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Old 06-29-2007, 06:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by BadSign View Post
Here's the answers: go brushless/lipo, race outdoors, keep sponsored drivers out of slower classes.

Simple.
We are doing that here locally and the racing program is stronger then ever.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:29 PM   #62
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110% correct I hope Lipo can solve this problem

I also think that us buying everything online kills the LHS

1000% CORRECT!
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:36 PM   #63
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besides battery war and tires war... I think a major reason for tracks to fold is the booming real estates over the years. the track fees might not be enough to cover the rent ... Even Tamiya has to sell their track to profit from the crazy high real estate.... when the bubble burst, we might see cheap lands again
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:38 PM   #64
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It doesn't help that property around the country has increased in value and rent keeps going up. To rent a building that is big enough to house a track is a lot of money if you're going to have it near enough to an area where people are motivated to drive to it. Most tracks are bigger than the hobby shops they are next to (in square footage) and that right there is an amazing amount of wasted retail potential. A race track does not make as much money per square foot as probably any other business does. It just does not make sense to run a race track. Hobby shops on the other hand are not as much of a losing cause because if you have a hobby shop the size of most carpet tracks you've got yourself one large retail space.

There is a hobby shop in this area that used to do outdoor racing, they stopped simply because it did not bring in and generate enough business to warrant racing. Racing by itself is almost too much if a niche market to dedicate such a huge rental space to it. It makes way more sense to open a mini mart than it does a r/c race track.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:45 PM   #65
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Yep, when the cost of gas goes through the roof, people have less money to spend on things that are not a priority in life.....

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Old 06-29-2007, 07:03 PM   #66
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I owned an indoor track for about 7 years. When I took it over they had 7 guys showing on a Saturday night. We got it up to 45-50 for awhile. But then at the end we hit a few nights around 10 racers. Seems that things do go in cycles. But the problem I see is we all rely on the same racers each week, and racers burn out. Or they travel or take time off. Then there has to be something to get racers excited to get motivated. Seems it is hard to maintain this level 52 weeks a year, especially for the staff and track owner. Racers are like family and going to a family reunion each week gets old sometimes. Also racers and track owners are not your typical grocery store or wal-mart. They are repeat customers and eventually expect certain treatment. Bottom line tracks don't seem to get the new blood in anymore to keep things fresh. We rely on the same old faces and those fade away with time. Without new blood, new excitement, something to get racers motivated they will not come.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:42 PM   #67
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The hobby shop owners need to learn how to stop listening to the 'racers' idea's on how to spoil themselves. Touring car was popular when it was parking lot racing. Remember that? When a hobby shop that was located in a highly visable strip mall setup a temporary track out in the parking lot and alot of people passing by could see the racing action and get intrested. Cars were simple and cheap shaft drive, the important things that bring new people into the hobby. You guys are getting spoiled into extinction just like electric off-road did. Go indoor, go out of business. Lipo and brushless are not going to save a hobby that is hidden in a industrial park where only the guys who know how to look for an r/c track can find them.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:54 PM   #68
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The problem in region 9 is the lack of new racers coming in to the hobby. How you get them back I have no idea. If I knew that I'd have my own track.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:03 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Turbo Joe View Post
Why not have the shop sell parts at a competitive price and charge a reasonable price for the track rental? If the track doesn't pay the freight, you can't just keep over-charging the parts customers, because the parts customers are really one who pay the freight, square foot-wise.
It's not possible to compete with an online store with less overhead.

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Where should I buy Losi parts at?
Hobbytown right on the corner(full list, not many parts on the hook)
Losipartshouse.com (have everything, great prices)
Revelation (don't have anything electric, all special order)?
Just trying to get this discussion back to earth.
This is more simplistic than you are imagining, and here's your answer .... Buy your parts from the track you'd like to continue racing at. Otherwise, your nice online discount will only be usefull for bashing in your backyard when all the local tracks go bye-bye in this cyclical swing. I've been around this hobby for longer than some of us have been alive, and I'd like to see this trend of tracks opening and closing calm down a bit.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:26 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrubb
Go indoor, go out of business. Lipo and brushless are not going to save a hobby that is hidden in a industrial park where only the guys who know how to look for an r/c track can find them.
Exactly. Another problem related to what I was talking about, cheap rent is usually in places where most people don't go. As a racer some of my most frustrating times have been trying to find a track in some obscure unmarked industrial park in a part of town I've only accidentally been to once.

We hide in the dark with our uber geek friends, eventually get sick of one another, and go find something else to do (like hang out with our other friends on xbox live...or something equally as geeked out as r/c racing..)
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #71
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i agree things are cyclical (sp?), but i think the bigger picture is lack of CREATIVITY.

as i view it, most popular racing forms go thru a fairly consistent cycle, though the peak times vary. for instance.

*new idea/class (tamiya gets alot of credit here) - backyard bashers
*new class starts to see track time in limited #'s - backyard bashers to novice frequently
*new class is relatively cheap and easy to get into and be competitive, gains more widespread popularity
*manufacturers see potential $$ in new class, developes their own entry and attempts to promote their product thru paid promotions (i.e. sponsorship)
*manufacturer participation generates widespread acceptance among the racing community. (dedicated tracks appear about right here)
*class now has become highly competitive, exponentially expensive and the ability for a new hobbyist to compete is significantly reduced.
*no new customers to replace normal turnover. tracks/shops not adapting to next trend begin to close.
*class becomes niche.

as i see it, we're firmly in the 2nd to last stage above.

where i'm going with all of this is that the biggest issue i see today is that no one has came up with the 'next great idea'. there IS money out there and, if anything like todays $499-599 iphone release shows, people have no problems with shelling out serious dough for their toys.

i have seen the future and it is 'extreme park' (think skateboarding). portable ramps (loops, jumps, table tops, rails, etc) that use subjective judging, can combine classes and are very easy to get into, comparitively cheap and reasonably difficult to 'master'.

but for those of us that prefer heads up racing, someone needs to come up with another great idea.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:49 PM   #72
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Gee-Dub said:

>but for those of us that prefer heads up racing, someone needs to come up with another great idea.

Lot's of doom and gloom here....

Here's the two great ideas that have recently worked for us:

1/18th scale racing products

...and even bigger than the above:

http://www.rclapcounter.com

Essentially we now have race timing hardware that works with any race management software that doesn't cost a full years worth of tuition fees to a state college. Just about any small group of people who want to race, whether it be indoors or outdoors can now have a great lap timing system for very little money.

I recently helped a local hobbyshop setup a totally new program using 1/18th scale and Recoils to make it happen. We are racing twice a week now. It's not a huge turnout yet but the program is slowly building. Most of the new faces are totally new to RC. Kids buying 1/18th scale RTR's....they then slowly buy better chargers and batteries and get hooked.

The hobbyshop owner never would have done this if he had to purchase a new AMB system.

Me and my boys raced 1/10th and 1/8 scale for almost five years before we bought any 1/18th scale stuff. The 1/18th still gives us the thrill of competition and all that comes with that...BUT...it's WAY cheaper. We're in it for the racing and the friends and comaradierie we have when we race.

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Old 06-29-2007, 09:04 PM   #73
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The problem in region 9 is the lack of new racers coming in to the hobby. How you get them back I have no idea. If I knew that I'd have my own track.
I agree....it's pretty sad that we are not even having a ROAR Reg 9 Onroad champs this year. It's been held here in SA for the last 3-4 years and lots of people complained. Now look, no one stepped up to hold it this year.

I can't explain what's happening in Dallas, I just wish we had a top-notch facility like Mikes in our backyard.

There have been some "new" racers in our area, I think the cost and frustration of not winning detered them from coming back.

I live 25 miles from the track and with today's gas prices that equals about 6 bucks in gas. I only go to my LHS on race-days. When I do, I try to spend as much as I need to support the shop.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:13 PM   #74
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I race in NE PA.Marshallshilltop hobbies.They're in their 20th year as a hobby shop/race track.My kids and I have been racing since '92,there.Offroad in summer/Carpet in winter.Big reasons why?.....1)the owners,Bill and Dot first.very friendly TO ALL,and Dot,who runs the shop is the MOST knowledgeable and helpfull person I have ever met in a hobby shop(most anywhere for that matter actually).2) Bill is Always trying ideas for the novice/newbies,and others.For instance,A rubber tire,spec motor,spec battery TC class for newbies and"less confidant/competative" racers.Even went so far as to discourage us more competative racers from spoiling the fun.3) The biggest class there? Box stock Mini Cooper.Cheap,built like tanks and fast enuff for all.Mainly close tight racing.4) A track motor.It helps keep cost down for both the racer and hobby shop.Trinity tear downs.You pick brushes and springs.Some bitch but,it's fair for all.5) Open to ideas from the racers.For instance,last winter we finally got enuff for an F1 class,3 to start.Track motor,300 max batts.by season end we had 6.This year,LMP's.Again,spec gear based on the participants agreeing.And last....The sunday racers.You can't find a nicer,friendlier,helpful bunch.EVERYONE is welcomed and helped.New to experienced.Competative on the track,friends in the pits etc.Maybe this can help?Mario.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:46 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Sharpe View Post
It's not possible to compete with an online store with less overhead.

This is more simplistic than you are imagining, and here's your answer .... Buy your parts from the track you'd like to continue racing at. Otherwise, your nice online discount will only be usefull for bashing in your backyard when all the local tracks go bye-bye in this cyclical swing. I've been around this hobby for longer than some of us have been alive, and I'd like to see this trend of tracks opening and closing calm down a bit.
Yeah...so what's the excuse when the online places with the good prices are regular old "brick and mortar" stores? Losipartshouse.com, Ultimatehobbies.com, Carolinasrc.com, Speedtechrc.com are all full retail establishments right here in the US that you can walk right into on any given day.

So are you saying that these shops have less overhead BECAUSE they're online? It seems to me that they have the same overhead, but they've decided that they can get more business by selling at a discounted price.

It seems like the online community believes to a large extent that you have to tithe in order to keep the track open. I say they should actually try and compete with other stores and charge a fair price for track use. I bet there are WAY more people at these track/store operations that never even use the track...yet they're supposed to subsidize the people who want to practice and race all day for $8????

Charge competitive prices and offer decent service and you'll have more business than you can use.
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