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What's too expensive in Dollars per mile

Posted by aj_johnson 
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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 01:06PM
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aj_johnson
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Head north... instant 30% discount.
Cochrane is still 500 us for 55miles. That's 10$ a mile event.
Idaho is estimated 650 for an estimated 160 miles this year.
Idaho got 48 entries last year, Cochrane has 17? Iirc

Cochrane is sitting at 25 entries and has been mid 20s for the last several years.
But, I wasn't suggesting Cochrane, it is too far for sure.
Rocky or Radium would considerably closer.
Big White is just plain worth it.
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Aaron Luptak
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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 01:32PM
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aj_johnson
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Head north... instant 30% discount.
Cochrane is still 500 us for 55miles. That's 10$ a mile event.
Idaho is estimated 650 for an estimated 160 miles this year.
Idaho got 48 entries last year, Cochrane has 17? Iirc

Interesting comparison there - both events are (puts on asbestos underpants) sprint-like in that they run a limited number of physical stages, multiple times in both directions.

Cochrane's stages are shorter (4-9 miles), but they run it all in 1 day (~10 hours on-schedule).
Idaho's stages are a bit longer (6-13), spread over 1.5 days (hard to figure a time to compare, since Saturday has always had a FCO at the host hotel listed, but that doesn't seem to be mandatory if you're camping, or running an UTV, or ...)

Maybe it's because I've been volunteering @ ID for the past bunch of years, helping them run the same stages over and over again, getting done relatively early in the day, spending lots of hours sitting around, BSing, driving the stages, etc before bed, but if you're going to run an event back-and-forth on the same roads, I'd rather get it over and done with in one longer day than stretch it over two so that it doesn't look quite so much like a rallysprint.

Yes, I know they're adding a new stage "Meadow Creek" at Idaho this year.
Yes, I'm planning on volunteering there until I get the car put together, and it will likely be the first event I run in the car.
But - I really loved the 'adventure' aspect the event had in 2010, running in Elmore and Boise counties etc.

I suppose 2010 was just as (if not more) expensive entry than any of the following years, was definitely more expensive to put on (unfortunately, not just the fairgrounds stupidspecial to blame there), had similar turnout, and had more competitors bitching about long transits etc. I can see, from that perspective, why an organizer wouldn't continue running things that way.

If the current crop of competitors are happy running the same 3 stages over and over, why make it harder on yourself?



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 01:53PM
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Aaron Luptak
[

If the current crop of competitors are happy running the same 3 stages over and over, why make it harder on yourself?

Maybe they have never experienced a nice hard longer event--say 180 SS miles and 250 transit in one day..

You know, an event that you are tested a good bit more..



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 02:16PM
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aj_johnson
I struggle with this point exactly because it's not true for other disciplinse. The 7 hillclimbs run in the pnw are all run at right around the 100$ entry fee. No cages required, similar timing equipment and the last two I've run have had a bbq and free beer for everyone sat night... Something doesn't figure.

How many entries?
Probably triple a regional rally event? I know our hill climbs are.
What do they charge to spectate? Do they give any of that money back to competitors?
Our local hill climb series has in the 60 or so cars per event (triple the largest local entry count for Rally Colorado), $175 entries, $10 dollar gate fee for spectators and payouts last year for winning the 2WD and AWD classes were both right around $800-900 for the season.
We could get three times as many miles (average around 15 miles over two days currently) if we had 1/3 the entries but we'd lose at least 1/3 of gate fees likely and entry fees would triple. Shit, lets eliminate the gate fees and we now have 20 entries and a $425 entry fee for 15 stage miles and sounds like we are describing stage rally.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 02:18PM
No, it's more that Aaron's running his mouth off without actually knowing anything about why the event's organized the way it it.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 02:44PM
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NoCoast
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aj_johnson
I struggle with this point exactly because it's not true for other disciplinse. The 7 hillclimbs run in the pnw are all run at right around the 100$ entry fee. No cages required, similar timing equipment and the last two I've run have had a bbq and free beer for everyone sat night... Something doesn't figure.

How many entries?
Probably triple a regional rally event? I know our hill climbs are.
What do they charge to spectate? Do they give any of that money back to competitors?
Our local hill climb series has in the 60 or so cars per event (triple the largest local entry count for Rally Colorado), $175 entries, $10 dollar gate fee for spectators and payouts last year for winning the 2WD and AWD classes were both right around $800-900 for the season.
We could get three times as many miles (average around 15 miles over two days currently) if we had 1/3 the entries but we'd lose at least 1/3 of gate fees likely and entry fees would triple. Shit, lets eliminate the gate fees and we now have 20 entries and a $425 entry fee for 15 stage miles and sounds like we are describing stage rally.

No gate fees, no award money. Mid 30's for entry #'s usually 4 runs a day. 2-3 mile course.


Some more info.

RMR ~700$ for 110 miles (and a 75$ out of country for US competitors) It's on the list but it's no drastic savings.

Radium is still 500 for 70 miles which seems a little light for a 2 day, however at 500$ entry it's a lot easier to explain to the wife! also on my list.

Oregon Trail is 850 for 114 miles, however if you drive a subaru it becomes downright cheap.

Olympus is 750 for 130 miles

Mt hood 250 for 34? miles

Wild west 350 for 36? miles

Using early entry$

It also seems that any nasa is a minimum of 100$ cheaper than a comparable RA event.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2016 02:46PM by aj_johnson.
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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 03:04PM
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aj_johnson
I struggle with this point exactly because it's not true for other disciplinse. The 7 hillclimbs run in the pnw are all run at right around the 100$ entry fee. No cages required, similar timing equipment and the last two I've run have had a bbq and free beer for everyone sat night... Something doesn't figure.

How many roads? 1. Pfff, that's minimal people required.
How long of a road? From the times I saw, about two minutes per run. Six runs. so you get 12 minutes of seat time for $100.

The Ohio Winter RallySprint was a couple hundred dollars and had about 45 minutes of seat time. I think "it figures"; to get 45 minutes via the hillclimbs it would be $375... wait that's like how much a short rally costs! winking smiley

Anders



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 04:10PM
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hoche
No, it's more that Aaron's running his mouth off without actually knowing anything about why the event's organized the way it it.

Potentially guilty as charged - if you're willing to share, I'd love to know where I've gone wrong in my thoughts.

I've been told:
* Jens lost a ton of $$$ on the 2010 event.
* Boise county roads are 'cheap' to use for the event.
* Elmore county roads are 'expensive' to use for the event.

Observations:
* 2012-2015, Idaho has had 35-50 entries.
* 2011-2015, Idaho has mostly run on the same three stage roads.
* 2011-2015, Idaho has run fairly smoothly. I'm only remembering one organizational/volunteer/whatever stage cancellation in that time, first pass on Harris Creek 2012 or '13, inability to establish radio comms.

Conclusions:
* There's a good-size group of current competitors who are happy with the cost/tow/mileage/uniqueness balance that Idaho offers.
* The current format (and current entry levels) seems to be sustainable for the organizers.
* The organizers and volunteer-base know how to make the current-look Idaho 'work'.

Doing my best to put myself into an organizers' shoes, I can't fault anyone for sticking with a format/roads/etc that seems to work, instead of reaching for something unknown with double additional financial risk (more expensive to put on AND potential for significantly reduced entry).

Also: I don't mean to suggest that the organizers DON'T want to expand the event - I'm quite confident that Dick at least wants the event to grow outside of its current footprint.
Even as a potential competitor who'd like to see 'bigger' events, faced with the choice between business-as-usual (but good confidence that it will return the next year) and a pie-in-the-sky itinerary (with potentially broke organizers, cancelled stages, and the end of the event) I have a hard time NOT choosing the status quo.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 05:01PM
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Anders Green
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aj_johnson
I struggle with this point exactly because it's not true for other disciplinse. The 7 hillclimbs run in the pnw are all run at right around the 100$ entry fee. No cages required, similar timing equipment and the last two I've run have had a bbq and free beer for everyone sat night... Something doesn't figure.

How many roads? 1. Pfff, that's minimal people required.
How long of a road? From the times I saw, about two minutes per run. Six runs. so you get 12 minutes of seat time for $100.

The Ohio Winter RallySprint was a couple hundred dollars and had about 45 minutes of seat time. I think "it figures"; to get 45 minutes via the hillclimbs it would be $375... wait that's like how much a short rally costs! winking smiley

Anders
Fair enough assessment however isn't a rally sprint supposed to be 1 road? And compared to dirtfish it's also running 2mile stages at 15min of seat time
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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 05:04PM
I do think 250$ for a sprint is the sweet spot budget wise
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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 05:53PM
*raises hand* Rallycross would be more awesome if it were only $10/mile. If I run a half mile course twelve times then that is six miles, and I'll easily spend $200 per weekend, not counting whatever shit I manage to break.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 05:57PM
Background: I was CRO in 2008 and 2009, and either CRO or scoring in 2010 (I can't remember). I missed it in 2011, but competed in 2012 and 2013. I crewed for someone, did scoring, and sort of coached the Steward (he was new at it) in 2014. Last year I was purely scoring.

Yes, Jens lost a lot of money in 2009 (you're off by a year), mostly because of things having little to do with the actual rally racing. Essentially what happened was that the 2008 event was fairly successful and then in 2009 it was chosen to be on the MaxAttack calendar so it got a lot of entries. Jens had been wanting to build it into a WRC event, and he saw this as the chance to treat it as a proto-WRC one. The problem was, he didn't have the experience or manpower to pull it off. As a result, I think he paid too little attention to the organizational details and too much on the promotional side of things, and there was quite a bit of scrambling by the few experienced people he had just to pull it off. The net result was that Jens lost a lot of money and a lot of respect and gave up. Dick took it over after that.

Dick is an experienced hand at organizing (mostly motorcycle events), but was taking on a new event and wanted to build it into something sustainable. Among other things, he knew he needed to grow a volunteer base. And, yeah, the roads around Pine and Rocky Bar were really expensive. So he stripped it back to just the basics, using just the roads near Placerville, and focused on building the IdahoRallyGroup, and then proceeded to slowly rebuild.

As for the number of roads used, you may think that they haven't been adding roads, but they've actually been trying a bunch of different things. They used to run Lower Grimes, but dropped that. Then they got permission to use Old Centerville, but instead of running that as a separate stage, they were able to just tack it on to Upper Grimes, creating what is in my opinion the all-time greatest stage in North America. I mean, Harris Creek is fun, but the Grimes/Centerville combo has *everything*.

Last year, Dick was trying to get an extension to Old Centerville, one that would have added about another three miles of tight-n-twisty, but that didn't pan out.

They've run Centerville (from Idaho City to roughly the Lower Grimes junction), but it's a major thoroughfare so it has to be clear during the day, meaning they can't use it except early in the morning. And if they run that, they can't run Harris Creek, because that's the only other way out. So in previous years, they've run Harris on Saturday morning and Centerville on Sunday morning, but this last year they figured that everyone liked Harris better so they'd just run it both days.

The stage cancellation was Harris Creek in 2012, and it was because of a recalcitrant bear hunter.

I remember a major delay because they couldn't get radio comms working and they ended up operating the event on the scoring repeater. I don't remember what year that was (it may have been 2011, the year I missed, and I just heard about it), but they've since fixed that as comms have been pretty great the past couple of years.

In fact, as the volunteers get more and more experience, I think you'll see the possibilities for expansion increase. There's a caveat though: I don't think Dick has any interest in making it anything more than a fun regional event, with good bang-for-the-buck value. In other words, he'll expand it only if he can get good fun roads, and they can be managed well by the resources the event has available. He's not going to chase mileage just for the sake of adding length. As for rerunning the same roads over and over, they're challenging roads, relatively long, and hold up well. So yeah, no one minds rerunning them, especially since the Sunday reruns are in the opposite direction.

As a general rule of thumb, as an organizer I think two runs of the same stage in the same direction is about the limit. Three is sort of pushing it; understandable if that's just how your event works out but things start to get boring. It's really only when you get to four times that it gets irritating.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 06:31PM
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hoche
...

One of these times when I inevitably end up talking to you up there, I really ought to properly introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Aaron, we've bantered a bit on RA."

(Plain old road marshal in 2009, psuedo-advance-wtf-are-we-doing with Alex in 2010, north end S/F of Alder Creek in 2011, the-second-00-who-actually-had-a-ham-license in 2012, control captain on Alder Creek in 2013, missed 2014, drove EMT sweep last year. I know I've chatted with you at a few of those.)

Other than the off-by-a-year argument (2009 was MaxAttack! run exclusively around Pine/Rocky Bar, same year Eddie F. got a corner named after him, 2010 was the proto-WRC attempt, I just looked at the route book to be sure grinning smiley ), I agree 100% with what you said and appreciate the extra bits of insight from your side of the fence.
smileys with beer



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 07:21PM
Oh, I didn't know that was you running around with Alex. I think that was the first year I met him; I remember him being sort of frazzled. If I remember correctly he'd leapt into the volunteer-coordinator spot and was struggling with trying to get everyone dispatched and in the right spots without any real infrastructure support. I'm sure he'll jump in on this shortly.



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Re: What's too expensive in Dollars per mile
February 23, 2016 07:39PM
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hoche
Background: I was CRO in 2008....

Interesting. I didn't realize we had crossed paths back then. I co-drove Norm Leblanc at Idaho 2008. Great Roads but we had more than a bit of a rough time at the event - for many reasons.

The highlight was starting a stage with a 5 minute gap to the car ahead of us and catching him in about 3/4 of the stage. (Steward and scorer had calculated we'd need a 4 minute gap and gave us 5 as a cushion, IIRC) It doesn't show in the results because we had DNF'd before being let back in to run.
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