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Old 08-22-2007, 04:42 PM   #91
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Here's what happened with our local electric race I just started back up this year...

We started out with a core group of 1/12th scale drivers who wanted to keep racing after the loss of our indoor track. People heard I was starting up a new race and wanted other classes too so we decided on TC and Mini in addition to the 1/12th scale.

First few months of races: No charge for racing while the rules were settled out by what the racers wanted. The race grew from 4 1/12th scalers to almost 60 entries in total. Unfortunately the race was running way to late and costing me money to keep it going.

Last couple of months: Race moved from 12 noon to 10am and we started charging a race fee: $5 for the 1st class, $3 for the 2nd, and $2 for the 3rd. Race entries dropped from 60 to about 42. How much of that was due to the time change and how much due to the entry fee I'm not sure. I suspect most was from the entry fee. Still 40 is nothing to scoff at and I'm comfortable with the race at that level. It's much more manageable and there is enough money to cover operating costs, trophies for the end of the season, and hopefully a banquet as well at no additional cost.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:28 AM   #92
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One other thought. In my mind the race fee is kind of a reflection of the environment. It seems the higher the race fee the more competitive the environment seems to be. a $5 race fee kinda tells me we are doing this for fun.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:24 AM   #93
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most people who own r/c cars do so just for fun. Guess it just depends who your looking for a far as customers go, competitive racers or guys just playing with friends with toy cars. Probably get higher turn-out with the guys just playing.

I think alot has to do with the type of track and ammenities the track has for racing fee's. I would expect an outdoor track with a poor drivers stand and minimal pit tables to charge less than an indoor tracks with a nice drivers stand, plenty of pits with chairs and power for each pit area with nice lighting. The quality of the facility goes a long way to how much you can charge a person before making them feel like they are not getting their money's worth.

I think the tracks that charge according to the different classes seem to do better as well. Charging very little or nothing for novice classes can help bring in new traffic, while charging higher fees for the modified class and somewhere in the middle for stock/spec seems to be a successful method.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:48 AM   #94
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One other thought. In my mind the race fee is kind of a reflection of the environment. It seems the higher the race fee the more competitive the environment seems to be. a $5 race fee kinda tells me we are doing this for fun.
Just because you are competitive does not mean you cannot have fun. I have tons of fun racing with everyone. As a matter of fact, I have more fun the closer I get to the faster guys. Fun is different for each person.

I think the price of the race fee is not nearly as important as getting new racers. That is really how you controll the cost, not just for the track but also for new product dev.

When is the last time one of you brought a new racer to the track? This is the biggest thing someone can do. I know with my lacrosse league we recruited the hell out of all the football players. We now have one of the largest lacrosse leagues in Ohio.

If you want to help support a track, letsome else run a car you have laying around and talk to your track about getting them some support. Tracks could run an ad in the news paper but who in God's name would know what it was about except those that race?
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:38 PM   #95
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I guess to clarify it helps to deal in extremes. If a race costs $100 to race in vs $5 to race in is your approach to the race the same? At $100 I feel most people take it a lot more seriously. Not that it isnt fun, but you arent hiding behind corners on 3 wheels to take out your buddy b/c you dont care (like Rob / Eli did one weekend).

Ive brought 3 new people to the track , tried like hell to get more but its too much $$$ for most.

Last edited by or8ital; 09-04-2007 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:24 PM   #96
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Being a hobby shop/track owner and reading this thread it has been really interesting to read and see what people think... Here's what we battle at our track to turn a profit an make it affordable for racers:

Rent - If you look for a building/place in a shopping complex/mall you are looking at a minimum of $7.00-$21.00 per sqft. This is for a spot where there is actually traffic (not some burnt out strip mall). Figure for a decient size track/hobby shop area you need 10,000sqft. Figure that out and it's between $5,383-$17,500 per month in just rent.... Keep in mind folks, this is just rent. This is why most tracks/hobby shops are in industrial buildings or dead comercial establishments (there are a few lucky ones).

Additional overhead - Depending on your rent, you can have a triple net lease which means you get the pleasure of paying property tax on the building you are leasing. Depending on the city and building size this can be $750-$1,500 per month. Add electricity, gas, water and sewer, lawn care, dumpster, snow removal... Now add the basics - paper towel, toilet paper, trash bags, cleaning supplies, etc..... These are the monthly costs, not to mention all the additional cost to start a hobby shop/track in the first place.

So many things racers completely over look.....

Now, add in one of the main causes for the death of hobby shops and race tracks - online shopping. Everyone hunts around online (I've done it) to try to find things cheaper or to get something new before the rest at the track. Unfortunetly, most online shops are based out of someone's house or small, jammed packed industrial unit where the overhead is low and they are happy to make a few bucks on a part - No major need for customer service and most can operate with just 1-2 people..... With this, the sales are lost at the local track/shop which pays for all the above mentioned costs so there's some place to race....

There's so many other things that I see that to me are so crazy in this hobby/industry but I'll bite my tounge and hop off the soap box.

I saw the comment about putting the "tip cup" on the counter for track repairs, additions and we've done it and not a single penny has been put in it. Seriously - 99% of people out there have a choice of dropping some $$ to improve their home track or putting a new pair of brushes and springs in their motor (for example) I think we all know where the $$ is going to go....

At CEFX, we charge $10 to practice and $15 to race with additional classes being $5. When we started this we had a few people freak out on me. It was only when I handed them an $857.00 gas bill for the month to keep them warm while racing their car did they quiet up and pay the entry fee...lol...
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #97
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Awesome post.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:18 PM   #98
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When I start racing electric, it will be with InspGadgt's crew, so it's cheap!

On the Nitro side of the house, we're pretty much paying peanuts. $30 for annual club membership and $7 per class per race. I think non-members pay $10 per class. Annual championship entry fees are more, but it is a 2-day event, we do get some really nice trophies and lunch on the first day.

Since I really enjoy nitro racing, I would pay up to $20 for first class, up to $15 for second - even if it is on a temporary track and even if I have to help setup and take down the track.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:38 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Cyrul View Post
There's so many other things that I see that to me are so crazy in this hobby/industry but I'll bite my tounge and hop off the soap box.
Start a new thread.

It's altogether possible, that from a financial feasibility standpoint, it just doesn't make sense to own a hobby shop and/or track given the current business paradigm and customer mindset.

It costs a lot of money to go play golf. Golf has a pretty good business model when it comes to charging for facility usage. At least where I live, they seem to be making a pretty good profit.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:58 PM   #100
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I agree, in some places there just may not be a large enough market to support an RC shop/track. There is no denying that as race fees and product prices go up more and more people leave the hobby. I have no doubt that for the race fees (and some or many of the products) the price needs to increase to support the business and thats where the problems lies. The equalibrium of supply and demand is lower then what it takes to make a profit in a lot of areas. Or I should say easily.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:51 PM   #101
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The club I'm a member of charges the following:

$35/year for a family membership. $10 for a junior only membership (Anybody under 19 or younger).

For this the member gets full access to our park that includes an off-road, on-road, and flying field.

Currently, we do not charge for racing or landing fees (flying field). Although we are talking about charging for races to help gather money for improved facilities, etc.

Also, out of town racers and flyers may visit our facility up to 3 times per year for free.

The other track i race at, has a fee of $5/class for non-members, and $1/class for members. Members pay $20/year.

Both tracks get about the same amount of racers. *shrug*

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:18 AM   #102
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The local offroad track that I attend charges $65 per year for unlimited access and $10 to race. I think that is WAY too cheap for a club track. I would gladly pay $100 a year (what it was last year) to $150 a year for that kind of access (for what we have.) I used to run at Revelation, and at the time it was $12 per practice day, and $10 to race. I did not even mind those prices, which at the time I was a starving college student looking for a way to not get sucked into spending my money on booze and other crap that would take too much away from "the college experience."
This hobby will never be cheap, but for a club, charge what you need to so that you can put some money back into the club for upkeep and the unforeseen future.
Unfortunately what I see at the SoCal tracks is too many people running in this hobby that seem to be blowing off saving for retirement or house. They live in the moment WAY too much. The guys I have pitted across will laugh about how much they spend, but yet have to eat microwave noodles to continue racing.
With this mindset, the average racer would rather put their money into themselves (no matter which hobby) than help out a club for the greater good. I gladly give up racing days to maintain our track and turn marshall all day so that all the club members can enjoy their day. The hobby is just as much about friendships as it is racing to me. Its no fun going to a track if I am not able to chat with the buddies.
Everyone has their reasons for racing, mine is to meet new people and to be able to wrench on a car to see what affects what.
BTW, our club DESPERATELY needs a good track designer...if anyone is willing to help: PLEASE DO! They won't listen the to locals that have travelled to the "pro tracks" Our club would like to get involved with the JBRL series at one point, BUT that requires a decent track and facilites...which we are working on.
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