Fingers crossed, http://speedonthewater.com/commentar...s-survive.html.
It's a great event, in a great location, run by great people. It just needs that "something" to get it over the hump.
I can remember a few years ago Desert Storm was a "West Coast event full of little lake boats". That was the opinion of the east coast "Big Boys".
Then a few of them got together and made the trip. Other than this past event, it's been a MUST DO ever since.
SIB needs the same kind of Catalyst event. Not sure how to get it, but it needs to happen.
Your OSO connection to great S. Florida Real Estate.
The poker run entry, was $450. Plus extra crew at 100 bucks each.
so a party boat of captain plus 3 is $750. Plus dockage, hotel, food, drinks, gas, getting there. So, it's a $3,000 weekend. If you live near by, maybe, you can knock that down to a $1500 weekend.
So the problem (with this and other poker runs) is they have priced themselves into elite status then wonder why no one shows up. The big ones from the past still survive using the high priced method because of the repeat customer base who know they will have fun and make plans for it year after year.
With Father's Day being on Sunday, I doubt that helped either.
To borrow a line from the old Bill Clinton campaign......"It's the economy stupid."
No disrespect to Matt, he covered the situation very well, but you have to add in there, the factor of the anxiety that everyone feels about the economy.
Nobody works harder than Larry and Brad to put on a great race. But, the people who should be there supporting it just can't seem to bring themselves to commit that extra money.
The real US unemployment number is around 16% and that includes the part timers who would take a real job, if they had the opportunity. BUT, it does not include those who are so discouraged they have left the job market altogether......so are we closer to 20%??
Just think how uncertain the labor market is right now....in the United States today, there isn't a single strike going on anywhere. In the 70's an average of 30,000 per month were on the picket lines.
As a boat builder, the only sales I have seen recently have been to Europe. The value of the dollar has dropped so much, our boats seem like a bargain compared to the Euro. US Banks are so afraid of the government shutting them down because they don't have enough core capital, they won't lend to anyone. The days of using your house as an ATM machine are long gone. If an American wanted to buy a boat and finance it, where does he go? Some finance companies are trying to work with the really big manufacturers, but the smallor custom shops are on the outside.
As an open ocean racer, HORBA has tried to put together two real old school races per year, one in New York for the Northerners and one in Florida for the Southerners. For New York, we have this September 24, the Don Aronow Memorial Around Long Island race. This is the second year and the race is a go.
In Florida we tried to put a Fort Lauderdale to Key West race, on the weekend before the actual Key West races started this November. The people we were working with down there, pulled the plug after seeing the low boat count for Sunny Isles. These races are expensive to put on without city or town sponsorhsip money....and that is why they said.....let's see where the economy goes, we can try again next year.
I'm sorry to see this state of affairs happen to offshore racing, but there are so many reasons behind it, I don't think it will turn for the better until the economy picks up or turns around once and for all......and I really don't see that happening in 2011.
Just my 2 cents.
I think Sunny Isles has the potential to be one of the biggest events of the year in high performance boating. I would also agree change the date away from Father's Day as I flew home early Sunday to be w/ the family. My hat is off to Brad , Larry and the Entire OPA Group.
And hats off to Stu Jones as well. We had fun Saturday.
Good article Matt,
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