Tough weekend this one, it was a raging success on one hand and a dismal failure on the other. How do you find the balance between the two?
On the first hand, we had an awesome event, new racers…which translates to new family; new park…which translates to new partners; new spectators…which translates to new fans. All is good there, it was a small field that took the race course, but, that isn’t new. We’ve seen small fields before, and because we never give up, they grow.
All the comments we heard were positive, hence, a raging success.
Then there is the other hand, we made a tough decision before the event started to not charge a spectator gate. That doesn’t happen often, in fact, never, but this was a different situation we are not normally in.
The park is new to the area, it has been 17 years in the making, but it hasn’t officially opened yet, that happens in two weeks. With that has come some significant opposition to the park, what was once a lawless, riding/dump area, is now a managed recreation area. No more driving/riding drunk; no more dumping; no more parties, there are now specific hours and an entry fee. That is not a bad thing.
The 6,000 acres we are using could be beautiful, but the public needs to treat it like the treasure it is. There seems to be a whole different philosophy about garbage in the coal district than I’m used to, it was disheartening to see whole mountainsides covered in trash…from tires to refrigerators and everything in between. So, because there is some political turmoil, and we were fielding a small group for the race, we were concerned about the reputation at the park. I would have hated for anyone to walk away thinking they had been gypped. I love our style of racing, but we are new to this area, I was worried. So we did what we could and made the decision to keep it free for spectators, which put us in the hole for the weekend. That sucks. Fortunately it isn’t a big hole, we keep our expenses low so we can weather these kinds of storms, but it was disappointing to have an event in the red. Hence, the dismal failure.
So, really, where do you find the balance? How do you maintain the positive attitude when you know you need to fuel the truck to make the next event? How do you keep getting up in the morning, working hard and making everything work like it should?
I will tell you how we do it…we put a smile on and listen to our family, our race family, that tell us we are doing a good job that they appreciate. It’s not all of them, nor should it be, but it is enough that say we do good, they make it worthwhile. I appreciate every attaboy we get, not because I have an ego that needs stroked, but because I know that there aren’t a lot of places our racers can go and be treated well. I always want them to know they are appreciated and respected here.
I learned a lesson a long time ago that has been worth its’ weight in gold to me. All you can do is host the event, you can’t make people come. My goal is to give 100% every time, and here is the reason why… because the people who do show up deserve your very best. It is not their fault that others didn’t make it. It’s like the rockstar who is disappointed with the 100 fans in the audience, instead of the thousand he expected. Every one of them deserve to hear him sing his heart out, they showed up, Always give 100%.