Where's Tower Park??

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blitz67
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Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:53 pm

I spent the week at Tower Park, I felt it was way under attended. As I was leaving I picked up a complimentary copy of "Military Vehicle Magazine" there 2017 "Guide to the Hobby". As I was looking through the 2017 events I could find no mention of the fall 2017 meet? Am I missing something here? Numerous dealers, collectors and members spend weeks and sometimes months getting ready for this event and it wasn't even listed in the free events sections. WOW, SAD!

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by zepher11 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:32 pm

I tried to register last fall for this fall's event at TP, but they wouldn't let me and said there would be no more MVCC events at TP. Then received a call to place a deposit on a cabin a month or so before the event. I work, so long-range planning is required for me. I did manage to make it down Thursday afternoon and left Friday at noon.

Hopefully, the MVCC can get the location back for an annual visit. If it weren't for the MVCC folks, there would have only been a handful of campers. Don't know why Yogi wouldn't want the MVCC event. Everyone seems low key and friendly... I think it's a Boo boo
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Mitch Olson
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Mitch Olson » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:44 am

The Fall Meet is always a much smaller event than the spring meet. My impression of the recent meet was turn out was pretty much on par with the past dozen years that I have been attending the fall meet.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:39 am

I have been going for five years and turn out seamed a lot lower to me, regardless what is the end game? Either advertise and bring in new blood or die as a club. The board seams to want the latter by all indications. Seams to have just become a club or clique for the alcoholics. I had to call 911 on a member that was leaving Saturday afternoon as he had been drinking all day and decided he was O.K. to drive home. I asked him three times if he realized he was hammered and shouldn't drive, the last time he told me to F.O., so I called 911. My wife and daughter happened to be coming back down to the park at the time he was leaving, what would you do! Its amazing when you think about it, an event that could be a huge local attraction has turned in to a drinking event for a few old timers that refuse to change, even sadder still. I don't understand the aversion to advertising, the only conclusion is that the club either does not want to grow or just sustain itself, or it is complete incompetency on the part of the board members???

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by timsresort » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:00 pm

I think the board pulled of a great buying, selling and display event, considering the circumstances, documented here, on FB, and in the newsletter for months. I thought turnout was good, sales were great for everyone I talked to. In fact, the lack of some of the commercial sellers is directly benefitting the small guys like me. Sorry you thought it was a drinking event, maybe your friend needs some help. See you in Petaluma, the largest MV event in the West, and not likely to die any time soon.
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Mitch Olson
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Mitch Olson » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:29 am

Blitz,

One has to consider that this is the fall meet. Kids are back in school, guys and gals who have full time jobs have probably used all their vacation or comp time up by this time of year. Long distance drivers and out of state'rs don't make this meet as normally it is small and not worth their time.

They guys I hang with ie the 'Odd Squad' we usually number 25 during the spring meet. In the fall? Normally 10 or less of us show up and those that do are the so called locals who drive less than 3 hrs. to get there. Several of the Odd Squad actually day trip during the fall meet.

You did the right thing by calling 911. Just remember you can't fix stupid nor lead a horse to water and make it drink..one can only act like a responsible adult---which you did.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by zepher11 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:51 am

One can also run for a MVCC board member seat to become a part of the solution. I'm sure they are always looking for those motivated and full of suggestions to help organize an event. Of course, seems to be a lack of those with the time or wherewithal to become board members. Lots of organizations drying up due to lack of participation in our area. I'm thankful there are those that make these events possible. Hopefully, I can give back in some way when retired.

Bigger questions is, well there ever be another Tower Park event? I would like to start planning for the next fall meet if there is one. I see there is a TP type event in SoCal a month before the scheduled Petaluma event. Tough to attend events back to back like that for me. Spreading them out works better for me, but that is just me.

Overall, happy to have something available to attend.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:12 pm

I agree with all, except they were not my friends, they were club members who looked like fools to anyone that saw them and it makes the club look like a bunch of clowns. Yes, it was a great buying and selling event, I'm not complaining about that. It just could be so much better with a little attention. I mean, my god, the date can't even be posted in the national MV magazine that offers free ads??? Get over it, the club is not being run as it should be or there would have been an ad in the very magazine they were handing out at Tower Park. Making excuses does nothing to fix the problem and yes I an debating running for the board. You all would had an even better buying and selling event had it been advertised, but I digress, lets let the hobby die. There is a reason you are wondering if there will be a Tower Park next year.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:17 pm

I just want to be clear, I am as much in to this hobby as anyone and I just want to see the club succeed. I remember a lot more out of state people and more people in general at the fall events. Too bad, because I was in the military for 30 years and have been to Militaria and MV shows all over the world and I thought Tower Park was one of the best. Hate to see a good thing die due to a lack of attention.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Mitch Olson » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:52 pm

Blitz,

Well being a Veteran as you are and you know how the chain of command works. Why not start a movement on the issues you raise with your local chapter of the MVCC? I think your in the Northern Recon Group right? Submit a letter to our news letter and start a larger conversation on your concerns.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Ed Roberts » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:00 pm

Yo, Blitz. Not sure if I know you or not, but an observation for you. Many of your questions could have been answered at the club camp meeting or contacting club officers prior to your post. I go back to the Patterson days and the hook was set. You've said it best. Run for a board position, put your money and time where your mouth is, and see for yourself. Under the circumstances, I thought our whole board team, and the members who could make the meet, did very very well.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by John Neuenburg » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:43 pm

blitz67 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:53 pm
I spent the week at Tower Park, I felt it was way under attended. As I was leaving I picked up a complimentary copy of "Military Vehicle Magazine" there 2017 "Guide to the Hobby". As I was looking through the 2017 events I could find no mention of the fall 2017 meet? Am I missing something here? Numerous dealers, collectors and members spend weeks and sometimes months getting ready for this event and it wasn't even listed in the free events sections. WOW, SAD!
Brad,

I changed the post I wrote this morning, moving some of the general event information to another Fall meet thread, and re-worded the rest to be more clear.

I don't know if we have met or if you are a MVCC member this year. The edge you show in your posts here are the kind of thing that is more destructive than constructive. Is that your intent or just your style?

There has been quite a lot of information out there this year about Tower Park and the ownership change. We have had chatter here and a thread on the Events forum, on Steelsoldiers.com, on the MVCCNews.net newsletter which by the way shows up first when google-searching MILITARY VEHICLES CALIFORNIA, and event listings with the MVPA. But in late Winter when MVM was putting together their special "Guide to the Hobby," some of us were thinking we might have to move this event. Print magazine calendar listings and ads are hard to unwind, so we were not thinking a lot about MVM. Looking back we probably should have run something very brief, primarily to get our website out there, so people could learn the news and any changes that way. This is the only issue where they print events for the year. Their regular issues only show events for the upcoming month, maybe two, so they are of limited value although we were in the later calendar and the online version which is expired now. To be honest, we like social media more and more because the younger generations rely on that. They are the future. But we will use magazine calendars, car show online calendars, and might go back to doing a few paid ads for the September meet at least.

A note about the rules. Thankfully Dave was able to get the Jellystone manager to soften the "corporate" rules that don't favor group events like ours from the standpoint of day-user fees and parking. We had no problems there. It was exactly like prior events. They main difference now is they want a larger camping or cabin deposit, and the price went up, even with our 25% group discount. So be it. They offered us RV sites in Campground 1 which is the one you pass driving on the levee road. So we have room to grow September, so we can advertise freely. More about the meet and the future on another thread.

I disagree that the event was under-attended. We counted 66 MVs - a good attendance and typically 1/3 of past April vehicle counts at Tower Park, that event being moved to the larger Petaluma KOA last April and will be there the last week of April 2018. It's important to say to people reading this who have never been to the Spring or Fall meets that April is always far larger and has been so since the 1980s. The 77 campsites and cabins our people rented was exactly in the middle of the range booked at recent Fall meets at Tower Park. Vendors of course care more about buyers than MVs, and as you said there was good shopping going on. We don't know how many commuters from home or hotels we had because neither we nor the Jellystone staff charged admission.

Describing this event as being for alcoholics is ridiculous and offensive. You apparently ran into a non-functioning drinker and that is unfortunate. We are an event with a big majority of participants camping, not commuting, and some drink. This group is probably no different than the typical hot rod club at an overnight event.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Tower Park Fall Meet

Post by m37-man » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:41 pm

I have been attending the Spring meet at Tower Park for many years (and Big Bear before that) but this was my first Fall meet at Tower and it was great, even after driving 500 miles with a trailer. They plopped a new Boo Boo Bungalow on our old camping spot so we rented one of those, it was very comfy and roomy (could sleep 6 people as long as a couple were fairly short) with all the needed amenities. I don't consider myself a vendor but did very well selling some extra green stuff. The park staff was friendly and efficient, and kept the restrooms clean throughout the week (which was a major challenge before) and even came by and asked us if we needed anything (yes, more TP please). I got no hassles motoring around the park on the Mule either. They have made many upgrades at the Park and really made an effort to welcome us, but whether we are back there is really up to management (MVCC and Jellystone). The onsite restaurant has also really cleaned up their act. They sold burgers and beer every day in the campground, and even delivered a very tasty pizza directly to our site one night when we didn't feel like going out.

Yes, the meet included only the first campground which is about a third the size of the Spring meet. "Normal" campers started coming in and filling the other campgrounds Friday, I loved their curious looks and weird comments ("I never knew this was a hobby") and they even bought some trinkets. The MVers were fun and friendly regardless of where they came from, and I did not see anybody wearing beer goggles during the day, but did hear some whooping noises from the natives a couple nights. More advertising is not going to substantially increase attendance, people that attend these events know where to find the information and plan accordingly. I heard comments from several people that September is tough: no vacation time left, kids just back in school, saving/planning for holidays, etc, etc.

My personal opinion is we should stick with Tower Park if at all possible (Spring and Fall), even if there are a reduced number of campsites available for us. Make it first come/first serve for the spots and when they are gone, they're gone. The Park does weekend feature events, sell it to them as an "Veteran's Weekend" (November?) and park a couple green machines by the pavilion to educate the kids and families. I heard the large waterpark Jellystone was planning has been nixed due to levee and foundation issues, maybe there is an opportunity for us to fill a void. There will be more room without the waterpark and as they move some of the permanent residents out and expand the campgrounds.

The Petaluma meet had many issues for us which I will not go in to here, so it's not for me. Having been in similar volunteer positions in the past I would like to express my and others appreciation to the club officers-John, Joann, Kurt, et al-who make these events happen. Just ignore the naysayers and keep 'em rollin'.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by John Neuenburg » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:37 pm

Thanks for travelling that far M37-man, and WITH a MV. Great description of the event. Want to be our PR guy?

Regarding the Spring meet, Jellystone cut many campsites in CG4 by creating long pull-throughs from back-ins, and dropping cabins on many sites which doesn't work for some people. On the plus side for us they are creating many new short term sites in the former long term rental area Campground 1. That's a lot of pull-throughs with concrete pads and patios, so they won't be inexpensive and probably won't work for old tents with pins. But could be some RVers would relocate there from a grass back-in site, freeing that up for tenters. Or maybe they would allow two dome tents on a parking pad. My guess is we'd have to divide some long pull-throughs into A and B sites to accommodate more campers. Going back to Tower in the Spring is worth considering but only if Jellystone Park management will allow a group that big. We hear they are not group-oriented. They are family vacation parks. But maybe it could come down to pre-season revenue. This is just me the activities coordinator and PR guy talking. I am not a MVCC ossifer.

Choosing event venues and negotiating terms is about doing what's right for the combined attendees whether MVCCers or others. That April event is the de facto annual Western U.S. meet. Two good things about Petaluma is the area is great for scenic, MV-friendly, country road driving. Using MVs is important. It is also in Sonoma County which is a hotbed for MV owners. This brings new folks and vehicles to our meet. We are working on some issues so the 2018 is the best it can be. What we can't do is make it closer to San Diego!
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Scroungerm5 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:26 pm

Just to add my two cents worth....A big thank you to those that put in their time and money to make these gatherings work, the Lessers, Dave, John, and others that do all the work while we enjoy the results of that work. Each meet will have some sort of problem be it a down pour in Patterson, the "snow" at Big Bear, the overflowing sewer pump at Tower ( guess what lucky person got that pretty much each year yet DID NOT complain too loudly about it ) and so forth. Volunteer to improve the things you do like or agree with.

The past meet at Tower was actually much better than I was expecting. Lots of good deals, lots of good friends and lots of good weather. Try being a little more positive and you will enjoy the hobby and your life a little bit more. From a 34 year member of the MVCC.

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