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Open Letter to ATA- How to make the Grand Better

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Charlie Becknell, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I first want to thank the ATA E.C. for their hard work and devotion to our sport and to running the Grand American, the greatest tournament on earth. Running an event as big as the Grand takes tremendous preparation and lots of time to pull it off. I would like this thread to be positive suggestions to improving the Grand. It will never be like Vandalia but it can certainly be unique to Sparta. Your suggestions on how to improve the Grand would be appreciated. I will make a couple of suggestions and "open it up the membership".

    1. We need to make it better for the vendors. I am not sure what this will take but we need more vendors and not having them leave early. If this means reducing their rental fees, so be it.

    2. Tweak the opening weekend so that doubles will not be shot off in the dark.

    3. Shoot offs for trophies should always take precedence over promotions. They can occur simultaneously if that can be done.

    4. I would like to say thank you to Sparta ( and surrounding towns), IDNR, Ill. State Police and to the state of Illinois for their help in putting on the Grand, and for their hospitality.

    Charlie Becknell
     
  2. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    With the exception of the Butchers Block, foot traffic in front of the other tent vendors was dismal. I don't think they were happy campers. That, needs to get fixed.
     
  3. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Not shooting on those banks did not work .
     
  4. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    Nope, just here. If I had the presidents ( EC Committee) email I would send him a link to the post. Thanks for asking.

    Charlie
     
  5. Damifino

    Damifino Member

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    Agreeed. It was a great time for us.


    My 2ยข:<br>
    1) Shade. They need to construct some small gazebos or pavilions similar to the ones at the Dollar. They are moderately inexpensive to build. I know the ATA doesn't own anything on the grounds @ Sparta (except the traps) so it might be a struggle agreeing on who will pay. The trollys are nice but there are too few of them and the pullers and loaders use them as their bases. You can't blame them, those kids are in the heat all day.

    2) It is a little difficult to check about shoot-offs. If you missed the final update on the scoreboard because you are shooting the next event, it's tough to chase down the shoot-off list. Maybe posting shoot-off info in the scoring annex in addition to the grand-stand area, it might be helpful.
     
  6. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

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    Charlie,

    Here is a link to the ATA web site that lists the contact information that you would find of interest. Bill Malcolm
     
  7. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    Requiring registration for the Beretta Shootout by 2:00 PM seemed just to early. A 4:00 PM cutoff time would be more realistic and still give plenty of prep time for the event. Many didn't make the 2:00 registration cutoff time, resulting in just partial participation. I doubt if Beretta was very impressed.
     
  8. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    All of the non-disabled personal motorized carts should be off of the cement walk way. Ear plugs, side blinders and intense concentration are a recipe for someone getting hit by a cart. It will eventually happen with the way it is now.

    Put in another cement or asphalt road for the carts. That would reduce the risk of truck vs cart accidents in the parking lot as well.

    It's currently a safety directors worst nightmare.
     
  9. cole-mitchell

    cole-mitchell TS Member

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    run the banks in front of both the tent vendors and the building vendors, not running those banks had late squads shooting in the dark and vendors making about half of what they made in years prior.

    Run shootoffs 30 minutes after the completion of the final event of the day. Marv sims (fellow WA trapshooters and SV all american) waited around from 8:30 until nearly midnight until he finally abandoned any dream that his shootoff would take place before the werewolves were out.

    Sell practice tickets at a reduced rate if they are being consumed in large quantities. Example: 1 for four, 2 for seven, 3 for 10.......

    Cole
     
  10. fenoc

    fenoc Member

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    Hi all, Just returned home from the grand (this was my 24th) & I agree with many of the things you have already posted...
    1)not shooting on certain banks slowed things down & messed with the numbers if it showed 500 squads that ment only 400 were actually shooting, it made it look crowded.
    2)the set time for shoot offs are nice but also set a time to do first calls & stick to it (we went to the HOF dinner that didn't get out til 9 & almost didn't make 3rd call for the 2nd event...he didn't shoot til 10:30)
    3) communication was lacking,if you couldn't watch tv all day or get up to the main club house it was hard to find out what was going on.
    4) the ideas for adding a cart path & more shade are excellent & if they can figure out how to get rid of the sweat bees I would be in 7th heaven!
    5)It was nice to have the kids in the AIM program on seperate fields but it would also be nice to have their scores also count towards the main event. Also post all their scores down where they are shooting so they have a better idea how they are stacking up against their competition without having to travel very far...not everyone had golf carts to go buzzing around from one end to the other.
    6)The games were fun but I don't think many people knew they were there, also if you aren't going to use bank 1 to shoot trap open the skeet fields so people can shoot that for fun (just like the sporting clays courses!)
    Thanks for letting me vent, hope the powers that be see this, Pam D
     
  11. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    Which Vendors left early and how early did they bail?
     
  12. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure but there were empty spots on vendors row. I believe one of the keys to restoring the Grand to its former glory is to get vendors row much more active. That is where most of the socializing took place at Vandalia.

    Charlie
     
  13. zinger

    zinger Member

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    they should move the tent vendors up next to the buildings and continue right down towards bank one. This would put all vendors on equal ground and allow the shoppers to walk from one end to the other.
     
  14. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Charlie the EC should be reading posts on here and use the information derived here for better understanding of what needs to be done.

    A new vendor area needs to be established, from all that I have heard it was a poor design in that respect.

    Did you ever see Vandalia not use all the traps?

    Using all traps thge results would be, Faster shooting, earlier ending times,
    better shootoff times,.

    Use saturday as the big dinner day for those who want to stay and eat and it won't interfere with shootoffs. And have presentations then and News & Sports
    Media would attend. Use Saturday as Recognition Day after the last day of shooting on Friday. It would be a noon time meal say atarting at 1:00pm.

    Good post Charlie.

    If the EC is a good EC they should have already read this post for the better of the sport, if they have not they should not be on the EC in the first place.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  15. prairieviper

    prairieviper Active Member

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    I appreciate all of the work from those previously mentioned in Mr. Becknell's first post in making The Grand successful and fun for everyone. I strongly agree that it would be much more efficient to utilize all of the traps. Not utilizing the banks in front of the vendors had no up side, in my opinion, and was a source of frustration for shooters and vendors alike.

    I also think that the main event of the day should be the first event of the day. I disagreed with this year's schedule of shooting the doubles class championship and doubles championship events last.
     
  16. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    My first Grand - so I cannot compare it with Vandallia.

    Put the practice traps in front of Vendor row.

    I wound up shooting two events at dusk. Why leave banks unused and make it such a long day for the shooters?

    I started the Doubles Shoot off at 10:00 PM Friday. By the time I got back to the hotel and packed up it was 11:30. We decided not to shoot the GAH because we had "had enough". Is there a way to start shoot offs earlier?

    The carts are a menace. Worst offenders were the "staff" driving at high speeds on the walk/cart path. Force them to run on the grass behind the benches as the terrain is bumpy enough to make the speedsters slow down.

    Don Verna
     
  17. old tex

    old tex TS Member

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    Kudos Charlie

    This needs to reach the EC for it to have the desired effect.

    Thanks

    unc
     
  18. biking

    biking Member

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    I don't get it! Last year I went to the Grand, couldn't make it this year...last year I wrote on TS.Com that the vendors should be moved to where the building vendors are, even if they have to be relocated behing the buildings, they would be at least in one location.....the Grand is a great place to shoot and in the past (Vandalia) the Grand was a awesome place to see and shop all the vendors.. last year I couldn't believe how poorly the tent vendors had been placed on the grounds at Sparta. This year it's the same song second verse only worse with the allocation of the traps used in relation to the vendors. What doesn't the EC get about the value of the vendors to the Grand experience?
     
  19. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    I agree that we need to use all the traps. Everyone from southern Illinois/St. Louis is always trying to promote the attractions in the area. What is wrong with getting the events done before dark so the shooters and families can see something other than the WSRC. No way you could have even made it to St.Louis in time for a Cardinal game during pre-Grand week if you shot the last event.

    Starting shootoffs at 9 p.m. is an hour too late as well. Holding pre-Grand shootoffs for Sunday and carryover doubles during Monday of Grand week not working either. Pre-Grand and Grand week are two separate shoots, pre-Grand MUST be settled Sunday night. Carrying over to Monday omits those (not big dogs) who must leave at the end of the first weekend.
     
  20. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    I was told there were not enough kids to open more traps but when I went to the west end there were at least 15 setting around doing nothing. You can run a bank of four traps with eight kids, easy. Wonder who was in charge of hiring this year? I also noticed Doug and Cheryl Ellison (sp) were not working this year. She is a pain but Doug was very, very good at running the shoot.
     
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