Discussion: Rogaines by Get Lost!!
in: Henry Coe Adventure Trex;
We're soul-searching at Get Lost!!. Mostly looking at the financial statements. We've had great fun creating events... but the frank truth is, the attendance at our last two rogaines was not something that would pay for their costs, the majority of which are park permits and insurance. The situation is similar with our other events, but different enough that it has been decided to proceed with the Street Scramble schedule as announced for 2012/2013, and most likely with our Sprints and other previously announced A meets.
We need to make a decision about the fall of 2012 rogaine events. And we're asking you to please chip in. Make your intentions known by signing up (noncommittally) on the AP event page for Henry Coe Adventure Trex, and give us your feedback (feedforward?) about what it is that makes a rogaining experience enjoyable for you. We would love to continue putting on events that are memorable and enjoyable, and some of the requirements for that can be mutually exclusive—hardcore adventure racers desire epic setups, but families and beginners would enjoy a 2 or 4 hour event. We're already hearing from some of you, and sincerely appreciate the contributions!
There is enough excitement among us to create up to five rogaines in 2013, some of which would be full length. Relations with the landowners are working out and we're delighted to introduce adventure running and riding to places not yet explored. And we'd be extremely happy to share this excitement with you... please let us know what it is that you think would make these events well attended and fun!
In talking with other adventure racers, I've heard the following feedback (which reflects my views as well):
1) Rogaine entry fees are weirdly low and we worry about events being sustainable. In Ontario, 10K runs are often in the $40-60 range. An 8-hr sprint adventure race costs $100-150/person. A 24-hr adventure race costs $250+/person. Most 24-hr rogaines are less than $100/person and offer food at the Hash House for hours on end.
We know that rogaines have a lot of the same costs as other events. Rogaine organizers are often volunteers but we could have more rogaines if more professional event organizers felt it was worth their while. I hope participants would prefer to pay more for rogaines than have fewer rogaines on the calendar.
2) Most adventure racers won't travel far for a rogaine less than 24 hrs but some of them will plan around a 24-hr rogaine. I suspect some longtime rogainers like Eldersmith feel the same way.
Happening in a few days from now, the 3rd Raccoongaine mini-rogaine will be under way in a state park near the city of Pittsburgh, Offering a 3-hr and a 6-hr option, 150 participants will be participating. The maximum capacity was reached a week ago, and 20 more people signed up on a waiting list, hoping for a cancellation. The cost of participation is low, with cost of $15/$25 per person.
Two weeks ago, hosted by the Central Ohio Adventure Racing, the fifth-year Lepregaine mini-rogaine offered a 3-hr and a 6-hr event, and it had 100 participants, the most people that event ever attracted. The event was held at Salt Fork State Park, in eastern Ohio. Cost of participation was $25/$45.
NSF Adventures in another AR outfit in Ohio, and it continually has sold-out events. For a 6-hr rogaine, they charge about $55/person.
Looking closely at the attendance of a local AR outfit in the area called Grass Roots Racing, which offer mountain bike, foot, and kayak multi-discipline races, I've seen that what drives attendance is the concept of a series, like in a championship. So, GRR offers 5 races this season, and the top 4 are counted for points for "championship" winner. It's something that "sticks": people might have done poorly in event #1, so they are driven to attend event #2, and #3, to bring up themselves in points and rank in the overall championship score. And it helps that the organizer prepared customized shirts with their team name and number on it, it is just one more element to create an atmosphere of battle between teams.
I should probably clarify that we've only ever talked about the entry fees for longer rogaines - not the 3/6 hr ones.
We are in California. Our cheapest rogaine permit so far was $350 and most expensive, $1800. To have 150 people at $25 would mean a substantial loss on each participant even if we didn't offer shirts or food; the more people we get, the more we lose! It's ironic that recreation is still subsidized in Pennsylvania and Ohio, but no more of that in California. So, our prices are about in line with NSF's (cheaper if you have more than two people in a team).
The latest decision is to postpone the rogaines that have so far been announced for a year. Changes to the calendars are forthcoming.
Vlad, I just found out that DCNR (Pennsylvania dept of Natural Resources) charges $25 for holding the 6-hr rogaine. The rental of the Rec Hall, a rustic-in-appearence building, with tables and 100 folding chairs, stone chimney, commercial-grade kitchen, and two restrooms, is $170. In addition, there is a voluntary donation to the Friends of the Park, of about $120, based on attendance count.
Wow, looks like California is not too fertile of a ground these days for holding events. Wanna move here? After all, OCIN is your designated "home club" ;-)
Our cheapest rogaine permit so far was $350 and most expensive, $1800.
How do they justify such outrageous fee levels?
The park that charges $1800 has a staff of 3 and annual expenses of about $1M with user-fee income of $60k. This is an extreme example—most California State Parks are smaller and less remote, so less expenses and more visitors (and usually, not as amenable to rogaines or not/nor large enough to hold one). Local (county/multicounty jurisdiction) parks are helped tremendously by fee revenue from cattle (I'm told it's about $12 per acre), and that's how we get $350 permits.
Trail running outfits regularly pay $$$$ to hold their events, and few runners balk at $50 to be on the trails for 3 hours—why should the parks charge less for other users? It's pay to play in California.
Given that the hash house is open for almost 24 hours why not just advertise your events as a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet. I'm sure the average entry fee for US Rogaines is still less than what American restaurants charge for a day long buffet and there seems to be a lot of demand in the US for eating lotsa food.
> "It's pay to play in California"
What is the definition of an event at which point it it is subject to a fee? If a bunch of guys meet at the parking lot, go for a group trail run, then return to their cars, campfire around a cooler with non-alcoholic beverages and some food, chat and socialize a bit, I assume that is not subject to an event fee.
The city of Pittsburgh department of Parks and Recreation defines an event as such if it has 25 or more people. (I've seen advertised events in which the registration limit was 24, in order to avoid the event fee).
Years ago a hash took place in a county park. A bunch of hashers following flour and running in the park. At the same time, in the same park, a standard cross-country running event was taking place. The organizer of that lamented that he had to get a permit and pay an event fee, and was asking whether the hashers needed to get a permit too. So I called the park office and asked if a bunch of runners show up at the large parking lot, and start running in the park for a couple of hours, do they need a permit ? the officer asked a bunch of questions about whether public roads with vehicular traffic were to be crossed, whether there were going to be "spectators", whether there was food and beverage served and money being exchanged in such transaction. The answer was no to all those question, and the answer was "no sir, you do not need a permit".
The answer to your question is 0, 20, or 50 attendees, depending on the jurisdiction.
This discussion thread is closed.