Where's Tower Park??

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Kurt Lesser » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:03 pm

Just a little history lesson here. We started attending the Patterson Meet in the early '80s with our very minor children. It was just a camp out and the MVCC was a big bunch of guys who liked military vehicles and had fun showing them off and occasionally crashing one up in the hills. We sold the extra stuff we had laying around and made a few bucks here and there. We outgrew Patterson and mover to Waterford, AKA Big Bear. Again the family atmosphere lived on and the purveyance of the green lived on. When the park told us they were closing to redevelop we found and shifted the meet to Tower Park. These meets have always been about family values and our love of military vehicles. They have never been planned specifically as events like the MVPA national conventions or places like Napredak Hall where the intention was to provide a space for vendors to gather to sell to the attendees. The fact that we attract the number of people specifically focused in the business is because we are one of the largest gatherings in the country of like minded people and that means an active buying public but again while we appreciate the vendors coming in with their offerings please remember that we are still a big camp out of MV lovers first and consumers second. The volunteers to the club are there to assist the Board to make our outings run smoothly and that people have fun at them rather than to make the vendors wealthy.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:50 pm

Kurt and everyone else, don't get me wrong, it was a great event. And I know the board members work very hard, especially Joanne. She was out picking up garbage Saturday afternoon after all but a few left. Maybe I was a little gruff in my post. I moved to Sacramento six years ago and didn't know about this event for two years. I am a full time militaria dealer and collector. I just don't understand why the club refuses to advertise? Or should I say advertise to a broader audience? I'm not trying to get rich, I do it because I love it. I just don't understand the mentality of trying to keep it so private. I think this is the undoing of many similar organizations. There are not of young people involved in the hobby, I think that has a lot to do with the new cars that kids can't work on due to their complexity. The club will die if it does not get new blood. How can you depend on people to show up or participate when they don't even know that it is happening? You would be surprised at the huge number of jeep people and military collectors in the Sacramento area that have never heard of this show. Yet in the two weeks leading up to Tower Park I heard and spoke to numerous people that were going to the Gridleyshow and knew nothing of Tower Park. "Naysayer"? No, just a realist that only wants the best for the club. Yes, I did go to the meeting at Tower Park, I walked away when I heard that even the mayor of Petaluma didn't know about the event. Maybe I'm just being obtuse, but maybe I'm right? I would really like to be involved more with the club other than just showing up at Tower Park and Petaluma to buy and sell, but I don't feel like I would be welcome. What would be nice is an email bang list with all club members so we could easily be told whats going on or if any help is needed. I am not just bitching and would gladly help out with anything needed. In fact I'm not sure why the Northern Recon Group and the MVCC don't put on these shows together? Seams odd to have two shows less than 100 miles apart on back to back weeks, must be something I don't know about? Sometimes criticism isn't meant to hurt your feelings, it can be meant to help us imprive

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm

Kurt and everyone else, don't get me wrong, it was a great event. And I know the board members work very hard, especially Joanne. She was out picking up garbage Saturday afternoon after all but a few left. Maybe I was a little gruff in my post. I moved to Sacramento six years ago and didn't know about this event for two years. I am a full time militaria dealer and collector. I just don't understand why the club refuses to advertise? Or should I say advertise to a broader audience? I'm not trying to get rich, I do it because I love it. I just don't understand the mentality of trying to keep it so private. I think this is the undoing of many similar organizations. There are not of young people involved in the hobby, I think that has a lot to do with the new cars that kids can't work on due to their complexity. The club will die if it does not get new blood. How can you depend on people to show up or participate when they don't even know that it is happening? You would be surprised at the huge number of jeep people and military collectors in the Sacramento area that have never heard of this show. Yet in the two weeks leading up to Tower Park I heard and spoke to numerous people that were going to the Gridleyshow and knew nothing of Tower Park. "Naysayer"? No, just a realist that only wants the best for the club. Yes, I did go to the meeting at Tower Park, I walked away when I heard that even the mayor of Petaluma didn't know about the event. Maybe I'm just being obtuse, but maybe I'm right? I would really like to be involved more with the club other than just showing up at Tower Park and Petaluma to buy and sell, but I don't feel like I would be welcome. What would be nice is an email bang list with all club members so we could easily be told whats going on or if any help is needed. I am not just bitching and would gladly help out with anything needed. In fact I'm not sure why the Northern Recon Group and the MVCC don't put on these shows together? Seams odd to have two shows less than 100 miles apart on back to back weeks, must be something I don't know about? Sometimes criticism isn't meant to hurt your feelings, it can be meant to help us imprive

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:00 pm

Sorry about the double post, but one more thing. The squatters at Tower Park are really annoying. They come down there, sleep in their car or on the ground and don't pay for their spot. Also some of these same people have never been a member of the club. It's very obvious who they are and I'm sure most people reading this post know who they are. What is it $30 for a yearly membership? These same people will spend hundreds and thousands of dollars , but can't shell out $30 for a membership. What's funny is that club members let them sleep in their spots or on the ground in their spots. Don't even get me started about those that refuse to shower and make the rest of us suffer. Kind of gross

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:09 pm

We made the move from Big Bear to Tower Park long ago. The word was passed one rainy Saturday afternoon and the next morning I was at Tower Park along with a few other members wandering around with a camp map trying to pick out spots. We had maybe seven guys, perhaps more so I asked for and got six spaces at TP. Since then we have had as many as 12-15 campers in those same six spots when visitors from Norway, Australia, New Zealand, SoCal, Washington, Oregon and Kansas camped with us. They aren't mooching, they are enabling MORE club members to reserve a spot as we are willing to "double up" and I think that is the case with a lot of other club members who share their sites with their friends. As we met new guys, they joined the club and camped with us in those same six spots as there were not any others available and we camp group style with shared campsites, meals, KP and such.

While I think it has been mentioned we need 400 spots for the Spring meet, that is based on us "doubling up" to accommodate more guys.

With the move to Petaluma we got FOUR spaces...we still doubled up with guys from Omaha and Kansas flying in to stay with us. That is the only way I think we can get the club members and our guests to fit into the places that can even handle large groups like ours.

Many of them DO have MVCC memberships and they do sell/buy parts from others as well as bring their vehicles with them if possible (that would be Oregon).

The Northern Recon group is a group within a group. In a way kinda like the group of guys we hang out with and we too occasionally do jeep/WC drives in Marin County that are not MVCC events, just more things to do with our MVs...So as far as the NRG goes, while our membership covers Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona for the most part, these guys have decided to also create additional events. That's a good thing. They have a lower turnout which enables them to stage their events in much smaller places that can't handle the club numbers the Spring/Fall meets do. I remember Dave and others in the South Bay organizing Camp Roberts events in much the same way. Just more stuff for guys to participate in if they wish.

Personally, I'm not so sure that the club is trying to keep itself a secret but I can tell you this...if you didn't like the "Petaluma Experience" can you imagine if we had another hundred members? We would have NO campground that could or would want to handle us and allow us to "double up" or bring trailers and jeeps and not want to treat us like the $150,000 RV-with-an-$80,000-Mercedes on tow behind it crowd.

That's the business model we are up against now...the KOA style which makes compromises by the club to even get us INTO the campground that we can't deal with. I think we've all hashed out your talking points and some are very valid...but the reality of it is we are too big for our own britches!
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by JOHNJRV » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:52 pm

Are you a member of the MVCC Blitz67?
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:45 pm

Of course I am

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by blitz67 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:55 pm

Chuck, great point about being to big for are britches due to campground constraints, makes sense. Kind of worried that the show in March near la will take away from Tower Park, but we will see. Thanks for letting me express my views.

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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by JOHNJRV » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:05 pm

Blitz 67, that's good, would be kinda embarrassing to be complaining about the MVCC/membership on the MVCC message board and not be a member...

I'm John Verissimo, MVCC Secretary, at your service. Are you in the militaria business? I do love anything from WW2. Do you have a website that I can go on?
Last edited by JOHNJRV on Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by John Neuenburg » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:55 am

Well blitz67 I hope our Secretary verifies you are a MVCC member having said what you said. Not that the MVCC Board and I as a committee member don't want to hear from non-members. We do. We want to be as good as we can be. The Spring and Fall annual meets here have been promoted and grown by the MVCC for over 40 years and everybody with an interest in MVs are welcome to attend. We are talking about the #2 largest annual MV swap meet and gathering in the West, second only to the April meet which is 3x larger. We must be doing something right!!!!

Some things you say warrant comments and these are worth going over one-by-one, since Dancing With the Stars is on and I have time to type....
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
Kurt and everyone else, don't get me wrong, it was a great event. And I know the board members work very hard, especially Joanne.
Maybe I was a little gruff in my post.
THANKS! That's the carrot. Now comes the stick?
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
I moved to Sacramento six years ago and didn't know about this event for two years. I am a full time militaria dealer and collector.
Were you a militaria dealer six years ago? MV oriented? We already talked about some of the places where we get the word out to MVers. I admit we don't hit every non-MV militaria collector. But serious amateurs and certainly pros who are interested in our demographic are normally able to find the MVCC and then our events with a little looking.
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
I just don't understand why the club refuses to advertise? Or should I say advertise to a broader audience?
We target market to MV hobbyists. Are you talking about mass advertising like newspaper, radio, TV? We don't do that before these meets. Kurt hit on the reason. They are not commercial vendor shows where we rent a venue, sell admission, charge for parking, vendors buy tables, they man their tables and prevent shoplifting for a day or two. Our events go for more days and we include the interests of our amateurs who like to walk away and not worry about folks who come to steal them blind. Buyers who are there 2, 3, 4 days can revisit vendors several times. So we try to target-market. Find the MV hobbyists. That make sense?
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
There are not of young people involved in the hobby. The club will die if it does not get new blood. How can you depend on people to show up or participate when they don't even know that it is happening?
Again it depends on who you mean. Yes it's important to attract young people who are interested in MVs. We've marketed to the living history reenactors who tend to be young. That's the good thing about having no admission at Camp Delta (we'll see about Petaluma 2018), no parking fees, camping rather than hotel-oriented for non-locals like more commercial shows. This strategy can work by using public displays and parades to reach the general public, then the ones interested ask about the hobby, check out Facebook and our website, find the MV forums, and then they show up at Camp Delta or Camp Petaluma. Maybe join their local club, hopefully the MVCC. Then it's easy to tell them what's going on. Hell, if a person googles military + vehicle + California our website will show up #1 on the search results. That good enough?
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
You would be surprised at the huge number of jeep people and military collectors in the Sacramento area that have never heard of this show.
Huge? Maybe civilian jeep and military uniform collectors. And there are always some unaffiliated MV owners out there who buy their parts at NAPA and are not curious about more. Reaching these people by mass market advertising invites the troublemakers along with them. Just saying!
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
Yet in the two weeks leading up to Tower Park I heard and spoke to numerous people that were going to the Gridley show and knew nothing of Tower Park.
Numerous? I call B.S. Can you give me their names privately? I'd like to know what we are doing wrong. Do you know them because you are a Northern Recon Group member (promoter of the Gridley meet for those following along at home)?
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
"Naysayer"? No, just a realist that only wants the best for the club. Yes, I did go to the meeting at Tower Park, I walked away when I heard that even the mayor of Petaluma didn't know about the event.
Walked away? I thought you want to help? We didn't advertise that event in Petaluma because the KOA owner didn't want us to. It was such a soggy Winter-Spring the large parking fields were not usable. He didn't know how our offsite visitor parking and shuttle program would develop. We are working on improving this for the 2018 meet, possibly with plenty of visitor parking onsite. But again, mass advertising, including to the mayor which ends up with the newspaper and TV, was not what we needed on our inaugural Spring meet at this venue during a rainy season.
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
I would really like to be involved more with the club other than just showing up at Tower Park and Petaluma to buy and sell, but I don't feel like I would be welcome.
Why wouldn't we welcome you? Are you trying to say we'd be exclusionary for some reason?
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
What would be nice is an email bang list with all club members so we could easily be told whats going on or if any help is needed.

Uhhh... that would be the monthly newsletter that reaches 100% of the members with a mailing address. Or the electronic version. Non-members and other hobbyists who are paying attention can go online elsewhere to get most news (but not the super duper ultra secrets...!)
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
I am not just bitching and would gladly help out with anything needed.
We love volunteers!
blitz67 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:53 pm
I'm not sure why the Northern Recon Group and the MVCC don't put on these shows together? Seams odd to have two shows less than 100 miles apart on back to back weeks, must be something I don't know about?
Yes that was odd. You'll have to ask the NRG about that. For many years the MVCC-promoted Fall meets at Tower have been the third week of September and the NRG-promoted meets at Gridley Fairgrounds have been in mid- or late October. I don't know why the Gridley event was rescheduled this year to the week before Tower! Regional meets are important to augment the larger swap meet/gatherings in April and September. It's good to have events local to MVers because many don't want to travel far. Then they travel to the bigger meets in April and September to buy, sell, and see many more MVs and collectors. But events that attract the same people should be 3+ weeks apart so the "honey-do list" at home can be tackled in between.

I hope this helps. FYI I am not speaking as a MVCC Officer or for the Board. I am a committee person, primarily Activities Coordinator for the Spring and Fall meets, especially related to publishing the Schedule/Flyer. I also create club advertising when asked.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Chuck Lutz » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Blitz....you mentioned the "la: show, is this the one you are referring to:
http://www.scmvcc.com/id13.html

It is March 18th at a Thousand Trails venue which isn't quite the paved luxury camping experience Petaluma or Jellystone offer...and they are bringing tanks/tracked vehicles. The whole layout is a bit more, shall we say, "rustic" than those two venues but I see they only have 100 sites available on the website...I see some familiar names there as well, from those who frequent our two events I think. Hey...I'd enjoy that rustic environment if I had some shade in my campsites and not out in the heat that can show up in late spring in SoCal...

If in fact that is the event you refer to, its a month away from Petaluma and certainly a couple of those named on their reservations thus far are also regulars at our events so it must not be an issue. The SoCal guys and AZ guys have always enjoyed our events with Dodge displays and that kind of things and manage to haul theirs or drive 'em up to our events so there is evidently something our group and leadership is doing right.

We are experiencing growing pains simultaneously with a lack of venues that can handle our events that aren't several hundred miles away from the middle of our membership residences, that being the bay area to your neck of the woods in Sac and the foothills of the Sierras...from San Jose and points south to the Oroville area.

I think there are more than a few guys who belong to both the MVCC and SCMVC and attend the meets in both areas.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by John Neuenburg » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:36 pm

The SoCal folks have a right to try to get an annual meet going of some size. Lord knows a lot of people live south of those mountains. I wonder if they looked at any campgrounds more central to where people live? But that high desert is nice country and at an elevation of 2,700 feet in March there shouldn't be any heat. Maybe snow! The price of Weasels will go up!

By the way, that meet is over a month away from Camp Petaluma because we went to the last week of April. Reason is we hope to get the owner/manager to move the over-winter campers out a week early. They use the forest area in the middle of KOA through the first of May and we could really use more campsites ,and the end cap sites would be fantastic for vendors. Jo-Ann had dozens of new requests after last April. Anyway, 5 weeks is a nice separation and we appreciate them scheduling it that way. We hope a lot of SoCal people will continue to travel to the MVCC Spring meet but obviously Petaluma is around 75 minutes farther than Tower and they have to decide if the scenic MV-driving beauty and cool downtown is worth it.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by ndnile » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:39 pm

John Neuenburg wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:55 am
Yes that was odd. You'll have to ask the NRG about that. For many years the MVCC-promoted Fall meets at Tower have been the third week of September and the NRG-promoted meets at Gridley Fairgrounds have been in mid- or late October. I don't know why the Gridley event was rescheduled this year to the week before Tower!
I am a member of both the NRG and MVCC. The reason for moving the date of the NRG Gridley event up was due to weather. In recent years, including the last two, these Gridley events have been hit with rain, so the decision was reached to move the date up. Many, if not most, of us happily attended both events. I personally don't believe that Gridley had much impact on T.P. attendance.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by Ed Roberts » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:48 pm

Doug, thanks for this. Blitz, hope all of the info helps regarding your initial post. My friend Neuenburg is also commitee chairman for group hugs. Gosh, this is a great club. OD like, forevvvver.
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Re: Where's Tower Park??

Post by John Neuenburg » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:02 pm

Ed Roberts wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:48 pm
Doug, thanks for this. Blitz, hope all of the info helps regarding your initial post. My friend Neuenburg is also commitee chairman for group hugs. Gosh, this is a great club. OD like, forevvvver.
V/R , Ed
Thanks Eddie, you are one of my oldest MVCC friends dating to the Patterson DAZE. But I had to edit your butchering of my name spelling, you ignoramus!

Yes good info from Doug - I didn't know it was a weather decision. I was scratchin' my wooden head. Welcome to September! We have had rain at Tower too!

Good time to talk more history:
When the MVCC first created a north state meet in Fall like the Spring one, the northern group centered in Oroville found Woodson Bridge State Park east of Corning. It was scheduled after Labor Day = just after high camping season. Then it moved to the RV park across the street to get more room, closer swap meet setup, ability to reserve specific sites, a building for parties. Later we moved it to October to get cooler weather. I don't remember it raining there in October - might have forgotten - but people liked the change. Then the place added more long term tenants AND we were outgrowing it so we moved it to Gridley Fairgrounds. After one event there the Board decided to move it to Tower Park where we had already moved the April meet from Big Bear Park in Waterford a few years before. Tower is a great swap meet layout and many members wanted to attend. The central location was attractive to them. I don't remember how the Fall meet got back to September. Maybe it was to not conflict with a new event the northern group created at Black Butte Lake. It's probably all in the newsletters. Anyway the northern group started what became the annual Gridley events in October. Personally I like the idea of two big MV meets many months apart with a swap meet focus, at different locations so local people can easily bring their MVs. Then you have regional events scattered around. Assuming Camp Delta and Camp Petaluma events stay where they are, we have all that. One big upgrade from Tower Park is Petaluma is great for the LARGE number of MVers in Sonoma County area. We have never had a close, native population of MVers in the delta, near Waterford, or Patterson. It's also has great MV driving roads.
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