I posted a diary page yesterday about my feelings and thoughts on HOG sponsored events being a little too expensive for my pocket book. I figured it would draw some interesting comments, and it sure did! Be sure to take a look at them if you already haven't. A lot of other riders feel the same way I do, while at the same time, there are some who are involved with HOG and are having the time of their life! For those fellow riders, I say good for you! Obviously, you found what your looking for.
I also understand and agree that all chapters are not run the same, and I realize that the people can make the difference. I read a comment somewhere on a blog this past week (sorry to the author, I can't remember where I saw this) but, the subject was about Keith Wandell becoming Harley Davidson's new CEO. The author of the comment was referring to HD having Dealerships and Stealerships. He was hoping Mr. Wandell would come in and clean up the Stealerships and get them back to fair and honest business practices. I feel the same can be said about some local HOG chapters. I'm sure there are some that are great fun and keep things real for their members, while with others, the same mentality of the Stealerships comes out to play.
This brings me to today's post. I've been challenged to quit whining and do something. Since I'm one of those kind of people that do try to make a difference, I thought this might help. I plan to write a letter and submit it to our State HOG president, but let me share my thoughts.
I recognize that HOG membership brings many advantages for many riders. My only beef with HOG was how much it cost to attend their rally, so I'll direct my ideas toward that.
Most events and rallies I have attended have been in the $25 to $30 range for the whole weekend. This seems very reasonable to me. However, if you bring in high dollar entertainment and offer more premium activities, I can understand if the price needs to be a little higher. What I don't understand, is why a nice high dollar event can't be broken down so it would be more inviting to all. Having weekend passes are great, for those participating all weekend. If a person could only come for the day, it seems a bit costly for the amount of time spent.
It's simple... When you pay your way into an event, you get a wristband, so security and volunteers know who paid and who didn't, right? There's no reason why wristbands can't be color coded. Example: weekend band passes could be yellow. Friday could be green, Saturday; blue, and Sunday; orange, or whatever. The security staff would have no problem identifying those who paid for their way and those who didn't. This way, the event would probably have a much larger turnout each day, if riders were allowed to come and only pay for the time they want to spend. Even if you keep the weekend fee at $40.00, a day pass for $15.00 or even $20.00 would be more reasonable to spend for a day of motorcycle fun.
Imagine this... 500 riders chose not to go to the rally due to cost. Under the present rules, HOG wanted those 500 riders to pay the set rate of $40.00, which would have calculated to $20,000.00. That's a nice chunk of change! But, HOG didn't get that $20,000.00 because those 500 riders did not participate. Now let's say those same 500 riders decided to come for the day and buy a pass at $15.00. That's $7,500. Am I to believe that $7,500.00 is just chump change and not worth bothering with?
If the organization sets their price higher than the average rider feels is reasonable, it doesn't take a mental giant to realize, they're targeting only the upper echelon of income earners to participate. I feel that this tactic is very effective in controlling who comes to the event. Just don't belly ache to the rest of us, that this is not their real intention. The proof is in the pudding!
I am a National HOG member and will probably continue to be one. I like the benefits I receive with my membership, especially their two publications, H-D Enthusiast and HOG Tales that comes out every other month. I have yet to become a local HOG chapter member because frankly, I haven't seen a good enough reason yet, why I should join. I still have to live within my means, and unfortunately, becoming a local HOG member in my area, is just a little beyond my means. It would be nice to join up with a fun group of others who share my passion for riding, but I think I already have that.
I'm not trying to bash anybody here, I just wanted to speak out on how this made me feel. My hubby and I have two Harley habits to support and we love riding and going places. The rallies and other events are just a bonus. My passion is still where it belongs, and that's on the road, riding free and fast. Hell, being a rub would be great! I wouldn't have to worry about keeping a budget to pay bills. But I confess, I am a wannabe, cause I wannabe riding every chance I get!
I hope my idea will not fall on deaf ears, but only time will tell. Some day, if I were in charge...