As long as the stock markets don't hammer us, plus twenty percent in Grand week. But we'll have to wait and see what the effect of extending prelim week has on attendance, so I'll just stick to what I "know."
I think the maximum shooter capacity has been reached given the area facilities. There will be a few more 'local' hotels, but there won't be a significant increase in shooter participation as these additional persons will end up driving 45-50 minutes each way to shoot for the day; which people just won't do.
Hard to say... gas will be high and the price to shoot will be up. Some folks may be at the high end of what they can afford already and these extra expenses may be enough to keep more folks home. I think you are also going to have people who wanted to go last year show up come hell or high water. My guess is overall attendence will be up by less then 5%. Jeff
Is there a trend of more or less interest among the vendors? Many shooters in the past attended the tournament to shop and chat. If they are unable to do either they might not attend. The 2007 turnout will be a test of the Sparta concept.
Attendance will be up for sure. Those that went found a great facility and a well run tournament. For once there was ample room to camp and park. Another huge plus was the way the area people welcomed us in every resturant and store we entered. It will take awhile for the large numbers of Penn. and Ohio shooters to get used to a longer drive but it will happen. For once our grand is not limited by it's outdated facility.
The Grand is the culmination of our shooting year. If we want our great sport to prosper in the future, we shooters need to support our sport and work to insure it's future.
People are complaining about driving 45 minutes to get to the grand from their hotel. How long did it take to get there when it was in Ohio? Also since there was no parking in Ohio, how many hours before the shoot did you have to arrive? You can drive right to the trap you are shooting on, get out of the car and shoot. Very little traffic. So in my opinion 45 minutes is nothing.
I think that the Grand attendance will definitely be down. I believe this because of several reasons. First the issue of hotel space and the distance a person has to drive to and from the "complex". The 2nd most valuable commodity you have is time - once its gone you can't get it back. The cost to travel to & from is also an issue. The average shooter is a person who has a job and a couple of kids in High school or college and has limited funds to play this game. They are not multi millionaires driving a million dollar motor home with all the time in the world on their hands.
Another reason I believe the attendance will be down is that a lot of shooters who went last year have been back at their clubs and have talked about how they didn’t like the new venue for some particular reason and are not going back.
One point that I will take issue with is that several have asked why the state of Ohio didn’t do something to keep the Grand here. AS the owner of three companies, I don’t think they should have and am glad they didn’t for one simple reason they get very little from it and the Ohio taxpayers get stuck with the burden. All 3 of my companies were built on the premise that if they can’t pay their way then they won’t be successful - no government money.
My only question is why didn’t the ata build a complex – why- because they didn’t want to stay in Ohio when they had the chance. They made their decision now they can live with its consequences.
I went to the first Grand American at Sparta and had a great time for sure! We left on a Saturday and traveled about 740 miles from Greensboro NC.
I hauled my shooting buddy who was 82 at the time and we took our time getting to the Perryville motel.
The first drive into the complex was interesting and I believe it was 38 miles +/-. At Vandalia our motel was about 5 miles and yes it was much quicker getting to and from the motel.
With the drive every morning you had to get up earlier and get home later every day. One day JC wanted to go back to the motel so we drove him back and I drove back to the Grand for the shootoffs. That made for a very long day for sure.
My shooting buddy was a bit overwhelmed by the complex and it took him awhile to get his bearings. I told him to just think 20 to the left and 100 to the right as far as fields were concerned.
We were at the Grand for a week and we only got to the tent vendors after most of their stuff was covered by a thin layer of dust. The building vendors area was nice and a great place to hang out for the shootoffs.
The main building was nice and we spent a lot of time in the common area watching the scores and visiting with friends.
The camping areas were nice and we got to visit several of our friends with motor homes and campers. They seemed to be pleased with where they were located also.
We liked the ability to drive to the field that we were shooting but the carts were flying everywhere and driven by everybody. It will only be a matter of time before someone unfortunately gets injured on that property.
Will I be going this year and hauling my 83 year old shooting buddy? The answer is no and the reason why is this. Every year at the Grand I turn a year older and my anniversary is the day after my birthday.
I made a deal with the better half to go to the Grand every other year and this year I can't go. Now, if I hadn't made the promise I would have booked my reservations already.
Will it survive I sure hope so - should it survive I sure hope so - will folks quit complaining I don't think so.