What was your favorite / least favorite part of MOTD this year?

  #101  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:49 AM
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I must admit that my wife and I stayed in our condo in Sevierville and drove over each day. So we spent a lot of seat time in the MINI and ran the Dragon everyday coming to Fontana. The location of the event is great and we will attend again though I will likely stay in Townsend next year. We used the restaurants of pigeon forge then headed to the Mountains. I guess you can spend a lot of time complaining about this and that but, Volunteers put this together and they do a great job .

We rode our motorcycle on the Dragon in October of 2007 and the MINI last week. We can't decide which we enjoyed more. That's a great result!

Thanks
 
  #102  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:52 AM
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I wasn't going to post until I saw all this crap. I think a lot of you need to take a good look at all the great things this weekend offered, and stop picking at the inconsequential stuff that you may or may not have liked. Things go wrong, that's life. If you think the food was too expensive, do something else next year. Don't like the facilities? Try the Blue Water Lodge. It was friggin' awesome!!! Killer food, too...

I don't think it takes a scientist to see that a lot of hard work went into making this run as smoothly as it did, and I for one, am very appreciative. Based upon choices the organizers make, I may do some things differently next year, but I will be back, I had a great time. Thank you, one and all for putting this together.....
 
  #103  
Old 05-06-2008, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by catseye View Post
I wasn't going to post until I saw all this crap. I think a lot of you need to take a good look at all the great things this weekend offered, and stop picking at the inconsequential stuff that you may or may not have liked. Things go wrong, that's life. If you think the food was too expensive, do something else next year. Don't like the facilities? Try the Blue Water Lodge. It was friggin' awesome!!! Killer food, too...
Well we do want feedback on what people didn't like. We just need it in a constructive manner AND we need people to accept the reasons given for why things are the way they are.

I guarantee you everyone associated with MOTD would allow a newcomer to step up and try to do something cheaper or organize it better if they want to. That's not me being difficult, I'm dead serious. If someone can do it better then they should step up for the benefit of all.
 
  #104  
Old 05-06-2008, 11:42 AM
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We were camping, and brought food with us. We ate at the farewell dinner, and otherwise we grilled (well, kinda....the 'grill' story is a sad, sordid tale....) and cooked on the electric skillet we brought with us.

We did this mainly to keep costs down, but also because, well, it is fun to sit around a campsite and cook!

My point is, if you have a cabin, why not, instead of going to the 'pasta dinner', just have a big honkin' cookout at your place? Bring enough food to feed a few other people. Heck, I brought so much breakfast food we fed anyone who walked by!

Back in '04 we had a "chili cook-off" that was both very fun and reasonably cheap. Could it be done again? Should it be done again? I don't know the details to pull it off right off the top of my head, but my guess is, sure!

FWIW, a 30 mile drive each way will consume about $10 worth of gas, even in a MINI. I do agree the Fontana prices are high. But it is a supply and demand thing, and unless demand goes WAY down, I don't see it changing.


Oh, I forgot one of my favorite things: everything tastes better when dipped in flowing chocolate!
 
  #105  
Old 05-06-2008, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BSUCardinalfan View Post
Oh, I forgot one of my favorite things: everything tastes better when dipped in flowing chocolate!
including, but not limited to....Bubba's Home Baked Nut Rolls!

Man I loves me some Bubba Roll!
 

Last edited by mielnicki; 05-06-2008 at 12:11 PM.
  #106  
Old 05-06-2008, 12:34 PM
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The 'small' meals, at ten bux a pop, were not outrageous, especially given the circumstances. Not huge portions by any means, but that's fine too. But I felt 30$ for the farewell dinner was kinda steep. I chalked up the extra cost to being able to hang out with buddies instead while waiting, so it kinda worked out.
 
  #107  
Old 05-06-2008, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Greatbear View Post
The 'small' meals, at ten bux a pop, were not outrageous, especially given the circumstances. Not huge portions by any means, but that's fine too
They were giving seconds for both meals!
 
  #108  
Old 05-06-2008, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pamalalala View Post
My favorite part: Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

Least favorite part: Attendees getting very upset and complaining before they have all the facts. I wish "complaints" would only be voiced if they are constructive and maybe posed as questions instead of insults. (some either forget or maybe just don't care, but there are real people behind these events.) For example: "I didn't like X, why is it done or not done like this? Often the answer makes people say - "Oh, I didn't realize that. I'm glad I asked before jumping to conclusions." and, if possible, please follow-up with ideas for solutions and/or "What can I do to help?"

As someone who puts a LOT of effort into this event, it is so disheartening to hear what people complain about and how they do it. Especially when they offer no solutions or assistance. Contrary to what some believe, nearly this entire event is in fact done by volunteers. I love doing what I do, but it actually brings tears to my eyes to hear some of these complaints. I know it's difficult to understand when you aren't standing in these shoes, I get that. But when you have volunteered literally hundreds of hours over the course of a year and work so hard to make the event what everyone wants - planning and organizing, dealing with problems that inevitably come up, and finding workable solutions, it is quite painful to hear. I can so handle constructive critcism, in fact I welcome it - it helps make things better. What I can't handle is cruel complaining and ripping the event to shreds but offering no workable solutions or help.

Take a look at this brief list, nowhere near everything that happens at MOTD - I think it will help give a visual of what I am saying:

NAM - Registration online
NAM & Volunteers - Registration on site
Volunteers - Information Table
NAM & Volunteers - Four on site dinners so people did not have to drive 20+ miles for a meal
NAM & Volunteers - Tent and vendor organization
NAM & Voluteers - Coordination with Fontana
Volunteers - Brew Swap
Volunteers - Monte Carlo Night
Volunteers - Midnight Run
Volunteers - Dragon Draggin'
Volunteers - Little Dragons
Volunteers - ALL planned drives
Volunteers - Ice Cream Run
Volunteers - Group Photo
Volunteers - Parade
Volunteers - Autocross
Volunteers - Car Show
And so much more!!

I don't get what is with all the false entitlement issues - the attitude of "You better entertain and inform me, do it extremely well, without mistakes, customize it to just the way I want it, oh, and it better be cheap or free!" How could any event possibly meet these demands?!?! It's amazing to me how contradictory people are with what they want:

- they don't want to be responsible for anything, but want to benefit from everything

- they don't want too much "commercialism" or organization, but they want options and everything they want available on demand.

- they don't want events being exclusive, but complain when solutions are found to make them inclusive.

- they want a large selection of events that offer entertainment at any time they want it, and it better not conflict with something else they want to do, AND all schedules must be customized to every individual so they don't have to make choices AND they don't want to have to pay for any of it.

Okay, I am done for now, I am exhausted and refuse to shed anymore tears over this.

Pamala
Waaaaaaaaaa...you never mentioned the "free" Cigar Sampling Salon and/or its volunteers! We put in a helluva lot of time trying to write our blurb, get a nice hat design for our participants, and doing our thing there, even though we had a VERY late and consequently sparsely attended event, due to the Welcome dinner letting out so early.

Fontana needs to do some serious tree maintenance where their power lines are concerned, and especially behind Welch Road. The fire, smoke and general confusion on Thursday sure put a damper on another great MOTD, at least for my wife and me, causing an early departure which forced us to miss the Car Show, the Chili and Farewell Dinners, and the Ice Cream Run [even though we had paid for the ones charging a fee].

Due to all the confusion with the fire and trying to find where our luggage had been taken, we arrived late to the Pasta Dinner and ended up with hardly any food [what was left was cold and almost plastic in taste], beverage, OR compassion by the servers.

Still, as has been said...THIS is what travelers need to understand when taking a vacation. All things DO NOT run smoothly ALL the time. Ya gotta learn to roll with the punches. This WILL NOT keep us from returning next year, although I'll be sure stay at the Lodge and away from trees near power lines.

Jeff
 

Last edited by welshmenwillnotyield; 05-06-2008 at 12:53 PM.
  #109  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mellotron View Post
I like the idea of multiple smaller dinners. It would be nice to have the choice of several smaller dinner gatherings,
Since over 600 folks signed up and the dinners only had a average of 250 people per dinner, I feel it's safe to say that this is already the case, as it has been in past years and will be in future years.

Here is a summary of the ideas that have been suggested for 2009:
Movie night (in the tent, if it's there)
More Vendors
Keep the meal cost (we should be able to keep all 4 meals under $15.00)
Chili Cook-Off (I liked that one too!!)
A 10:00 pm Dragon run on Friday (maybe call it the "Dragon Eclipse")

One more thing that Mark F. and another club member brought up that I can't believe we have not done before. Graham County is a very poor area. Partly due to 80% of land being national forest and thus a very small tax base. So how bout next year we pick a local charity (a local food shelter, etc.) and make that our cause.
 
  #110  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:03 PM
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I loved hanging out with friends I don't see every weekend. It was so worth just coming for that. Meeting new people, hanging with old friends, you can't beat it! And especially the golf cart!!! Seeing everyone's cars was awesome. Gives me some great ideas!

I wish all the vendors were in one place. Maybe nix the tent, move everyone back up to the parking lot, and open the ball field for parking? A lot of MINIs parked up there anyway.... Just a thought.

I greatly apologize for all the people who are upset at the farewell dinner. I had NO control of that. It was a misprint on the badges for an hour earlier. I honestly didn't even know about it till the contacts at Fontana told me about it! But I do like that people were not openly pissed off at me. I did my best with that dinner. You must understand, I...I mean ME, MYSELF, and I are the only responsible person(s) for putting that event together. I tried everything I could to make that less expensive, but with the tax, gratuity, and price they charge, and then on top of what NAM takes for allowing everyone to sign up for the event, it costs a lot. Fontana can charge whatever they want because they don't allow ANY outside catering.
(SPECIAL THANKS TO DETROIT TUNED FOR THE CANDY AND SNACKS!!!)
As for the amount of food, I had a helping of everything that was offered, and couldn't even finish it all! What do you mean you didn't get enough!!!! I saw them packing food away back in the cars! Why didn't you get seconds, or thirds if you were so hungry?

If I go next year, I will not get a full registration. I was disapointed with the amount of stuff I threw away, but I will continue to support the organizers of this event, simply because I love it so much.

I also really appreciated all those who "adopted" a wayward MINInurse! Thanks for the YUMMMMMMMY meals...I will most definitely make some DT lunch next year for you guys! Hopefully I will have Jay with me next year, but if not, I will rent a satellite phone so I can contact Jay..he was upset I couldn't get online

MMC, ROCKED again. I loved it that Chris gave that girl his promised $100. Just wish I won something I liked the bigger venue, just wish I didn't lose so quickly!

Midnight shouldn't be changed! I loved it again this year, especially because I was riding with Chad and was in the lead! I am glad the rain let off till we almost got back.
 
  #111  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by snooter View Post
One more thing that Mark F. and another club member brought up that I can't believe we have not done before. Graham County is a very poor area. Partly due to 80% of land being national forest and thus a very small tax base. So how bout next year we pick a local charity (a local food shelter, etc.) and make that our cause.
The idea of MOTD supporting charities is certainly not new but I LOVE the idea that we pick a local charity to support!
 
  #112  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mini2Go View Post
The idea of MOTD supporting charities is certainly not new but I LOVE the idea that we pick a local charity to support!
+1

Great idea!
 
  #113  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:12 PM
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A few of my thoughts...

Overall
I think this event was, once again, amazing! The organizers and volunteers did an excellent job, especially considering the event size, diversity of activities, and remote location. Sure, there are always little things to tweak but that's how it is with any event no matter what you do.

As someone who has attended numerous car-related events of all types, as both a vendor/business and as an enthusiast, I can tell you from my experiences that this event is one to honestly be admired.
Sure, there is always someone who says they attended a better event but I can pretty much guarantee that that "better" event was either smaller or less remote, or was funded significantly by someone with really deep pockets. (or the registration fees were 2-5 times higher than MOTD, which is not uncommon at all at other events) But, what other events of this size have the Dragon to play on too??
I think that perhaps some of the frustrated attendees simply haven't been to an event of this size and limitation before so they don't realize how great it is! Plus, they may have never been a volunteer organizer before either. I just hope that the negative comments come more in the form of questions and constructive comments here on out on this thread.

Lanyard Safety
Yes! I agree. As the person who provided them for everyone, I would like to address this issue for you.

This year's lanyards were not only going to look cooler than the ones we ended up having, but they were going to have the break-away for safety. Unfortunately, 2 weeks before the event when I inquired about tracking information, I was told that the company had completely lost my order and there was no way they could possibly produce the lanyards in time for MOTD. They are produced in Korea so 2 weeks just wasn't enough time. So, I had to move very quickly to find a domestic manufacturer who could produce them in time. I did find one but there were significant limitations on what I could order in that timeframe. So, we ended up with a lesser quality material, printing on only 1 side, and no break-away fastener (they didn't have them in stock for this quick turnaround). PLUS, believe it or not, it cost me almost twice as much than it would have cost me at the Korean company who lost my order. So, I ended up with more cost for less quality/features.

If we buy the lanyards again next year, I will definitely order them with the break-away as was intended for this year. I apologize that the situation this year prevented break-aways this year. I tried but my hands were tied!


Anyway, hats off to all the amazing organizers and other volunteers for a great event!

-Heather
 
  #114  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:30 PM
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In spite of some "inconveniences", my wife and I had fun. This was her first MOTD, although she was there briefly last summer during MME, at Alcoa, TN. She enjoyed it then, and told me she wanted to try a MOTD in May. This was my 6th visit...one in Fall, '04, Summer, '07, and the 4 May MOTDs of '05-'08. We saw people with whom we have made friends through the years, and we drove thru dropdead beautiful country on some of our country's finest twisties. She cannot wait to return for some Fall of the Dragon and its glorious colors and the down home friendliness of the locals.

As I stated in a previous post, learn to roll with the punches when ya travel. If ya can't be a bit more flexible, then why complain and make the people who have worked so hard to make this successful miserable? Stay home and cry around, but let the rest of us come and enjoy it!
 
  #115  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:38 PM
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Likes/Dislikes about MOTD 2008

I'll start by saying this was my first full week at MOTD. Last year I was just there for the weekend.

Likes:
Monte Carlo night! What a blast! I would never have gambled with real money, so this gave me an avenue with the fake money! I was lucky enough to win a CG Lock too! Great prizes too! A custom shifter for one! I found that the tables were busy but people were willing to smush and scootch over for me to join the game!

Brew Swap! How great was swapping great beers from around the country?!? AWESOME! Met a lot of great people there too! Nice pint glasses as a great token from the event.

Day Drives: the brewery run was great! Nice drive packet with alternate routes and other places of interest in the area. GREAT beverages at the brewery too. Met some other great people in that group.

Dislikes: The verbage of "old registration" building. As a newbie, I had no clue. But I managed and figured it out. so no big deal. Very minor detail.

Overall, I had a great time and met a lot of great folks. MINI people are so nice and willing to talk to complete strangers about the cars we love!

I appreciate all the work that volunteers put into the event. Thanks a ton!

Also, Thanks to DDM Works for installing their last rear brace for me! The brace makes so much difference! Thanks a lot!
 
  #116  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mishka View Post
+1

Great idea!
+2!!
 
  #117  
Old 05-06-2008, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jibeho View Post
Wow that was a stupid comment
Guess you have never seen an accident before

h
Wow, thanks! So was yours!

Actually I have, but then again why would you lean into an open engine compartment with a lanyard on? Besides the cards were held on by a clip that didn't actually hold the card on all that tightly (that's not to say mine fell off, it was perfectly fine the entire trip) The card would have contacted anything in the engine bay prior to the actual lanyard getting caught on anything and broke loose, unless you like to stage dive into engine compartments ( I dunno, people do weird things sometimes). If it was that much of a concern, why not just string it through a beltloop?
 
  #118  
Old 05-06-2008, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by welshmenwillnotyield View Post

Fontana needs to do some serious tree maintenance where their power lines are concerned, and especially behind Welch Road. The fire, smoke and general confusion on Thursday sure put a damper on another great MOTD,

Jeff
Jeff - what's your complaint with the tree maintenance? It was my cabin that the tree nearly fell on (10ft from the top of the tree to the bed where I slept). I felt that it was only fair that if it was going to hit anyone's cabin it should hit mine

Seriously though, random unplanned events happen all the time. I roll with them. In fact, I stayed in the cabin that night, without power and slept just fine.

Mark
 
  #119  
Old 05-06-2008, 02:58 PM
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Just wanted to provide a bit of clarification on dinner costs. This year I lowered our processing costs significantly to keep the prices down. Last year we also had significant sponsorship that allowed a buy down on the costs of several of the dinners. With the slowing economy we did not have this type of support this year. Also, for the welcome and farewell dinners, since clubs volunteered to organize and support them, there were funds from the dinner proceeds that go to the club so that they can either support a local event or donate to charity. This way everyone who volunteers time, energy, and effort receives some benefit.

As for the registration packages I'm not sure exactly what was in there to throw away. For 99% of the packages we had a maglite-like flashlight you could use in your car, a magnetic grille badge for the event, an event window cling, and a t-shirt. There were a couple of vendor flyers but this year we tried to keep the list of things included useful in some way.

Mark
 
  #120  
Old 05-06-2008, 03:04 PM
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Well, maybe I over stated my post but the lanyard is worthless to me because we can't use not break-away models, event though I sit at a desk. So this lanyard ether gets $hitcanned or stuffed in a bag somewhere.

Trust me man I'm a firm believer of FREAK accidents ask me some time off line.

h

Originally Posted by ashboomstick View Post
Wow, thanks! So was yours!

Actually I have, but then again why would you lean into an open engine compartment with a lanyard on? Besides the cards were held on by a clip that didn't actually hold the card on all that tightly (that's not to say mine fell off, it was perfectly fine the entire trip) The card would have contacted anything in the engine bay prior to the actual lanyard getting caught on anything and broke loose, unless you like to stage dive into engine compartments ( I dunno, people do weird things sometimes). If it was that much of a concern, why not just string it through a beltloop?
 
  #121  
Old 05-06-2008, 03:24 PM
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This was our first MOTD and we have to echo Cabriopilot...We Loved It! Our first dragon run was great and every run after that got even better. We enjoyed seeing all those Minis and their owners in one place.

Our favorite: Motoring with other Minis
Our least favorite: Staying 34 miles from Fontana (got extra drive time though) and missing out on some of the evening activities. Going home...but took the long way, most twisty, scenic, back roads!
 
  #122  
Old 05-06-2008, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jibeho View Post
Well, maybe I over stated my post but the lanyard is worthless to me because we can't use not break-away models, event though I sit at a desk. So this lanyard ether gets $hitcanned or stuffed in a bag somewhere.

Trust me man I'm a firm believer of FREAK accidents ask me some time off line.

h
I have to admit this is something that hadn't occurred to me as being a potential safety issue. Obviously we'll take this as constructive feedback for next year's planning.

Mark
 
  #123  
Old 05-06-2008, 03:40 PM
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On stepping up:

I'm going to go ahead and make this known now. If anyone has any need for volunteers next year, Liz and I will gladly step forward. We're already planning an amazing follow up to this year's Geocaching event, and I'm also considering leading a Virgin Dragon Run for next year (scheduled so everyone knows when the newbies are on 129) or perhaps a small introduction to MOTD specifically for newcomers so they can feel even more welcome.

This is OUR event. We all have a hand in it. So step up and let's make it even better!
 
  #124  
Old 05-06-2008, 03:53 PM
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Snoot,

Over here in Velcro Beach they have a "Screen on the Green" movie. Nothing more then what we had with a few food vendors, Pizza, popcorn ect. We don't go because I can't bring BEER. I think an open air movie with a under the tent fall back would be great!

h

Originally Posted by snooter View Post
Since over 600 folks signed up and the dinners only had a average of 250 people per dinner, I feel it's safe to say that this is already the case, as it has been in past years and will be in future years.

Here is a summary of the ideas that have been suggested for 2009:
Movie night (in the tent, if it's there)
More Vendors
Keep the meal cost (we should be able to keep all 4 meals under $15.00)
Chili Cook-Off (I liked that one too!!)
A 10:00 pm Dragon run on Friday (maybe call it the "Dragon Eclipse")

One more thing that Mark F. and another club member brought up that I can't believe we have not done before. Graham County is a very poor area. Partly due to 80% of land being national forest and thus a very small tax base. So how bout next year we pick a local charity (a local food shelter, etc.) and make that our cause.
 
  #125  
Old 05-06-2008, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wbarnhill View Post
On stepping up:
............ and I'm also considering leading a Virgin Dragon Run for next year (scheduled so everyone knows when the newbies are on 129) or perhaps a small introduction to MOTD specifically for newcomers so they can feel even more welcome.
Now that is just freaky........ I'm in the process of going over the surveys I handed out and someone has specifically requested a newbie class for the dragon with a newbie run afterwards. I check on this thread and there is your post
 

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