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All quite true! While some will "sit in dirt and eat canned food" that I think is more of the gritty adventure image. You MUST have food onsite. You MUST have showers onsite. You MUST have restrooms and I think you also must have some port-a-potties around if expecting big attendance. There are folks happy to camp out, and that can be good for getting to know folks. Having onsite rooms isn't absolutely required, but if you don't have that you probably don't have a proper meeting area.

For instance, if you don't have food onsite the event will become fragmented. Dinner especially is the best time of day for folks meeting and greeting and getting ready for a presentation ceremony or seminar.
Same with showers. No showers, no campers. Which means they are at hotels. Some will always do that, but if the majority are onsite the event has a certain camaraderie that will add a LOT.
The RMAR rallies have done well in this sense. Fri & sat night meals are included. Everyone eats on site. Camping with cabins keeps everyone together. Those who wander to hotels are not connected. Kegs of beer are key too.

Rallies have exploded in the last few years. Every summer weekend there are several all thru out the country. Lot of competition for limited free time off so those who left did not stop just went elsewhere. Go to ADV alone and see all your options.

Volunteers often do not enjoy the rally as much, they are working...but it happened in the past because you needed to create something as there were so few rallies. Now there are so many, volunteers are saying I'll just go there and have vs working on my vacation time. Charge a small amount and pay the volunteers.

I help market Cycle Worlds rallies. They are $$ and people pay. They rent out a whole hotel in Gunnison & pack it with events.
 

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Buena Vista, was there for a Guzzi National. Nice place. So much great country coming and going.
A ride to Crunchy Butt, oops, Crested Butte, was a good side trip. Neat places to eat and see a bunch of dedicated bicyclists gathering.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
BoatRV,

I need to rethread that hitch/axle before sending it to you. May take a little while.

I wonder if there is a Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge like place in Colorado? The pace we stayed a couple of years ago was at the end of the million dollar road. A real life little western town right there at the campground. Two streets all up hill. I'll poke one of the guys who might remember.
 

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Agreed Notacop, ya better have gear, motel plans or not. Surprising the unadvertized events that fill up places, reunions graduations etc. I have bug net, bag and food for the unforeseen. Slip back a power line or old trail and save your skin and Up to $200 for a room. A rally has gotta have lots of planning and it means $$$ like mentioned for the beemers.
 

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I know of a great campground in Sturgis, S.D. The Elkview campground. Rates are reasonable, hot showers etc. If anyone puts this together, it's a great place.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
We have a "formula" and lessons learned for rallies that works pretty well. Proven at the South Dakota, Colorado, and The Dalles Oregon among others. No need for fees of any kind (e.g., registration) or costs up front to the person hosting the rally. Basically, something like this....

A great location central to epic riding
A hotel with camping ability near by or in conjunction (a lodge with cabins works great too), a bar, a meeting room, a restaurant and the ability to order off the menu.
A Suzuki dealership willing to participate enthusiastically in the rally.
Lot's of visibility beforehand to attract the widest number of attendees.

We have a few negative lessons learned as well that can be passed on the the hosts. No need to discuss further here.

So a great rally does not require up front money on anyone's part (other than who ever gets the T-Shirts). There are a lot of "for profit" rallies across the country, but we don't have to do it that way.

This may be helpful.

http://www.bikercamps.com/campground_search_map
 

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"A Suzuki dealership willing to participate enthusiastically in the rally. "
A few of us had that luxury in Havasu, Az for a couple years. Our benevolent provider sold the biz and replacement guy wasn't up to it.
Dang! We had fun.
 

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If you want to attend a No Frills rally in the west here is one;
http://www.stromtrooper.com/events/284706-3rd-annual-cache-rally-june-2016-a.html

Most are camping, but there are hotels within a mile or so for under $100.
We're having a dinner on Saturday night, and riding every day.
What we don't have is t-shirts a lot of door prizes, beer kegs and strippers..... well ok, we won't have the first two...

I hosted the 08 Western Rally in Cedar City, Utah and yes, they are a lot of work, hence this No Frills route.

Come June 24th We will be sitting around a fire pit BSing the night away, C'mon and join us.
 

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I would love to do Colorado and literally just got home at 2am last night from a business meeting in Boulder for the week. However, it is a 2100 mile 1-way trip to get there for me. That means I have to take a 2-week vacation for a weekend event, so that's not really practical for me. However, if I can coordinate it, I can fly to my place in Phoenix and then ride up... but that now adds in the cost of airfare and 2 days lost just traveling. Living way up in Massachusetts sucks sometimes... no... MOST times :)

That said, the Midwest states really aren't that scenic... no offense. So the Rockies and Dakotas win on that score. How about central Canada? Great scenery and a 25% exchange rate right now :)
 

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Rick, et all,
Have you considered joining forces with a existing small rally ?
Last year I rode the Moto Marathon in Colorado. Home | Motomarathon It was excellent. I have gone over to the Western Rockies for the last couple of years. There is so much good riding to be done there. The accommodations were very reasonably priced in the ski areas during the summer. Obviously, lots of camping. Butler Maps was the major sponsor and did a wicked good job of providing traffic free routes with over-the-top biker roads. The previous year I found Bob Herman who is a lifer biker who does tours for Europeans on the Western Slope. He put together a 7 day itinerary for me and a couple of my friends - excellent. My main point is that by utilizing an existing entity, the inertia to getting started is already done and the expertise is in place to avoid the routes used by the motorhome crowd. Our efforts would be to help scale up / not to invent.

As someone pointed out Colorado is semi-central to a lot of people. A 16 hour radius from Denver covers a lot of the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I agree it's about time those Canadians started pulling their own weight and hosted a North American Rally. Maybe 2018 eh?

Regarding joining with a another existing regional rally, Terry (Werks Performance) said the rally with the most V-Stroms attending wasn't a V-Strom Rally. It was in Texas where 250 strom owners attended the Two Wheeled Texans rally. I posted something about adding an events calendar to the site. I think that will help add clarity to the possibilities.
 

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Rick, et all,
Have you considered joining forces with a existing small rally ?
Last year I rode the Moto Marathon in Colorado. Home | Motomarathon It was excellent. I have gone over to the Western Rockies for the last couple of years. There is so much good riding to be done there. The accommodations were very reasonably priced in the ski areas during the summer. Obviously, lots of camping. Butler Maps was the major sponsor and did a wicked good job of providing traffic free routes with over-the-top biker roads. The previous year I found Bob Herman who is a lifer biker who does tours for Europeans on the Western Slope. He put together a 7 day itinerary for me and a couple of my friends - excellent. My main point is that by utilizing an existing entity, the inertia to getting started is already done and the expertise is in place to avoid the routes used by the motorhome crowd. Our efforts would be to help scale up / not to invent.

As someone pointed out Colorado is semi-central to a lot of people. A 16 hour radius from Denver covers a lot of the US.
Motomarathon is always a great ride.
I do the routing for that group.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Rally attendance at the bigger regional rallies has been falling off a little over the last few years. I suspect people are disinterested in going to the same place every year. I have seen first hand that a very vocal minority is driving choice of the same locations in some cases. I have had people come up to me and explain they didn't want to object to having the rally at location X again for fear of being shouted down by the loud minority. Funny thing is in one case the sponsor of the rally has said the same thing to me.

I prefer rallies at locations with EPIC SCENERY AND RIDES and will rider far to attend. Seems like we need to give rallies a rethinking. Publicize them well and make them worthwhile to attend.

I am finally in my new house so maybe I'll be able to put something together this year. Arkansas may be a candidate. Will do some research.
 

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I agree with Rick, in fact there is a rally this weekend (not strom) that I have gone to a number of years, but same old and I'm not going this year for that very reason.
One of the things about rallies that has always bothered me is camping in one location and then the motelers in another. It sort of works, but a camping rally is what I would choose.

Take the Cache Rally out west:

Different place every year and very loosely organized, (which is a good thing) No planned rides No big buck dinners, etc.
Next year it will be in Colorado, check it out.
 

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The BMW club that I had belonged to no longer does it's rally due to lack of interest and the need for some to be at a hotel/motel since they don't camp.
The BMW National rally is always in July which means that it will be hot coming and going, most likely. It does tend to move around the country though. It is held in locations with camping, Fairgrounds, and hotels/motels nearby.
I don't like the hotel/motel thing since an extra cost is tacked onto the rally cost. Hotel/motel life is for the fatter of wallet than I own.
The dealer in Lake Havasu put on a splendid little gathering for a couple years and then sold the business, new owner had no interest in doing a rally.
The Cache rally is intended to celebrate the participation in exchanging the cache box and riding and meeting other Strom owners. It seems getting new folks to get involved in playing that game is more difficult. Anyone know where the last exchange was or when?
They do make a splendid bunch to spend a weekend with though. Worth the trip if you can make it..
 

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Take the Cache Rally out west:

Different place every year and very loosely organized, (which is a good thing) No planned rides No big buck dinners, etc.
Next year it will be in Colorado, check it out.
The Cache rally is intended to celebrate the participation in exchanging the cache box and riding and meeting other Strom owners. It seems getting new folks to get involved in playing that game is more difficult. Anyone know where the last exchange was or when?
They do make a splendid bunch to spend a weekend with though. Worth the trip if you can make it..
I hope that means you both are going to attend.
See you next summer in the Centennial State.. :grin2:
 
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