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Just wondering if the days for recce and all of the non-essential media/practice stuff could be swapped i.e. non-essential media/pratice stuff etc. on Thursday; recce, registration and tech on Friday?

Having the recce on Thursday means teams wanting to do recce have to take an extra day off (Friday) and associated expenses (time off work, hotel, rental car etc.) just to sit around for the whole day on Friday just to do registration and tech.

I recall another event swapping the non-essential stuff to Thurs and doing recce, reg & tech on Friday to save competitors from having to take an extra day off along with the all the associated expenses. Is is possible for Rally Colorado to do this too? If necessary, recce could be started at 6 a.m. on Friday which, according to the current schedule, would mean recce would be done by 3 p.m. which leaves more than enough time on Friday evening to do registration, tech and novice licensing school. Moving recce to Friday would make it considerably less expensive for nearly everyone ...
 

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Just wondering if the days for recce and all of the non-essential media/practice stuff could be swapped i.e. non-essential media/pratice stuff etc. on Thursday; recce, registration and tech on Friday?

Having the recce on Thursday means teams wanting to do recce have to take an extra day off (Friday) and associated expenses (time off work, hotel, rental car etc.) just to sit around for the whole day on Friday just to do registration and tech.

I recall another event swapping the non-essential stuff to Thurs and doing recce, reg & tech on Friday to save competitors from having to take an extra day off along with the all the associated expenses. Is is possible for Rally Colorado to do this too? If necessary, recce could be started at 6 a.m. on Friday which, according to the current schedule, would mean recce would be done by 3 p.m. which leaves more than enough time on Friday evening to do registration, tech and novice licensing school. Moving recce to Friday would make it considerably less expensive for nearly everyone ...
this would help me as well
 

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You guy might get more response if you contact the organizers directly.

I know various committee member browse SS.com, but I also know that some of the browsing ocures in direct proportion to the time remaining before the rally (the closer to the event things get, the less time there is to browse).

I am not saying that contacting the organizers will change things, just that your message may not be heard if it is only posted here.

I do know that the decision to go to Thursday was not taken lightly, whether or not changes can be made, I do not know.
 

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I think part of the conflict was that Friday we have to do both registration and spend a couple of hours on the street downtown exposing ourselves. There's not enough to do that and recce.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Done. Email request sent directly to organizers.
No reply yet from Rally Colorado contact form email directly to the organizers. If you look at the 'What can organizers do to increase entries/help the little guy' post in the USA forum, a recurring theme is having a 'compact schedule' ...

I think part of the conflict was that Friday we have to do both registration and spend a couple of hours on the street downtown exposing ourselves. There's not enough to do that and recce.
I submit that if recce was started at 6 a.m. and therefore concluded by 3 p.m., that 7 hours (3 p.m. - 10 p.m.) is more than enough time to do registration, tech and parc expose. And if not, I imagine most competitors would be willing to drop parc expose ... most competitors enjoy parc expose, but the expense of taking an extra day off work, time away from significant others and families, coupled with the extra expense of spending an extra day out of region (hotel, rental car etc.) outweighs spending a whole extra day just to do registration, tech and talk to some local people about rallying and your rally car.
 

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And if not, I imagine most competitors would be willing to drop parc expose ... most competitors enjoy parc expose, but the expense of taking an extra day off work, time away from significant others and families, coupled with the extra expense of spending an extra day out of region (hotel, rental car etc.) outweighs spending a whole extra day just to do registration, tech and talk to some local people about rallying and your rally car.
Organizers put on parc exposes for the benefit and exposure of the local sponsors. I don't think you'll see them dropped any time soon.

Bruce
 

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No reply yet from Rally Colorado contact form email directly to the organizers. If you look at the 'What can organizers do to increase entries/help the little guy' post in the USA forum, a recurring theme is having a 'compact schedule' ...


I submit that if recce was started at 6 a.m. and therefore concluded by 3 p.m., that 7 hours (3 p.m. - 10 p.m.) is more than enough time to do registration, tech and parc expose. And if not, I imagine most competitors would be willing to drop parc expose ... most competitors enjoy parc expose, but the expense of taking an extra day off work, time away from significant others and families, coupled with the extra expense of spending an extra day out of region (hotel, rental car etc.) outweighs spending a whole extra day just to do registration, tech and talk to some local people about rallying and your rally car.

See, here is part of the problem that isn't addressed very often in these types of discussions.

Organizers can't just cater to the needs, wants, and desires of the competitors. Organizers have to address the needs, wants, and interests of their other supporters. The community groups that help provide volunteers, the local businesses that provide financial support or political support to keep events going, and so many other groups. You can't pass up something to make one group happier that is integral to a second group.

This is the fundamental conflict that organizers face in making schedules. Believe me when I say this, the Rally Colorado organizers are incredibly focused on making the event the most competitor friendly and enjoyable event they can. Jim and Mark are the driving force behind Rally Colorado, and there mission is an event for competitors. The new committee members believe in this formula and are incredibly competitor focused. They also accept the reality that they need a lot of community support, to their credit they have fostered some incredible community support and balance these interests as best they can.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Obviously, the organizers need to do what they feel best balances the needs/desires of all their 'customers'. The point of my original post was to suggest a more compact schedule that might still be able to achieve all of the activities that meet the organizers' and their customers' needs/desires. 6 days (Wed tow out, Thurs recce, Fri tech & registration, Sat & Sun race, Mon tow home), and all the associated expenses, is a lot to ask of regional competitors for 2 days of racing.
 

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Recce schedule at RALLY COLORADO 2008

Since the Event Schedule for RALLY COLORADO 2008 was made public earlier this week, we have had a few direct inquiries and at least one general inquiry in the Forum section of the Special Stage website regarding our plans to have the recce for this event on Thursday, September 11th. Some have suggested that it would be better and less expensive for entrants if this element of our rally was held on Friday, September 12th, instead of on Thursday to reduce the number of nights on the road and the number of days off work required of entrants to participate in our rally. As ex-competitors, the organizers understand this logic and appreciate the high costs involved in being on the road any additional days. However, there were a number of critical organizer considerations included in this decision that were equally compelling that caused us to select the Thursday date for our first attempt at recce at RALLY COLORADO.

A few of these considerations were;

1.Though we had always scheduled Competitor Registration over two days in past years, the Rally America folks, and our own volunteers most responsible for this registration, encouraged us to limit this process to one day in 2008. Most other National level RA events were working with just one day of registration for all of their entrants and most of them were dealing with a much greater number of teams than we were. But with only one day for registration, we knew that we would need to schedule more hours for this element of our rally and that we would need more volunteers for the entire time in order to assure prompt entrant processing. With only one day, we couldn’t afford to get behind nor be distracted with any additional event functions than those already planned for Friday.

2. With a longer registration period that was going to require more volunteers and with multiple volunteer requirements for each of the other event functions that could only happen on Friday (Press/Media Registration, Shakedown Stage, Media/Sponsor function, Scrutineering and preparing for our Fan Fest on Friday night), it became obvious to us early on that we were not going to have enough volunteers available on Friday to do anything else…we’d be lucky to have enough volunteers to adequately staff the volunteer spots that had already been created by the functions listed above. Because most of our volunteers do not live in Steamboat and they have to pay for accommodations in town while they are here to volunteer for our rally, it has always been very difficult for us to get very many of them to arrive in town much before Friday night. And, like many of our entrants, many of our volunteers have to take time off work to join us in Steamboat to volunteer so they aren’t very anxious to take more time off work than absolutely needed. Getting enough extra volunteers for Friday to fill this shortfall was going to be tough…getting extra volunteers for Thursday was going to be borderline impossible!!

3. We wanted some knowledgeable personnel to organize and manage our recce…this was going to be our first year with this and we wanted to do it well. When we surveyed our Committee Members and a few non-committee volunteers who we were prepared to trust with this responsibility, NONE was going to have any time available on Friday for anything other than their already assigned event duties. The ONLY time that any of them had was on Thursday…and this was still going to be tight for a couple of them. So, from the outset, our choice was NEVER either Thursday or Friday for recce…it was ALWAYS either Thursday or… no recce at all!!

4. Fortunately, we were able to find two of our committee members who agreed to run the recce with their own cars on Thursday…one is our Rallymaster and the other is our Chief of Controls. As the Event Chairman, there was absolutely NO WAY that I was going to agree to allow the individuals holding these two critically important committee positions to be tied up all day Friday with recce…each has more important responsibilities to the overall event on that day. So for them and me, Thursday was the only option.

5. Finally, and not insignificantly, we have historically had a number of crews doing a wide variety of course work on the Friday before our event…banner crews, arrowing crews, photographers scouting photo locations, video crews doing the same, etc. Since many of our stages are one lane roads and none of them are scheduled to be closed on Friday, we were all concerned about the amount of traffic and congestion that might result if we had scheduled any other activity on these roads on this day.

For 2008, it’s too late to make any changes to our recce schedule. We’ll monitor how it goes this year and will clearly listen to all competitor input this year so that we can plan properly for 2009.

Jim Gill, Chairman
RALLY COLORADO 2008
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Jim,

Thanks for taking the time to come on SS, and also to explain the reasoning and thought processes behind the Rally Colorado schedule for 2008.

Please consider the following as constructive suggestions:

1. It should be possible to streamline the registration process. I've seen national and regional rallies with 40+ competitors complete the registration process in 1-2 hours. One possible suggestion to help with this is to institute a small financial incentive/penalty for teams who do/don't completely pre-register before the event. Both the NASA and Rally America sanctioning bodies could do with some improvement in helping to streamline the registration process for organizers e.g. by keeping databases and providing organizers with competition license info, addresses, emergency contact etc. info so competitors don't have to provide this info at every event. The only thing that may then be required at events for registration is to show: current driver's license, current rally and service vehicle registration and insurance (and any updates if info changed vs. database). And many events offer complete pre-registration by faxing all of this info ahead of schedule, which means registration should take 30 seconds per team to pick up a registration packet from the organizers.

2. Srutineering/teching of cars is obviously mandatory, and is definitely time consuming. The only thing that can help here is if organizers are lucky enough to have multiple qualified scrutineers available, but this is obviously not something organizers have direct control over. Many other events handle this by having the team's service crew get the car through scrutineering while the competitors are out doing recce.

The importance of Press/Media Registration, Shakedown Stage, Media/Sponsor function and Fan Fest is somewhat subjective and if/when/how and for how long answers will differ depending on who you talk to and the importance they place on those activities.

3, 4 & 5. There is no question that recce needs to be organized and managed responsibly. However many other events have successfully been able to safely run recce the day directly preceding the rally, so I'd really appreciate it if this is something the Rally Colorado organizers could seriously look into for 2009 and beyond. I'm sure competitors, their service crew and the volunteers would appreciate it due to the reduction in costs.

Lastly, thanks for organizing Rally Colorado. I know it represents a significant time commitment on the part of organizers and their army of volunteers. And to top it off, many organizers suffer a financial loss or barely break even just so competitors (and hopefully the volunteers and the organizers too) can have some fun in the woods. Please know that we do appreciate it!!!

Hope to see you in a couple of weeks!!
 

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Recce Schedule for RALLY COLORADO

Greetings
Thanks for your understanding of our position on this issue. I would like to provide a bit of additional context for RALLY COLORADO related to your comments below:

"The importance of Press/Media Registration, Shakedown Stage, Media/Sponsor function and Fan Fest is somewhat subjective and if/when/how and for how long answers will differ depending on who you talk to and the importance they place on those activities."

At our event, these event functions, especially the Press Registration, the Media/Sponsor function and the Fan Fest. are absolutely critical to the continuing success of this rally. We have a group of really good sponsors and only ONE of them is an avid fan of this sport. The others provide financial and in-kind support because they expect it to be a good business investment for them...lodging sponsors because our event puts "heads in beds", the Steamboat Chamber because our event brings lots of people to town and hopefully the press coverage that results will get Steamboat some extra publicity a few months prior to the next ski season, etc. If we didn't put a high priority on these kinds of events within our rally, we would lose the support of many of our good sponsors. The lack of any TV coverage this year ALMOST nixed a few of our sponsors who were hoping to get some small amount of TV coverage for their sponsorship investment. Our sponsors like these event functions and if we don't keep our sponsors happy, "ain't nobody happy!!".

The most difficult part of organizing a rally of this size is the financial side...securing the stage roads and producing the routebooks is easy compared to making certain that there will be enough income from all sources to pay all of the event bills 30 days later after everybody has left town and moved on to the next rally. The key event functions discussed above that are well organized, well executed and well attended are very important to the financial health of our event...without them, we have fewer sponsors and without sponsors, our event goes away!! At our rally, all entry fees cover less than 40% of the total costs of the event...we ALL need these sponsors and we need to accept some scheduling issues within events that are designed to keep our good sponsors happy.

Jim Gill, Chairman
RALLY COLORADO 2008
 
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