Author Topic: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....  (Read 4934 times)

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Offline W1RC

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After a great deal of thought and deliberation we have made some changes to the cost of admission to the Fairgrounds that fortunately is NOT going to affect most of you.  There will be no general increase in ticket prices and a major reduction in the fees charged RVs, motorhomes, etc.

These changes are required for two reasons.   First: this will greatly simplify the job of getting all of you into the Fairgrounds as quickly as possible while making life a LOT easier for our thankless staff of volunteers manning the gates.  Second:  it will hopefully  raise a portion of the additional charge that ihas been levied on us by the Fair Association for Thursday and Friday night "electric and water camper hookups".

I have made these changes  based on the following philosophy:  NEAR-Fest is not just a group of individuals occupying the Fairgrounds overnight;  we are a community, having fun and partying together for two days.  It only makes sense that those of us who are present on Friday should share in the costs together of being there overnight whereas those arriving on Saturday should not. 

The $30.00 RV fee that has been levied has been reduced by $20.00 so it is now a RV/Motorhome "parking fee" of $10.00.  This is additional to the $10.00 vehicular charge that is paid by all vehicles upon entry.

In the past these vehicles were charged a $10.00 entry fee which went to the hamfest PLUS a $30.00 "hookup" fee which went to the Fair Association for a total of $40.00 plus the admission costs for the folks entering the grounds in it.  This $30.00 fee levied for such vehicles for electricity and water hookups is, in reality, an extra charge by the Fair Association to recover the cost they will have to pay for the electricity that we, as a group, consume after dark which is considerable.  I believe this policy was started at Hopkinton.  It was collected after the vehicles were in place and was handed over to the Fair Association for the hookups Saturday morning.

This procedure was not only very difficult to manage effectively, it was unfair.  We found this out the hard way last Spring when we were presented with a $1,500.00 bill from the Fair Association very early Saturday morning which was much higher than anticipated!  This was a classic case of miscommunication which was no one's fault but we had to deal with it on the spot.  Some people were asked to pay a fee that they felt did not apply to them.  Most of you who were affected ponied up gracefully but there were some people who were unhappy over this.  We are attempting to make this up to you by drastically reducing their individual costs and trying to spread the cost over a much larger base and absorbing some of it ourselves.   

Therefore, this time we decided to take a whole new approach in raising the extra money to cover the charges imposed on us for "camper hookups".

As an experiment we are eliminating this $30.00 "hookup fee" and for NEAR-Fest II we will charge a self-propelled RV such as a Motorhome or a large travel trailer an additional $10.00 RV fee (regardless of whether they actually hook up or not) for a total of $20.00 to enter the flea market area.  Please note this does NOT apply to converted vans or pickups with caps; only the large self-contained "land yachts" and long travel trailers.   At least you will know up front!

The ONLY change to the admission ticket structure is that the ticket cost will be $10.00 until 6:00 AM Saturday when it used to drop to $5.00 at 3:00 on Friday.  Our logic here is that people arriving Friday afternoon will either be staying overnight or until late in the evening partaking of the events and festivities while enjoying the electric power being consumed by us as a group once darkness is upon us. 

We hope to recover SOME of the "Camper Hookup" charges that will be imposed on us by the Fair Association by eliminating the $5.00 ticket reduction on Friday.  NEAR-Fest will cover the rest from general revenues.   Hopefully the new policies being tried out in October will work well for us and allow us to raise some of the money we will have to pay to the Fair Association for "camper hookups" without seriously impacting any of our attendees.  If it doesn't work we will have to explore other options.

Anyone who intends on using a lot of electricity by using an electric heater may voluntarily contribute to the "electricity fund" but this is on the "honor system" and is strictly of your own volition.

The good news is that I was able to obtain use of the on-site campgrounds that is adjacent to the main parklng area right near Gate F so we can offer Thursday night camp-over facilities.  The charge for this will be $20.00 per vehicle and hook-ups are available.  The campground opens at 3:00PM.  Plan on joining us for the pre-hamfest festivities.  Please be advised that this area is not located inside the tailgate area so early setup & shopping is not an option. 

I regret having to make some of these changes but the realities of life in the New Millenium offer us few alternatives to meet our increasing financial obligations while at the same time keep the costs of attending as low as possible.

Hope that this pleases everybody!

73,

MisterMike



Offline kb1lrl

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2007, 12:20:44 AM »
 Mike, I think this is a good idea. I thought the 30 dollar electric fee was a rip-off. I can live with 10 bucks! I got my tickets before you made the changes. I hope they will remind us when we bring our "yachts" in. I appreciate the fact you listened to us and made the changes to make a good hamfest a better one. Thanks!   Ray KB1LRL
Ray, KB1LRL

Todd, KA1KAQ

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 05:48:25 PM »
The new admission fee scale makes perfect sense: $5 per day, so if you arrive Friday, you're paying for both days. Even if you only stay Friday, you have the option and freedom to attend both days without having to pay again.

I also applaud MrMike's efforts here in preventing what we so often saw happening through the years with the Hosstraders events. Rate stability and sensibility is a good thing, for all concerned.

Offline W1JS

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2007, 05:25:47 PM »
Great idea, Mr. Mike, for all of the aforementioned reasons!
 :)

Offline W1RC

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2007, 10:43:50 PM »
I am trying to keep the admission costs the same as they have been since the early 1990s.  In fact they are lower.  Hosstraders used to charge $20.00 per person up until they moved to Hopkinton in May 2001.  Then it became $10.00 admission and $10.00 for the vehicle.  Admission was reduced at 4:00PM on Friday to $5.00

Hopefully we can keep it to current levels for a while at least.

73,

MisterMike

Offline Bri

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2007, 02:40:22 AM »
I'm way ok with the rates!!
Where can you go and get 30 or so  hours of like minded friends, crazy electronic/radio/stereo/ham/ equipment, lobsta' rolls, music, interesting conversation and to top it off you can make some $$ on some stuff you don't need or use anymore.

Hell, the last 2 hour concert I went to cost me $68 per ticket.
Times 4...........

Near-Fest is the Bargain of the year.

Keep it commin'

Bri
The only thing to fear is fear itself.....and crazy bat-shit people. We should really fear crazy bat-shit people.

Offline w1es

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 09:04:47 PM »
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

As Mr. Mike mentioned, the rates for Hosstraders were not stable for a brief period and this was one reason for its attendance dropping off.

I heartily applaud (with my newly mended heart) Mike's attentiveness to the attendees of this event.  I greatly look forward to seeing all of you old timers up there, as well as any newbies!  As one who has been a faithful attendee of Hosstraders since 1983 (I missed Spring '84 only between '83 and 2006!) I am very happy to see a region-wide event happening still.

I'll be flying up from Greensboro on Thursday night!

Steve, W1ES/4

Offline W1RC

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Re: Change In Rates for Camping, Admission, New Thursday Night Camping.....
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 10:46:05 PM »
I guess some folks may have gotten the wrong impression about Hosstraders rates being unstable. 

In fact they were remarkably constant over the years. 

When I started going in the mid 1970s admission was a buck.  It went to two bucks around 1978 I believe. 

Back then Hosstraders was an annual one-day event, the second Saturday of May.  As the word spread people started travelling distances to attend and began arriving earlier and earlier.  I remember arriving at 11:00PM Friday night and guys were running around with flashmights looking at the goodies. 

Eventually the Fair Association decided that another day's rent was due and it was at this point that admission on Friday was $20.00 per person.  It was reduced to $5.00 at 5:00 I believe.  This was to try to recover the additional day's rent that had to be paid.

This rate schedule was in effect from the early 1980s right through to the October 2000 Hosstraders at Rochester NH.  In May 2001 the venue changed to Hopkinton and it was at this point that the admission became $10.00 per person and the vehicle $10.00 to enter the Fairgrounds.  There was outside parking that was free and it was an easy matter to park there and enter on foot.

This remained the policy until October 2006 which was the last Hosstraders.

The camper hookups were never part of the Hosstraders' rates.  I believe it began at Hopkinton and it was the Fair Association that levied the charges.  This practice followed us to Deerfield which isn't too surprising because there is an association of Fair administrators and they share ideas, etc.  We decided to negotiate a flat rate for the electricity consumption and worked out a more equitable scheme to try to recover some of this in order to make it easier for our volunteers.

Hope this clears up the question of the "instability" of the Hosstraders admission rates.

73,

Mister Mike