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A CRY FOR HELP (RC tracks Closing)

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A CRY FOR HELP (RC tracks Closing)

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Old 01-20-2019, 07:50 PM
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Locally, the biggest issue is rent prices. With the good economy, price per sq. foot has shot through the roof on commercial property. That right there will shut a business down. Pair that with the desire to purchase online to skip sales tax, local business feel the squeeze. It seems that the out of state purchasing to avoid tax will come to an end as states institute laws to charge sales tax even on web purchases. I think a huge bump to the industry would be to attract new younger racers. Look how much parents spend on club baseball etc. Why couldn't those dollars be spent at a track? I think there should be a bigger push to bring in new racers, but I don't exactly have the answer on how to do it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:05 PM
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Another thing I always had problems with is the cost of racing. When a potential new comer enters a local hobby shop, they are hit with Traxxas vehicles. Nothing wrong with Traxxas, until you show up at a track to race. Look at how much a new person spends on buying everything needed to play with RC, and then show up at the track to play and find out you need a 1K$ of new equipment to race. Everyone else on the track will blow the Traxxas off the track either by overpowering or loss of traction due to stock kit tires. I like the idea of spec Traxxas slash racing but its hard to keep the regulars from cheating in the spec class and driving the new people away.....but you need more than 4 or 5 people to make a class race fun and its hard to fill a class with 1 or 2 people.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by brewkett View Post
Another thing I always had problems with is the cost of racing. When a potential new comer enters a local hobby shop, they are hit with Traxxas vehicles. Nothing wrong with Traxxas, until you show up at a track to race. Look at how much a new person spends on buying everything needed to play with RC, and then show up at the track to play and find out you need a 1K$ of new equipment to race. Everyone else on the track will blow the Traxxas off the track either by overpowering or loss of traction due to stock kit tires. I like the idea of spec Traxxas slash racing but its hard to keep the regulars from cheating in the spec class and driving the new people away.....but you need more than 4 or 5 people to make a class race fun and its hard to fill a class with 1 or 2 people.
If you want to race competitively in any sport, and you think RC racing is expensive your are in the wrong sport! Go Karts are easily $400-500 a weekend, mx $100-300, full size even more! Rc racing for competitive racing is dirt cheap! Initial cost is even cheaper then 90% of racing sports.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:11 PM
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One other thing I have witnessed first hand is alot of racers at the rc tracks are not friendly and donít want to be bothered with talking to new people that are interested in the hobby. They hide in trailers or air conditioned canopyís and pretty much ignore everyone until itís there turn to race. Add in the fact that you often see grown adults acting like babies on the driver stand when things donít go thier way or they break down and you start really understand why the hobby is not growing. I even would run into trouble with trying to find people to help me pit. I remember one occasion at a club race mind you, I took my car down to pit lane and asked the guy next to me if he would throw my car on the track and refuel later. Dude straight up said, no I am only pitting for my son, who evidently was going to be the next Ty Tessman after being the C main. I was like okay well can you just throw it on the track once I go up. Made some eye contact and just ignored me. For that race I literally put my car on the track started the race and midway ran down the drivers stand refueled my own buggy and ran back up. There was also like 6 other drivers with people pitting for them. They were all completely oblivious to me and the fact that was I having to race and pit for myself. Which after that I seriously wanted to sell my stuff and quit from people being straight up dickheads. This was also my 4th time at the track, so I had seen and met a lot of people.

The other fun topic is marshelling and how none of the fast guys/regulars want to do it or they disappear when itís there turn. Whatís funny is if your really pay attention to them they will try to get out of it by pitting for someone, just not me haha. So yeah new racers show up and they get stuck marshing more because the fast\regulars all hook each other up.

As for the money side of things, itís a hobby and most people will order online if itís cheaper even at the expense of not supporting the track hobby shop or in some cases they are sponsored so they Make the excuse that they must buy online. Speaking of this I am always amazed at how many people at my local track are sponsored and therefore only buy online.

Anyway if read that far congrads, thatís just the tip of the iceberg all the other comments I read in hear are dead in as well.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:07 AM
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I'll be honest, it's a personal pet peeve of mine when people complain about something. Whether this is at work, at home, wherever, I can't stand it when people tell me what's wrong.

I don't want to hear what's wrong, everyone in the world can list 100 things that's wrong about the world. Do you want to hear me tell you what's wrong? No. What I want to hear is what are you going to do about it? What is the solution? What can YOU do to make it better?

So rather than complain about things, I'm going to list what I'm doing to make sure my local track is as successful as possible. That helps me, that helps you, that helps everyone who loves RC.

1. I buy lots of stuff at my local track. It's 4 figures a year, not 3 figures, and I can't afford 5 figures. This also means I need to make sure I do well at my day job to make sure I have enough extra discretionary income to spend on RC.

2. I have a YouTube channel about RC. This helps promote the hobby, I do reviews, I try to recognize good companies and good products so that people are able to get more out of their RC dollar (see item 1.), which drives down the overall cost.

3. I try and always help new faces I see at the track. Whether it's help them fix their cars, or explain how the track works, or just be someone they can talk to and not feel like the place is anti-social, I try and have a positive demeanor and make sure they think the track is a cool place and somewhere they want to come back.

4. I help my local track with online advertising. I'm not sponsored by the track, but I am always thinking about how to market to new people in the area and get them to walk in the door. I'm not in sales or marketing, but it seems obvious to me that that is the most important aspect financially -- you need a constant influx of people/dollars/customers. Having a good product is great, but it doesn't help a whole lot if people aren't finding out about it.

What are you doing? Less bitching, more fixing. Hopefully you guys have more ideas that we can share that you're doing and we can all start doing more of these things.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:34 AM
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Human nature
"ME" generation.
Electronic games.
"Couch Potato's"
almost all hobbies/sports are on a Major decline... Male and Female.
even the ones with low startup costs.

as for newbee's getting help.. this hobby has always been this way.. little to no help.
Marshall's,,,, few fast guys help or Marshall. there are exceptions.

our club track... you must marshall twice for each round.. or loose a lap. and still the announcer has to keep 'reminding' racers to marshall.

as stated above, Promotion... but that also takes money.
but getting past the "Reset Button" is difficult..
and NO,, racing by video game and real rc racing are not the same and most does not carry over.
my opinion.

I have only seen Traxxas advertise on Real race cars / television... but that only seems to promote the basher group

Time,, this hobby requires practice or racing.. every few weeks.. as the skills get rusty quick.
years ago, I built a drift rc car.. just for off season car control practice.. and still use it today.

Last edited by chuck_thehammer; 01-21-2019 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:11 AM
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Promotion

Ravenna Ohio... 1/4 scale RC race track... high banked oval blacktop.
for years had the July forth 500 race. ( 500 lap )..
he placed adds in the local newspapers.... and made video's for online promotions.
for racers got free Fresh cooked lunch with entry.. ( full spread )
and spectators entered FREE... and got very few spectators.

this was just a few years ago.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:28 AM
  #23  
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Local tracks having cash payout races baffle me. In my humble opinion, money pay outs would be better used maintaining or upgrading the track, paying the monthly rent or utilities bill(s) or promoting the track through local media.

Cash payout races benefit only a few racers. Using entry fees to keep the doors open on the track benefits everyone.

Leave the sponsored car at home for local races. Use them for regional and national events. Bring a beater to a local event like almost everyone else has to race. This may help 'level the playing field' so new racers aren't so easily intimidated out of racing.

Another 2-cents. Cheers. AC
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:58 AM
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The cash payout races typically charge an extra $5-$10 on top of the regular club race fee... so for example if the regular club race fee is $20 for the first class, then they might charge an extra $10 for the cash payout, and only that extra $10 goes into the pot for just that class. So the higher the turnout for a class, the higher the payout with all proceeds going back to the top 3 winners, something like 50% goes to 1st, 2nd gets 30% and 3rd gets 20% of the pot. There are no trophy's, you simply get an envelope stuffed with cash, ha!
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:04 AM
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I will NOT race for money or items/gifts/awards...

wow,, 3 Texas racers in a row.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:27 AM
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some years ago.. to help a carpet track with a hobby store attached
... needed new carpet..
plus a few other repairs..like plumbing, doors, electrical....

One racer paid for the carpet... 6 racers removed the old carpet (glued).. and glue/cut/fit new carpet..
most other repairs were completed.. soon after.
hobby store had no expenses in this matter.

next year track closed. anyway.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Mickey_B View Post
One other thing I have witnessed first hand is alot of racers at the rc tracks are not friendly and donít want to be bothered with talking to new people that are interested in the hobby. They hide in trailers or air conditioned canopyís and pretty much ignore everyone until itís there turn to race. Add in the fact that you often see grown adults acting like babies on the driver stand when things donít go thier way or they break down and you start really understand why the hobby is not growing. I even would run into trouble with trying to find people to help me pit. I remember one occasion at a club race mind you, I took my car down to pit lane and asked the guy next to me if he would throw my car on the track and refuel later. Dude straight up said, no I am only pitting for my son, who evidently was going to be the next Ty Tessman after being the C main. I was like okay well can you just throw it on the track once I go up. Made some eye contact and just ignored me. For that race I literally put my car on the track started the race and midway ran down the drivers stand refueled my own buggy and ran back up. There was also like 6 other drivers with people pitting for them. They were all completely oblivious to me and the fact that was I having to race and pit for myself. Which after that I seriously wanted to sell my stuff and quit from people being straight up dickheads. This was also my 4th time at the track, so I had seen and met a lot of people.
BINGO!!!!! people being a-holes is the #1 thing chasing away new racers. Everything else is just finger pointing without realizing the real problem
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:42 AM
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You guys want a expensive hobby/sport? Try Bass Fishing. Now you dont have to have a boat but for most of us its a necessary item if you want to compete in large tournaments and be competitive while not depending on someone else to get ya into where the fish are.

Lets start with fishing rods and reels. Rods can be 100.00 and upwards of 300.00 Reels can be from 75.00 to almost 700.00 I have around 20 rods and reels all for different techniques.
Baits. Man you can spend thousands on baits. Hard baits and soft baits. Remember only artificial baits are allowed.

Boats. Get a used from 10000.00 to 60000.00. Want a nice new Bass Cat Jaguar. You'll spend 110K

My boat ran 47K in May 2011. Brand New! I have won some money but nothing compared to what I have spent. The top guys are millionaires. Most top local guys are earning 100K plus a year. For the most part. Those that are local competitors are just donating there money. Entries are anywhere from 100 to 300 dollars for a tournament.

Oh did I mention I also race RC I have 3 T4's a B6.1 and a B6.1D

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Old 01-21-2019, 09:35 AM
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This thread appears every 6 months. In the end, the problem for shop/track owners is paying the bills, and earning something for their time and investment. A shop/track cannot stay in business if it is losing money, so the key is for the shop/track to increase sales and therefore income.

The first thing to look at is how to increase the numbers of racers, and stop existing racers from quitting. IMO, racers leave the hobby for a combination of money, time, and burnout in that order. RC is a hobby that consumes disposable income. While it's true that other hobbies are more expensive, hobbies in general are not a requirement, and are the first to go when money is tight. Unfortunately, in the world of keeping up with the Joneses, some racers have issues with sticking to a budget. The way to help that is cost controlled racing. Many have tried stock racing, but that is often more expensive than mod. Since the largest ongoing expense is usually tires, finding a controlled tire, and limiting how many sets can be used might be a way to control costs. The next is time. People value time differently, but spending 12 hours at the track on a race day is too much for most. Limiting classes and running an efficient race program can reduce the time requirement. You can also start racing earlier depending on the turnout (reduce morning practice to 1 hour and start racing at 11am, vs 1pm, etc.) The final is burnout. This is difficult, because racers race for different reasons. Some racers become addicted to rc at the start and spend too much time and money in a short period. When the results aren't what they expect, they quit. By having classes for different skill levels and automatically bumping drivers that win up, you give racers a chance to win and to set goals for themselves.

The next thing is how to increase income for the shop. If the difference between the online price and shop price for a kit is $50, why not offer 1/2 price for several race sessions, or free practice for a week when a kit is purchased from the shop. This sweetens the deal for the racer, and it also compels them to come in more often initially, so the shop can sell more parts, tires, etc. The biggest advantage that a track has is a place to race. Tracks should use that to sweeten the deal. A part of increasing income for the shop is decreasing expenses. IMO, a shop should stick to several brands (2 or 3 at the most,) and carry parts for those. Do you walk into a chevy dealer to purchase ford parts? This extends to electronics and tires also. Why should a shop carry tires from 4 different brands? Pick one that works on the surface and stick to it. I am also a big proponent of a monthly pass. A track can offer either a practice only, or a practice and race package. By offering this, you are selling a prepaid service. This will provide a steady stream of income, and it will also ensure that you will have more racers at the track on non-race days. They will then buy parts, tires, etc.

These are some ideas that I and others have had. I am sure there are many more.
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Last edited by billjacobs; 01-21-2019 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:00 PM
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billjacobs, most of the better run RC businesses I have visited practice many or most of the idea you've shared. Those are all sound practices.
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