!). There is some sort of entertainment provided every night. Then you have lots of other activities that again, may or may not appeal to you. But pet shows, scrap-booking, photography, square dancing, etc. Cap it off with a flea market where you can pick up the occasional good bargain.
If the rally were right here in my hometown, though, I think it would spoil some of the experience for me. I enjoy a destination, the journey, the accomplishment of getting there, seeing new sights, and then coming home.
It's a shame they don't offer a day pass so you could stick your toe in the water and just sample what it's like!
But in a way they do, because on Sunday June 27th from 1p to 4p during the Open House. It's free for anyone in the community to come and browse around. We'll be having a special event in the Vintage section where you can tour the trailers! Just drop by. We'll be parked in the area off Boxelder.