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Event Coverage 2017 LA Roadster show

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hot Rod Ron, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. tofords
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 731


    My Deuce and junk I bought IMG_2911.jpg IMG_0825.JPG IMG_0826.JPG IMG_0833.JPG IMG_2936.JPG IMG_2934.JPG in the swap meet.
  2. There were 350 roadsters entered this year. About half of a normal year.
    6-bangertim likes this.
  3. blvdbill
    Joined: Feb 2, 2010
    Posts: 150

    from California

    Worst LARS show ever. Was like a ghost town . Keep thinking it would fill up , nothing
    Need to put it back the way it was years ago. Change is not always good
    zeddman and deucemac like this.
  4. threewindaguy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 238


    This guy hit it on the nailhead and is worth reading. My complaint was absolutely no portajohn in the waiting line. Try holding it for two days or walk a half mile. C'mon, how about some hospitality for your customers...
    6-bangertim, r2c1 and loudbang like this.
  5. $um Fun
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 393

    $um Fun
    from Nor Cal

    After going for years this was like going to a funeral. Our swap space was at the south end their were only three others in our row compared to last year when it was packed. I new many sellers who packed up at noon and left on Saturday. We were encouraged to get our passes on Wednesday, and still had to wait in line on Friday. What a waste of time. Then there was the toilet issue, very few toilets and garbage cans (finally on Saturday they did start putting the cans out). I know many including myself that wont sell their anymore but will just come on Saturday to look.
  6. PRE48V-8
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 674

    from H.G., CA

    ....True. The swap area on the North side had a total of four portable toilets near a cluster of large, tall pine trees. The other bathroom facility located on the East end of the South side of the swap meet (up against the perimeter fence separating the swap meet from the specialty parking) was a mobile restroom with 3 sinks, appx. 5 toilets & 8 urinals (can't speak for the ladies side...). Had plenty of trash cans by my spaces near the beer booth (who told a colleague of mine they only sold about 10 beers on Sat. afternoon). When it's 90-degrees on a Sat. at the Fairplex during the L. A. Roadster show, exhibition and swap meet and beer sales are that low in the swap meet, something is not right. I've never seen low beer sales on a warm summer day (for what it's worth)....PRE48V-8\:^]
    59rambler likes this.
  7. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,142

    a boner

    Just shows how good of a job the L.A. Roadsters Club did for all those years! Guess maybe they shouldn't have been such an exclusive club, and let more (younger) guys join throughout the years.
  8. PRE48V-8
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 674

    from H.G., CA

    ...If this is an accurate assessment, then 350 participant roadster owners @ $50 ea.=$17,500.00. Double that amount of participant roadsters to 700 (the appx. amount for a "normal year") @ $25 ea.=$17,500.00. Question is, would twice the roadsters potentially show up at half the entry fee? Probably not, but is possible more would show up @ the lower entry fee rate. If so, would an increased level of roadster participants (closer to what has shown up during a "normal year" for the event) potentially increase spectator attendance? Judging by the comments here on this enthusiast web page from participants, swappers & spectators alike, it seems like its time to test that theory in 2018 unless the L. A. Roadster club and the entity they've entrusted to manage and administrate their event for them (John Buck's RodShows, Inc.) want to see a repeat of the low attendance to this years event compared to previous L. A. Roadster shows of the recent past....

    By the way, just for consideration: Using the swap meet grid map and calculating the number of swap spaces for sale, taking into account that all spaces sell for $80.00 unless they are at the end of a row (which cost a premium of $100.00 each), if the entire swap meet sold out it would gross over $122,000.00 (just over $57,000.00 for the South side and just over $65,000.00 for the North side). Visual estimation of the amount of swap spaces occupied on both sides of the swap meet (the North side appeared to be close to 85% full and the South side near the locomotive display possibly 30% full) one could say using these rough estimates that swap meet space sales came in somewhere north of $70,000.00 (appx. $17,000.00 in swap space sales on the South side & appx. $55,000.00 on the North side). Throw in $17,500.00 for roadster fees, estimate 250 specialty cars @ $75.00 for the weekend gives you another estimated $18,750.00. Adding all these estimated figures comes up to $106,250.00. Add to this retail exhibitor fees and potentially spectator ticket sales (unknown if Fairplex & RodShows, Inc. split this or have a percentage agreement along with parking fees from gate parking lot off of White Ave.). Say for sake of this exercise there are 50 vendors paying an average of $1000.00 (some more or less depending on their space dimensions and location) for their booths/trailer parking and there is another $50,000.00. Add that estimated number to the previous gross pool of money collected for the other segments of the event and you're up to appx. over $150,000.00 for a low turnout event. So, using that as a gauge, a higher turnout event in both participants and spectators (as referenced from events held in the recent past) likely gross near or above $200,000.00. But of course one doesn't really know the exact amounts of people through the spectator gate @ $20.00 ea. per day or what retail exhibitors pay or how many of them there are (not to mention event sponsors fees). One can, however, estimate the amounts generated by the swap meet and the roadster/specialty car participant individual fees.....

    What does this mean & what's the point here? Simple. It takes an initial outlay of capitol up front to secure the foundation to put on an event (i.e., the cost of the Fairplex property, insurance, event staff, promotion, administration, services & souvenirs) before a single spectator pass, participant fee, swap space fee or exhibitor fee is collected. This has always been true, no matter what the event is or who is in charge of its production, and no one should expect something for free....

    HOWEVER, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. It's simple economics. Customer service comes into play regarding this equation, because people expect something for their money, always have and always will. When the price is raised too high or product/service quality deteriorates its reflected in sales profit and volume (which go hand in hand). There is a show that was administrated by an organization and its membership (along with their families in recent years) that is now "contracted out" to another organization to manage & administrate who has no membership to fill the positions needed to manage & run the show. Can't be sure how much it costs to fill those positions compared to past L. A. Roadster show events because it's unknown how much their organization relied on the Fairplex staff during the event. Nevertheless there probably has been an increase in human labor costs for management of the event due to the change from the Club running it as opposed to the RodShows, Inc. group taking over this task. In light of this, one can wonder did the L. A. Roadster club lower their expectations on their net gains from the profits of this event relative to the decreased work load they now no longer have to perform to make this event function in lieu of making an agreement with RodShows, Inc. to take this task over for them? Difficult to say, not knowing how much "skin" each party (i.e., the L. A. Roadster Club and RodShows, Inc.) has agreed to when it comes to the upfront costs of putting on the event and the net profits split afterwards....

    All cost analysis estimates aside, in the end, it comes down to "cause and effect". Something happened to create the outcome of this year's event. Was it out of the control of the event organizer or an act of nature, an anomaly if you will? Or, maybe a little bit of both, perhaps? In either case, if the poor attendance numbers witnessed at the 2017 L. A. Roadsters Show & Exhibition are an indication of things to come it may be in their best interests to do an "event autopsy" & figure a better way forward for the future success (and survival) of this half-century old show. Unless this is addressed, I'm afraid it could mean the slow but sure demise of the event and the decline of the L. A. Roadster club itself into becoming a historical footnote. Once thing is certain: "Reality dictates what will happen in the future". Let's hope it will be an event made better by those in control listening and taking into account constructive criticisms, economic realities and positive comments alike from enthusiasts while recognizing that they, too, are an important element of what has made this show so wonderful in the recent past. Thanks for your time...PRE48V-8\;^]

    P.S./If any inaccuracies are noted above, I encourage any fellow enthusiasts that have actual facts please come forward and correct them. A healthy, open, positive discussion amongst like-minded folks can sometimes lead to a change for the better for all interested parties.....
  9. I know the swap meet was smaller than previous years; after Saturday, I could still walk on Sunday morning. A lot of barren parking areas around the buildings that are usually covered with roadsters. Sadley, I think John Buck should re-evaluate the changes made to a long standing and successful show. Hopefully the L.A. Roadsters still have some say so regarding the success or failure of the only event bearing their name.
  10. Sweet & Low
    Joined: Feb 13, 2014
    Posts: 200

    Sweet & Low

    I wasn't happy last year and only took in Sat and heard Sunday was way down. It's been such a tradition for all these years its a shame to see. I think next year I will have to take in the LSRU instead of the Roadster Show. From other So Cal buddy's that have gone to the LSRU, they said it reminded them of the Roadster show when it first started. The times they are a changing.
    bondolero likes this.
  11. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 853

    from Rolla, Mo.

    This is very disheartening for me. I have the L.A. Roadsters Fathers Day Show on my bucket list. It looks like I have waited too long.
    Montana1, Kan Kustom, i.rant and 2 others like this.
  12. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 417


    Pre 48V8
    You forgot to factor in the leasing fee that John Buck pays the roadster club.
    It is a substantial amount of money.
    I don,t think he made money this year
  13. seabeecmc
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 828


    The absolutely best improvement this year was the assigned Swap Meet spaces. Yes, some more fine tuning is necessary. As swappers we chose our own spaces, so if it seemed spread out, we did it to ourselves. Extra plus we reserved our same spot for next year's show.
    Yes, the commercial venders were to remote from swap meet.
    An extra special event was Alex's 95th Birthday party at the Peterson Garage Saturday night. All in all an excellent time. Ron
  14. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 594

    Pete Eastwood
    from california

    OK, here's my 2 cents worth
    I've been going since 1970 ( yep, 47 years )
    A few years ago was the 50th, & the turnout was great.
    Since then the turn out has been falling off.
    "It's going to be to hot!" "It's costing more money"
    It's always going to be hot in Pomona in June.
    It's always going to cost (more) money, & NOTHING ever goes down in price.
    Keep using what ever excuse you want for not going, & the event will die.
    The LA Roadsters & John Buck can only open the gates, it up to US, the hot rodders, to make or break the event.
    I found the swap meet process better this year. Sure it wasn't perfect, But John Buck's guys were willing to make changes on the fly, and were listening to suggestions.
    Most people send more money going out to dinner than what they would spend getting into the show / swap. Besides, looking around, it wouldn't hurt some of us to skip dinner once in a while!
    So, stay home & bitch, or point your finger at John Buck & say "I told you so" or what ever.
    Or, you've got a whole year to "SAVE" up the additional $40 / $50 bucks it will cost, & come out next year & make it the kind of event you'd like it to be.
    tofords, Montana1, 1929CDAN and 18 others like this.
  15. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 358

    from norcal

    There will have to be some serious rethinking about what happened this year. It was not a pretty picture! Been going 43 years and this was not good. Our suggestions were well received. Jim
  16. Bigbangtheory
    Joined: Mar 18, 2012
    Posts: 297

    from ohio

  17. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,242


    It could be the sellers were scared off by notices from the California Board of Equalization stating they better all have Sellers Permits. The only exception is those who were "Clearing out their garage". A lot of people (I'am included) want to sell under the table at a swap meet and don't want to be worried about an official flashing his agency badge and telling me to close down or face prosecution.
  18. bondolero
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 549


    AMEN !
    tofords likes this.
  19. tofords
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 731


    I know it was bad but it's Johns first year. It will get better, he doe's a great job on the Grand natinal show. Frank
  20. tofords
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 731


    Thank you Pete
  21. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 753


    So you are upset about the higher prices and bitch and moan about it on a forum and eventually there are enough of you that there is a notable absence of Roadsters and Swappers. Big Deal. What would worry me if I were Mr.Buck is the absence of spectators through the gate. If you can get 50,000 faces through the gate that is a serious chunk of money both for the fairplex for parking and the promoter to pay for his costs. The general public will buy from the vendors and the swappers making their spaces pay for themselves.
    So what happened to the general public.There are no forums, they are individuals and not connected by anything. What made them stay home? I'm afraid that a lot of people went with dad because he loved those hot rods and now that dad is dead or too frail they don't come anymore.
    Anyway if the fairplex doesn't make any money from parking they may look for an event that brings more of the general public to the fairgrounds on father's day weekend.
    seadog likes this.
  22. A lot has been said about "expenses" to put on the show. If you take the time to check the rent for the entire Fairplex for 3 days, you'll shit. 200 grand is way short of break even. It may not be an issue much longer. The Fairplex is in the red and can't stop the bleeding. There is talk of the county selling the property, and developers building condos there. I guess then the whiners will have won. :(
  23. 5632
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 17


    Unless the guy that bought the show wants to loose more big money it is over with. He destroyed this show that we all have loved for years. Good by L A Roadster show.
    zeddman and popawolf like this.
  24. popawolf
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 292


    the general parking is killing the swapmeet,not to mention the price. who can buy stuff at the swap an carry it across the fair grounds under the tunnel to the parking lot across the street,no one. this is the main reason no customers at the swap.look at everyones pics. of the meet ,no people around. its $50. for preferred old car parking & there are some parking on the west side the drag strips on..i think buck just wants the people to come into the buildings etc. an f the swapmeet the best part of the show for me.
  25. FORTY
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 1,165


  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,246


    Well Dean, it's sad but it wouldn't surprise me. Unfortunately there seems to be no stopping the developers and their "Condo Juggernaut" in California (or anywhere else for that matter). Sacramento Raceway, the only drag strip left around here, is slowly succumbing to years of pressure too. It seems our hobby/sport doesn't have the money or the numbers to effectively push back.
    It's been a few years since I attended the LARS but I'm saddened to hear it slipping too. I attended in 2000 with my roadster and it was truly the best experience I ever had at a show. I'm far from rich but some events I will always pony up the money for, the LARS is one of them. It's been moving and family commitments that have stopped me for the last few years.
    I am hoping some lessons were learned, changes will be made and things will be better next year. Like Pete E said, we will all just have to get out there and support it or it will pass away.
  27. Blownfuel
    Joined: Jun 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,179


    I believe attendance was really down this year because of letters like these that circulated around So Cal prior to the event.
    Example #1:

    "Hot Rodding Friends:

    Please review the information (web site below) put out by John Buck (who bought the Grand National RoadsterShow and Sacramento Autorama from who I previously contracted my Producer services with, Dan Cry Enterprises) who has now has an agreement with the LA Roadster Club to run the Father's Day event for the next five years under contract.

    Since it's inception all the attending Roadsters and their drivers were allowed free entry to this traditional event as they are the Show. Unfortunately Buck has decided to make it a money making event for himself and is now charging $50 per entry for the two-day event and limiting the souvenir mug to the first fifty entrees only (there are usually well over 600 per event and everyone got a LARS Mug for their participation at no charge). I'm not sure what the cost will be for the other groups that attend (Swap, spectators & non-roadsters), but is more the Club charged. Personally I think it stinks that Buck conned the Club into this agreement and wants to make a huge profit on a traditional happening that's been around for well over fifty years.

    For those of you after reviewing the web site, let me know your thoughts. It pisses me off enough to boycott this event after attending it for almost thirty past years. Greed sucks!

    Tim Holt"

    and Example #2:

    "This is interesting ............. Time to start another Fathers Day Tradition
    Dave I got this from a reliable source so I'm assuming its accurate......... . Buck has "Leased" the Father's Day show from the LARfor 5 years, at $150,000 per year...He has rented all the buildings for next year... The Roadster Show is now pre-paid registration like thebig guys, NHRA, GGs and NSRA, every one pays includingthe LA members... No more free lunch building for LAR or the vendors...L.A. will still pay the cost of the Saturday dinner on the Hill... All LA members must wear their red-white uniforms even if they don't work... All Roadsters and all car entries, and swap meet spacesare now pre-pay registered... N0 mention about the hotel rooms...Free or pay even if we work?... Meguiar's said they are not returning next year, and possibly also Edelbrock... Special meeting has been called for tonight...We'll just have to see what happens...No virus found in this message.
    Checked by AVG -
    Version: 2016.0.7797 / Virus Database: 4656/13056 - Release Date: 09/21/16

    Stormin' Norman Fletcher"

    I swear I remember a third one as well that was from someone within the LA Raodsters club discussing how Dan Cyr had lied to them etc., but can't find it right now. Personally, I feel bad for the people who travelled long distances to attend unaware of the controversy surrounding this years show. Personally, I didn't go for several reasons (a couple having to do with these letters, and a couple that didn't). I'm hoping that one years low turnout will open the eyes of the powers that be without killing the show, but we will see what happens. I'm not posting this to stir the pot, but I think some of the people who wern't in on all this deserve to know what happened this year.
  28. It is sad that some people feel the need to put out negative publicity about an event such as this. I am sure letters like this are a big reason the turn out was so low. I hope the hate mongers are proud of themselves. They are what is killing this tradition. God love the internet.
  29. I commented on another LARS thread, so I will paraphrase.
    It was the first time that Chick and I could go to the show with a roadster, as up to this point we didn't own one, and actually it is hers.
    Sat we met friends from up North, found a shaded grass spot and parked. Walked the swap, walked the building and waited for 5pm. Why say until 5? With our pre-purchase of $50.00, along with two days for two people, the LA Roadster treated us to a amazing BBQ dinner of slaw, beans, as much brisket as you could eat and a large hunk of chicken.
    Sun back we hung around for the 3 o clock present. Now, I am sure many of you have the Roadster show mugs lined in your garage, but it was first time for us. And while we waited we talked to a good friend that is one of the original members, who told us they pay $35.00 for each mug.
    So we added it up and felt like we got a good deal for our $50.00.
    Yes the cars were down, yes the swap was smaller and more expensive (mainly professional vendors is what I saw), the Fair Ground food prices were extreme, and it was hot, but a show will die not from a new promoter, but from lack of support from the car people. Where else will you go on Fathers Day?

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