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Old 03-04-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Why do so many tracks close

I am curious, why do I see so many tracks and hobby shops close. I live close to the Cincinnati area and see so many tracks and shops open and then close just as quick. Just curious why.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jobronie View Post
I am curious, why do I see so many tracks and hobby shops close. I live close to the Cincinnati area and see so many tracks and shops open and then close just as quick. Just curious why.
Mail order!
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:34 PM   #3
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1. mail order
2. too many opinions from "expert" racers on what classes to run.
3. no cooperation with other local clubs or tracks.
4. economy (notice i didn't put it at #1)

Now this is only an opinion , but there are way too many classes. I used to race karts and our local track raced every sunday and had about 15 classes. after a while each class would have maybe 3-4 karts in it. so turnouts died and the track just about shut down. New management took over and reduced the racing schedule to 8 sundays from April-September. They also reduced the classes to six from 15. The turnouts were not only awesome, each race had minimum 10-12 karts in it.

Now I know karting is not rc, but having races every week for 52 weeks does not guarantee full fields. And what happened to just having stock and open classes only in rc?

just a thought from a 25 plus year veteran rc racer.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Xpress View Post
Mail order!
No! lol

The biggest reason is that most track/shop owners are new to the business end... sure they may have been racers or hobbyists.. but retail is a tough business!

There is no substitution for experience. (eh.. maybe loads of cash, but that will run out eventually)

Mail order (internet) is actually a great source of new customers. Sure they can beat you up on price for the big items (but shops make so little on those anyways). Most people would rather buy that $5-$10 in person and get their toys working again.

The minute I hear a new shop/track owner whining about online retailers or discounters, I know they are doomed. You got to know how to market. Whining about anything to customers is bad.

I was in the business for years... had a shop and a separate shop/track for a time... why am I not still doing it? Partners who didn't understand business.......... and long hours... might do it again someday when the economy is looking a little better.. besides I enjoy my hobbies way too much right now to ruin it by making it work again!

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Old 03-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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I have my opinion from what I have seen over the years from tracks coming and going where I live.

My personal belief (mainly pertains to tracks) is that most tracks close because they are never able to build a steady client base. One of the BIGGEST reasons they can never build a client base is due to their HOURS of operation.

The two tracks closest to me currently are on the downward trend. They cant build a base of "regulars" which is absolutely essential. I go to these tracks time and time again and the turnouts are less and less and its never the same people as before. I attribute this in large part to the hours of operation. One track by me COULD be open every day. However they are open only 3 days a week. This just doesnt work when they are a considerable drive to get to as they do not have a central location. To make matters worse they are only open for 4 hours on practice days. Most people that would go to this track are about an hour away..... who is going to drive an hour to practice for only 4 hours when their competetior is an extra 30 minutes away and practices ALL DAY for the same price (and is booming).

Just about every owner I have seen runs the track like a hobby. When it SHOULD be ran as a business. As a BUSINESS it needs to be accomodating to the CUSTOMERS schedules...... not to the owners schedule. A track should be open just about everyday of the week. If its far away from major populations like this track, it needs to be open longer hours.

In my opinion longer hours leads to more people having the oprotunity to come to the track. As more people come, they form relationships with others. As the relationships form, it becomes a habbit to go to that track as the bonds become strong with a particular track.
(perfect example is west coast RC raceway which is always open and everyone is friendly and knows everyone. People go to practice days to build their kits there without even running that day.... people love to be there).
With more people being able to come to a track at their convenience and knowing people there, there is a more "family" atmosphere.... which really helps create consistant turnouts.

These tracks and owners that think its their job to dictate when people come to their track have it wrong IMHO. The track needs to be open long hours and at a competitve price if it has any chance of going the distance. IMO if you dont have a large regular base of clients that are there pretty consistantly, the track doesnt have much longer. Tracks NEED that regular base. New clients are great too, but when you have the majority of your clients being 1 visit people instead of regulars, its going down hill.

Hobby shops are a different story. Renting office space is rediculously expensive. They just cant compete with online shops prices unless they make up for it in volume. Im living proof... the only thing I have purchased from my LHS in the last 3 years is random parts here and there. No purchases over $30. For the simple reason that they are unwilling to price match. I have asked and asked...but they wont do it. So if they dont want my business that bad, I aint gonna give it to them.
Rc is meant to be fun. It's not formula 1 here folks.
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