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Regionals and Store events #78290 04/25/09 02:45 PM
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DANIEL Online OP
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With all these cutbacks in signings and (I maybe jumping the gun,but) it looks like there will be no regional this year there just isnít much to look forward to. I am thankful that I will be able to go to Bronze Lady for a signing but what about next year. I realize with the economy that HL needs to tighten their belt, but I am getting bored. I miss the opportunity to go to a regional and a couple of signings a year like the good old days.

I just hate to have to lay out $2000 or more a person to be involved with a Harbour Light get together. Then come up with airfare. There has to be something cheaper and fulfilling and not spread out every five to six years. It would be nice if something like a Minnie one day reunion could be held in several of the regions each year. Charge $50 to $75 a person and increase the giveaways and throw in a dinner. Keep them busy for a day with Bill stories and giveaways bingo and a Lighthouse tour. I know we keep having small turnouts for the store events and the Regional. But wasnít gas $4.00 a gallon then?

I enjoyed the N.O. regional last year and Dave H, Bill and HL did a fantastic job as usual.
I am not complaining but is it possible that the regionals are too faraway from where the collectors are. Couldnít we have more and situate them where the collectors are and have a head charge that would cover the expense? I have as always offered the use of the cafť and atrium of our building for a regional. No cost but the food. Holds a hundred people comfortably and can accommodate more if need to. A nice corporate building overlooking the St Johns River with outside deck for smokers. We even have a boat dock. I could probably make arrangements for private boat tours for what ever my cost would be.

I am not complaining but with less store events and less or even the possibly of no regionals is HL possibly going to lose the few faithful that they have now? I have been considering other more popular hobbies like coin collecting and license plate collecting. These were my hobbies as a kid and there are sure more support groups and showings or at least for the coin collecting.

I also realize that scheduling Bill for an event anymore is getting more and more unlikely.
Is Bill the only one to do an event? Is Kim still available? How about Harry and Tony?
I think just because Bill is fazing out of the picture that the events should not follow the same wave.

The less popularity for the regionals may not be all the collectors fault.
More advertising should be done for all events. Utilize the HL website. The website still has last years events posted. Collectors need time for planning. Try to advertise events in January and February while people can still plan their vacations around events.
Utilize the websites of the many dealers for advertising. Use a fundraiser for advertising and get free advertising from some of the lighthouse organizations.


If it werenít for this forum I would have to wonder where Harbour Light collecting would be today. The way the trend is going this may end up being our only connection to Collecting Harbour Lights.


DANIEL
Re: Regionals and Store events #78291 04/25/09 09:37 PM
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flacoastie Offline
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Since HLs will be funding the Reunion and Regionals I assume, I think it should be their decision on where they are held. I agree with Daniel in that they should be held in areas where the majority of collectors reside or within short driving distances of where they reside.

There are not many people that can afford to take long trips with the price of gas or pay the cost of airlines tickets round trip for 2 or more people in today's economy or even next year's economy. Additionally there is the cost of the hotel rooms, additional eating expenses, additional touring expenses, etc. I would conservatively say that a Reunion on the West Coast would cost the average couple between $2500 to $3500 with no frills added in. You can probably add in another $1000 for frills and this is if it isn't a cruise. If it's a cruise I will conservatively figure between $5000-$6000 with transportation to and from the departure point and with the frills added in for a couple of two.

This cost does not compute in my military mind with everyone complaining about the cost of gas, heating oil, electrical costs, unemployment, potential loss of jobs, pay cuts, etc. Several 1-2 day regionals(West Coast, Great Lakes and Middle Atlantic) should cover about everyone that is interested in going. Those that have the resourses to go to more then one, feel free to float your boat (or your credit card) and go to them if you can. I guess you might call me an old stick in the mud from my military days in that I always had money in the bank to pay for an unexpected transfer, catastophy, etc. Now that I'm retired I still think the same way, and even though I could afford to spend the money for a West Coast outing, why do it when a East Coast Regional could be just as much fun if it was set up correctly. The great majority of your collector base is located east of the Mississippi I assume so why not have a couple of nice Regionals on this side and also have a nice one on the West Coast.

That's my logic on the Reunions vs. Regionals. To this end, I would not go even if I could because of Amy's severe back condition that will not allow her much travelling or sleeping in strange beds so whatever happens is fine with me. I just wanted to put my input into this topic. The one thing that I think would be fair to Tony and HLs is if you REALLY PLAN ON GOING AND NOTHING CAN STOP YOU FROM GOING, YOU NEED TO LET TONY KNOW YOUR VIEWS. If your just daydreaming about this trip and the chances of you going is 50-50, let Tony know this also so he can mentally put this in the back of his mind and not count on you as a definite. If your like me, tell him straight off that there is NO WAY JOSE that you will attend. These are my thoughts on the subject and should not be taken any other way.


Rich
Re: Regionals and Store events #78292 04/25/09 09:52 PM
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We are going to make a couple of Bill events, one non-artist event and still hope to make the regional, but our calendar is filling up for the year.

It probably goes without saying, but if Tony builds it (Reunion) the Brady's will come!!

Our preference would probably be the Northwest coast area, Seattle or Portland.. Hawaii would be fine also, since that is the only state we haven't been to in our travels..


Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!
Re: Regionals and Store events #78293 04/26/09 01:42 AM
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DANIEL Online OP
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A good point that was made on the other post was that the last reunion had 529 people (using the production amount for the Cheboygan Crib).

Why did the reunion have so many and the regions and store events have so few?

Could the low numbers for the events that happened last year carry over to the reunion?

Could those that go to reunions but not regionals and store events tell use why?


DANIEL
Re: Regionals and Store events #78294 04/26/09 05:00 PM
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I don't know what I can do this year, hopefully atleast a couple of lighthouse challenges, but next year I plan on doing a lot.

I there is a reunion/anniversary event late next year or 2011, I will be there. I have many things still on my HL bucket list. A HL reunion is one, meeting Bill is another, meeting Tony, talking with Harry is probably number one.

I've had home issues stop my lighthousing plans the last couple years, but I'm hoping to get back into traveling this year. I would like to know when and where the regional is this year. I may even go solo to it.

For the the record, I think there should be atleast a regional in Florida. I think it would have a very good turnout as long as it's not between June and September.


Stan M
New Jersey Lighthouse Lovers
------------------------------------
Harry Wishlist: Tinicum Rear Range, Miah Maull Shoal, Finns Point, Bergen Point, Cross Ledge, Old Ambrose Lightstation, Romer Shoal, Barnegat Lightship, Liberty Lightship.
Re: Regionals and Store events #78295 04/27/09 04:46 PM
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Well, my wife and I have been to three of the four reunions (missed the very first one). The reunions are really a whole different affair.
The run for 3-4 days. There are lighthouse tours, auctions of some very unique lighthouse stuff, and lots of fun with fellow lighthouse lovers.

For the Mackinaw Island reunion, we had boat tours that took us out onto Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Harry Hine held lectures on the process of creating a Harbour Light replica and if fact, created the Cheboygan Crib replica at the reunion. Anyone that wanted to could actually scuplt a SMALL pice of the replica. The certificate for the replica lists the name of each person who put there hand to the sculpture.
They had one of their sculpturers and one of their painters there as well. The painter even touched up the paint sample of St. George Reef I won that had a couple of small chips in the base. You cannot even tell it had been out of its box now. If you have never been to one, it is hard to descibe just how much fun and exciting it can be. We are already preparing to set money aside to attend the next reunion wherever it is.

We have never tried to attend a regional because the cost vs return was never there for us. The Regionals are usually one day affairs. So for us to fly from Colorado to attend a one day get-together does not work. And there has never been one that synced up with our other travel plans.

The first three lighthouse reunions were heavily subsidized by Harbour Lights. The last reunion on Mackinaw Island was not subsidized by Harbour Lights. It had to break even on its own, which is why the cost was higher. In the current economic conditions, I would expect the same thing to be true for the next reunion.

I don't believe there were 529 people at Mackinaw because people could order more than one of the Cheboygan Crib piece. The reunion at Baltimore had over 700.

The cost per person depends alot on the number of people they can fit into the chosen venue. The tradeoff is the more people you have, the less personal time you can get with the Youngers, etc. The cost of each of the past reunions has been all inclusive once you were there. Travel costs to and from were your responibility. My wife and I have continually been able to get resonable airfare the past two years. Add-ons tothe reunion like additional lighthouse tours, etc are extra if you elect to do them. The hotels involved have offered the special room rate for the reunion to those wishing to stay extra days. Dave H. can correct me here if I have misstated anything as he put together The last reunion.

Will a reunion be inexpensive? Probably not. Is it worth it? That depends on each individual.
Will they do things from past reunions at this one. One never knows, but I hope they have a painter and sculpture there and Harry makes a lighthouse. That ws a high, high point of the Mackinaw reunion. From our experience, a reunion event is one of the best vacation experiences we have ever had. The only thing that still tops a reunion was our honeymoon.

(Boy, that is my longest post ever. Sorry for being long-winded folks.)


Randall Ronne
President - Colorado Lighthouse Collectors Society
New Dungeness Light Station Association
Re: Regionals and Store events #78296 04/28/09 07:47 PM
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MelJB Offline
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My first reunion was the reunion that was held at Mackinaw. And I would do it again, even the puddle-jumper flight that only had 12 seats! So many things to do and see, wonderful events, prizes, and the lighthouse tour trips bus and boat.

I have also only been to one Regional, Portsmouth - a 2-day event that include the boat tour into the Chesapeake Bay, and the bus trip to Cape Henry, Old Point Comfort and the Coast Guard Station in Yorktown. Another great event, but different in comparison to the reunion. The regional wasn't as expensive for me, since I combined the trip with a family visit, flew into Norfolk, stayed with family in Hampton, and used a family vehicle to drive to Portsmouth for the event. My mother joined me for the event and had a great time visiting the lights and meeting other Wackos!


Melody
Re: Regionals and Store events #78297 04/28/09 08:18 PM
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I have been to all four of the reunions because being more than one day it becomes cost effective to plan a vacation around with side trips to other events; with that said and depending on the dates of the next reunion, I will most likely be there too.

Re: Regionals and Store events #78298 04/29/09 02:31 AM
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I agree with Paul,Randy and Ladybug. All reunions appeared to be great successes.

Judy

Re: Regionals and Store events #78299 04/29/09 04:56 PM
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Hey Ladybug, roommates for the next reunion or will Al be coming with you?


Melody
Re: Regionals and Store events #78300 04/30/09 05:03 PM
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I posted this in the Reunion thread, but I think it's fits here better:

I'm all for a reunion or regional in the Charleston area. Sounds like a great place.

Given that lack of attendance at regionals, and I've been no help(yet), maybe they should have them only every other year? Make it a two day event to make it worth while to travel to.

Then have a few in-store events the years you don't have a regional.

Reunions could be every six or eight years replacing that years regional.

Just my two cents !!!


Stan M
New Jersey Lighthouse Lovers
------------------------------------
Harry Wishlist: Tinicum Rear Range, Miah Maull Shoal, Finns Point, Bergen Point, Cross Ledge, Old Ambrose Lightstation, Romer Shoal, Barnegat Lightship, Liberty Lightship.
Re: Regionals and Store events #78301 04/30/09 09:39 PM
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Hey Mel, Most likely it will just be me as Al doesn't go in for this kind of event; will stay in touch once details are announced. However if it is Seattle, I won't need a place to stay.
Darlene cheers

Re: Regionals and Store events #78302 04/30/09 10:32 PM
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WackoPaul Offline
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If it's in Seattle, we all can stay with you, right Darlene!


Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!
Re: Regionals and Store events #78303 05/01/09 02:29 AM
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Bill and Judy Offline
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And Darlene knows the good places to eat there!! Charleston, Seattle, Hawaii, Alaska---they all sound great to me!!

Judy

Re: Regionals and Store events #78304 05/01/09 02:57 AM
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Hey we could still be room-mates, just not in the same bedroom...I could be a house-guest! :p


Melody

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