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fordee9r (Ron Springstead)

"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Tour!"

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grin.gif" border="0 OK, here goes... a new thread concerning AACA tours. If Peterg finds a way to transfer some previous posts, they would be more than welcome here.<P>As I have stated elsewhere, I am trying to get our Region interested in hosting a future tour and am gathering all the background info I can. At the same time, I enjoy reading humorous stories about "hardluck" situations. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>Please feel free to post your likes and dislikes about various tours that you have participated in. At the same time, include stories about how things went wrong, how bad situations turned out OK and what could have been done to avoid them. wink.gif" border="0 <P>Hopefully, this thread will be interesting, informative and enjoyable reading for all! grin.gif" border="0

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Thanks Ron. This is what we need to get this thing started. If Peter cannot make the transfer, then I will re-post some of my stuff from the other thread. Hopefully some of the others will too.<P>I think this thread has potential for improving future tours if the chairman will just read and heed what appears here.<P>Let me begin by saying that a Tour should be designed for the pleasure of the tourists. It should not be an ego trip for the people putting it on. They should think of themselves LAST! And <B>PLEASE</B> try to get away from the ever growing trend of trying to outdo all previous tours.<P><I>ABOVE ALL ELSE, MAKE IT FUN NOT WORK!</I> smile.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<P>PS: PLEASE --- nobody take offense at what I say here. It is not meant to reflect on any individual or any particular tour. These are just observations based on 20 years of touring.

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Howard,<P>Is this what you wanted to do ? ? ?<P>Dan<P><BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Before I begin the following dissertation on Founders Tours, let me state emphatically that nothing said herein should in any way be considered as being hyper-critical of any aspect of this just completed Founders Tour.<BR>That said, I believe the time has come to rein this thing in a bit. I seems that as the years pass the hosting Region of each successive Founders Tour seems to feel that they must outdo the previous year's tour. Register more cars, drive more miles, schedule more activities, see more sights and in general DO MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY.<P>This year's tour was an example of having a wonderful time on a great tour, but being exhausted when it was over. Then we all had to drive home and in my case that amounted to 1584 miles and 3 days. I got home on Monday afternoon and it wasn't until yesterday that I felt rested enough to unload the car and put it and the trailer away. That is exhaustion.<P>I stood next to one lady at the closing banquet who said she would never go on another Founders Tour again. She said it was just too much of a strain. I asked how this compared with prior Founders Tours and she replied that she didn't know because this was her first one, and her last! This is not good.<P>What must be considered is how much of a good thing is too much. 180+ miles in one day is too much. 12 hour days on the road is too much. Evening parades of 200+ cars is too much. I for one am beginning to feel the accumulated years and the toll they have taken on my body, and there are MANY participants on Founders Tour in the over 60 age group.<P>So I offer the following suggestions to future planners of Founders Tours. Yes, these cars can cover 200 miles in a day, but why should they have to. Limit the days to no more than 125 miles and let the last day be a shorter one of 50-75 miles. People do not like to arrive back at the hotel an hour before the closing banquet. Morning start from the hotel should not be required before 8:00 AM nor should you get back after 5:00 PM.<P>I could go on, but to sum it up: Stop the competition and forget about trying to be bigger and better than the prior years. Think first of what will make it a pleasurable experience for the tourists, and a marathon is not pleasurable.<P>Just one man's opinion. <P>hvs

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Yeah Dan, that really is <B>IT!</B>.<P>Now, can you do the same thing with the rest of the posts relative to touring from your Buick thread? If you can, that will accomplish what we want.<P>Thanx ~ Howard

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hvs -<BR>I understand your view about the apparent competition to make each successive AACA national event better than the previous Region's effort. I've been down that road as part of tour/meet staff three times and tried to do exactly what you say we do.<P>Maybe the AACA event Director should provide better counsel to the hosting Region when they see this happening. And I totally agree that national tours that have 300 to 500 participating cars may be just too large to be fun for participants, who may be interested in a lot of socializing and maybe a more leisurly pace. cool.gif" border="0

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Speaking of mileage planning - our region hosted the first Founders Tour back in 1988. Since it was the first one, the guidlines for driving the newer cars were non-existent. We had one day that was 230 miles with a couple of excellent stops. We found out real quick that was a mistake. However, the mistake that got us into more difficulty was the 125 miles or so on the last day. Now I must explain that the Tour Chairman's Wife and my (I was the Tour Director) wife are not hair appointments fanatics and we never even thought about making the last day the shortest so the wives who want to, can get back to have their hair done for the banquet. Also there are a lot of drivers who want to load their cars for a quick takeoff on Saturday morning. Lesson learned - Last day should not exceed more that 70-80 miles and should not have activities/stops that would cause the tourists to get back later than about 2:PM.<BR>I'll have more as this thread progresses.

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Thanks for the input so far grin.gif" border="0 <P>One thing that concerns me in hosting a tour is that we are in a rural area and don't have a lot of choices for lodging. Having never attended an AACA Tour, I don't know what tourists expect to pay!<P>Also, how small of number of cars do you dare limit entries to and still have a successful event? confused.gif" border="0

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These comments couldn't come at a better time. We're still finalizing next year's Founders Tour tours, and all of this feedback is critical to our planning.<P>For a number of reasons, we're limiting participation to 150-175 cars. We had already decided to plan shorter days, based on comments from several of our members who had been on previous tours. The fact that there are a lot of very interesting places within a reasonable drive from the hub hotel will help us achieve that goal. We're also building in some free time to allow people to explore a bit on their own, if that suits them. Wisconsin has a lot to offer, and we can't include everything on this tour.<P>As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming Founders Tour, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.<P>Jan Kamholtz<BR>Wis Region<BR>Publicity Chair/2002 Founders Tour

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Howard,<P>I brought this over from the Buick thread that got this one started:<P>Let's back up a little and give the people who are not familiar with AACA tours a description of what a tour is all about. I have never been on one, and don't know much about them. Does the tour begin and end at the same place each day or travel from one place to another? How many days does the typical tour last?

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49er<P>You realy should go on a tour before you try to put one on. There will be a great one for you to go to at the end of Oct and first part of NOV. in Alabama.<P>Dan

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Having been very active in the 1999 Founders tour I can say dito to many of the good suggestions you already received.<P>I definately suggest you go on a tour first. It is more important where your tourest go and how your tourest get there than how far they go. Always remember they are on vacation. Most of them are friends and they like socializing, eating and good old fashion BS. Never ever make a tour intentionally hard on the cars. Always put yourself in their place and remember they don't live there so make directions clear with lots of landmarks and use more signs than you need.<P>I could go on for pages but I'll quit !

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The ideal tour - 150-200 cars (although I personally like the tours in the 50-75 vehicle range) with a headquarters hotel/motel that can hold all the tourists (minus some with motorhomes) all country roads with nary a sign of a 4-lane, 18-wheeler, or any other traffic, and facilities to hold everyone at once for breaks, lunches, activities, banquets, etc. Just try to find a place like that!<P>For the Glidden Tour in Thomasville, GA, almost all of the desires were met with the exception of a host hotel. There were several motels within a mile radius, but none big enough to really be a host. The Chairman found out that they could use the local county fairgrounds and pavilion for hosting facilities and with a huge pecan orchard for parking trailers and motor homes. It worked out fine.<P>The botttom line is to evaluate the local facilities for all the activities and lodging and evaluate what alternatives may be needed to host whatever numbers of vehicles you can host. Then set the numbers.<P>The possibilites for tour planning are so great that you really do need to go on a couple of tours to see how the planning is handled. It is not a simple solution in most cases.

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As for the directions. If you can, get a copy of this year's founders tour book. I thought it was great. I was by myself and I could still navigate although I couldn't read the text directions I had the "pics" to go by and my parents were in the car ahead and Mom pointed when we were to take note of sometime.<P>They also listed all the people/cars by car #,Last name, Year of car, Make of car, and also had a roster with names,addresses,phone,and email address.<P>If you would like I'll scan a page and email it to you.

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To Novaman... By all means, PLEASE E-mail it and any other info that may be helpful.<P>To all others... Don't ask, just send any info to me by e-mail or regular mail. My mailing address is:<BR>Ron Springstead<BR>PO Box 304<BR>Sharon Springs, NY 13459-0304<P>As for my inexperience in AACA Tours, I offer this. I have been in charge of several Region Tours and all have been successful! We also have several members who have been on some of the larger tours who can offer input.<P>After reading some of the previous posts, maybe we would be better off "starting from scratch" and not trying to mimic other tours. It's not that I don't wish to attend some of the tours, I'm not retired and am self employed so getting time off is nearly impossible for me right now.... as a matter of fact, I'm off to work now and will check back later.<P>Thanks to all grin.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0

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Hal ~ I haven't ignored you. I JUST got home from a trip to New Mexico for a narrow gauge railroad ride. Drive 875 miles over 2 days for a one day 64 mile train ride? As crazy as driving to some of the AACA tours.<P>Too tired to go into your question tonight, but I will compile answers and get back later.<P>Bob ~ You probably should go on for a few pages. Lots of us could benefit from your knowledge and experience. This thread has the potential for leading to better and more pleasurable tours, <BR><B>IF,</B> it gets more and varied input and is then read and taken to heart by future tour sponsors, organizers and planners. Stranger things have happened.<P>hvs<p>[ 08-14-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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A great thread here - I think Keep It Simple is the thought we need to emphasize. Some of the best events Ive attended have allowed time to socialize, kick some tires, stop at the Krispy kreeme shop, do a little antique hunting, see some sites and enjoy the company of fellow members. We have to allow for that at both tours and meets. That'll make them less work/stress and it just might encourage some new groups to consider hosting something like this. Ive run into some resistance from potential event sponsors because they cant "outdo" the last one. It ain't necessary! <P>I wasnt able to attend the Founders Tour, darned thing called "work" got in the way, but I understand it was a super good time with plenty to see. I think we all tend to try and do too much some times, and sometimes end up anxious to get back to work to recover from our weekends. <P>Keep this thread going - as mentioned sometime previously in another thread, we are preparing a new AACA Touring Brochure - its the counterpart to our Exhibitors Brochure. It will help inform first time participants about AACA touring, what it is, what to expect, and how to get the most out of the experience. We'll also incorporate some of this info into our AACA Touring Guidlines in the Policy and Procedure Manual so future tour chairpersons can benefit from our discussion here.<BR>Thanks,<BR>Terry

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Terry ~ You're on the Board and therefore in a position to make this thing work.<P>For the good of AACA touring and the pleasure of our members, make it fun again.<P>Thanks in advance,<P>Howard

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couple of sugestions.<P>1. The middle day of the tour is "Buzzy" day. The host club should be made aware if this and the "traditions" that go with it.<P>2. There should be a period of time for a DFer's meeting. (social gathering so DFers can meet face to face)<P>3. Something should in writing as to dress for the banquets. I know that on the Founders Tour on Sunday, there was discussion as to if it was suit and tie, shirt and tie, or just a sports coat. As a first timer this made me a little edgy as to wether I was going to be apprioperatly dress for it.

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Hey Novaman,<P>A couple of comments and questions for you... First, you did a great job of updating the Founder's Tour in upstate NY! Were you asked to do so by the host Region or did you just do it on your own?<P>You mention the middle day of a tour being "Buzzy Day" and the "traditions" that go with it. Please explain what you mean and if it applies to ALL tours or just the Founder's Tour. I found no mention of it in the P&P Manual. confused.gif" border="0 <P>As for proper attire for the banquet, did you end up over-dressed, under-dressed or just right? Just curious. grin.gif" border="0 <P>You've been a great contributor to this thread so far so PLEASE keep it up! wink.gif" border="0

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<B>FOR THE INFORMATION OF ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY:</B><P><I>BUZZY</I> is the nickname to Buzzard's Breath Touring Region, a non geographical Region within AACA devoted to touring and the promotion thereof. It has <B>NO</B>. official status within <B>ANY</B> AACA tour whether it be major or divisional. Buzzard's breath is not recruting, but neither is it an exclusive or exclusionary group. It is strictly a social group of active tourists who informally gather [as Buzzards are prone to do] at AACA tours.<P>BUZZY DAY has nothing to do with anyone other than members of the Buzzard's Breath Touring Region! Please do not give it status it neither seeks nor is entitled to.<P>It has become customary for the members of the Region, when on a tour, to wear their Region shirts on the middle day of a tour. One or more members of the Region accept responsibility for displaying the Region banner on tours. On occasions the group will have a pizza party one evening of the tour. The spirit of this group does much to add to the fun and comradarie of touring.<P>I am making this posting to dispell the idea that there might be any requirement or desire on the part of BB that we be accorded any special privileges or status on a tour.<P>We take care of ourselves quite well and have always managed to work in our Region activities informally and without interferring in the plans and activities of the rest of the tourists.<P>So please folks, don't worry about us. We require <B>NO</B> special accomodation.<P>Now all of you go out and have fun on a tour, ya heah. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<p>[ 08-16-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Okay Howard. Maybe it should have been third on the list. wink.gif" border="0 I was just thinking of the different things that was taking place during the Founders Tour. Oh, well on to other things.<P>I wasn't asked by the G.V.A.C.S. Region to do it. I did it because there was five members of the Alamance Chapter of the NC Region on the tour. That's why it was done on the Alamance Chapter's website. It was a bit of a challenge but by doing it I gained some good experience. I still have some photos to scan and add to it and hopefully I’ll get the other three rolls developed soon for more pictures.<BR>I was asked the night of the banquet to take photos for the G.V.A.C.S club beacuse the camera they were using only had room for a couple of photos so I was the backup since I was taking photos anyways. <BR>Let me add this. I grew up as a kid in that region as my parents were members of G.V.A.C.S Region. So I was Among old friends some of who I hadn't seen in 14 yrs. (since I moved to NC)<P>As for attire: middle of the road grin.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0 I had a sports jacket, no tie.

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Hal ~ I haven't forgotten your questions on tours. It has just taken a little longer than expected to think it out and condense. <P>I will give you this for openers. "A tour is a short drive between feedings." grin.gif" border="0 There are 3 pound tours, 5 pound tours and others too frightening to mention. On this last Founders Tour, I lost 1 pound even with a KK shop nearby. That should give you an idea of the pace we kept. shocked.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0 ~ hvs<p>[ 08-16-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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I don't know about anyone else, but I look forward to checking out this thread every day when I get home from work! So far, it has been very informative and entertaining! grin.gif" border="0 <P>One thing lacking is the horror stories. There has to be some of you out there whose ride let you down, or maybe vague directions that got you lost. Come on! Not everyone could have gone on all these tours without problems!<P>The info posted so far is definitely helpful for future tours, but I think problems, and the way they were handled could be just as helpful! rolleyes.gif" border="0

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Ron ~ I think most of us have experienced horror stories, disappointments and such on tours. I think that the reason you are not seeing these spelled out on here is that most of us, and I am one of those, do not want to publicly criticize the host group for the whole world to see. They gave it their best effort and nothing is to be gained from naming names or singling out particular tours for criticism. <P>I personally will only cite general areas as problems as I have experienced them, and offer a generalized solution; which is only my opinion and could be wrong.<P>It is necessary to read between the lines to gain more insight into what went wrong, where and when it happened and what group was responsible. Besides, what one person might feel was a major screwup, may have passed un-noticed by many on the tour.<P>I know we should not take discussion off the forum, but in this case if someone absolutely must know details, then probably they should contact the individual who made the post.<P>Tours could stand some improvement, but it can be done, I believe, in a non confrontational manner.<P>hvs

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No, Howard, I was NOT looking for confrontations or start finger pointing... I just thought there may have been situations in the past that, although problems at the time, can be looked back on and laughed at today. grin.gif" border="0 <P>Like when I laid out my first tour, I used a topographic map to find back roads with as few big hills as possible. I drove the route and was very happy with it. I had everything done a month before the tour. smile.gif" border="0 <P>The day of the tour, about halfway along, I came to a stop sign at an intersection. Facing me was a sign that said "FRESH OIL"! shocked.gif" border="0 All I could picture was all our cars getting covered with black, goopy oil and crushed stones. I proceeded slowly and found that the new road surface had been down long enough for the stone and oil to solidify. grin.gif" border="0 <P>I learned that, especially during road repair season, a tour route must be driven just before the tour so there are no unexpected surprises. tongue.gif" border="0

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