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The Unlimited Lights will return to the Tri Cities Water Follies for 2008.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

An open letter to the Board of directors of the Tri-Cities Water Follies regarding the ULHRA.

I know that each of you are successful in the local business community and selflessly give of your time and money to support the Water Follies. I am certain that you did not get to be where you are by trying to be all things to all people. Instead you focused on what you do well and worked tirelessly to do it better than anyone else. So I must ask you why you are trying to be all things to all people in your public service when you know it would never work in your private businesses. Furthermore, do you not understand why your event is in perpetual financial trouble? Here is your answer. Your event won’t sell one single additional ticket or sponsorship that wouldn’t have sold without the ULHRA Lights. In your business you value research data and would use such information to form the basis of your decisions. I suggest that you pry your collective butts out of the VIP section east of the Barge on the Benton County shore and realize that most of the paying fans can’t see or hear the Lights.

Wasn’t the point of last year’s reorganization of your event to get the amateur decision makers and their emotional attachments out of the business decisions necessary for running a successful event?

As for you emotional amateurs reading this post (and you know who you are) I’ve got nothing against the Lights. They just don’t fit in here and their hopes for long term success should be focused on where they do fit in. The Water Follies BOD should take that advice as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, another clueless post from the peanut gallery. If you had bothered to do your research, you would know that that the two major fan comments about last years event involved the issues with the air show and the lack of the unlimited lights. So, based on that , I would have to say you are wrong and there probably will be more sponsorships and/or tickets sold as a result of adding the lights to the program. People running an event like this need to listen to what the fans are saying and brining back the lights is listening. Everyone I have talked too is extremely pleased the lights are going to be there this year. But hey, let's just do it your way. Screw the fans, their opinion doesn't matter.

Plus, you obviously don't have any idea about the complex financial and management issues involved in running an event like Water Follies. So, i can't really see how you can draw a line from the lights coming to the financial doom of Water Follies. There are lots of other issues that play into the financial health of an event like this. If I were you, I would just keep this type of opinion to yourself from now on until you know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

You, Sir or Madame are exactly the kind clueless emotional amateur contributor I was referring to. I especially applaud your “keep this type of opinion to yourself” close. That’s just what prospective sponsors want to hear from someone who claims to understand the complex financial and management issues required to stage such an event. Your emotion based and poorly reasoned response failed to address the core of my post which was YOU CAN’T SEE THE LIGHTS FROM MORE THAN HALF OF THE VIEWING AREA!

Face the facts my emotionally charged but roostertail blinded friend. Real hydro fans and only real hydro fans missed the Lights appearing at the Water Follies event last year. The real hydro fans in the region bought tickets to last year’s event. Ergo, the Lights will NOT SELL ONE ADDITIONAL ticket for the 2008 event. In fact after you subtract sponsors and hangers-on who receive complimentary tickets the actual sales may decrease.

Here’s the problem, there just aren’t enough real hydro fans to make the event a going concern with or without the Lights. The goal of the Water Follies should be to attract as many paying fans as possible. How do you do that? You broaden the appeal by increasing the action on the water for ALL of the paying fans (the air show is nice but let’s face it it’s not why we’re here). How do you do that? NOT by adding to the down time in the air and on the water for more than half of the paying fans. The Water Follies by adding the Lights have created a distraction that adds no value to their event for more than half of the paying fans. And that, is screwing the fans that you claim to speak for.

I wish the Water Follies the ABRA and the Lights nothing but success in 2008 and well beyond. Sometimes caring takes a little tough love and some are so close that their love blinds them to reality.

As for you, with your cutting intellect and debating skills you should consider a future in politics. FYI I hear that Mrs. Clinton is hiring…

Anonymous said...

Right and your comment "I suggest that you pry your collective butts out of the VIP section" was so mature. I suggest you look at yourself in the mirror Mr. Pot. In fact, your post is replete with snippy, self important comments. Don't attempt to take the high ground when it's clear you have no more right to it than anyone else.

Many negative comments about last year's events centered around the lack of the unlimited lights. That is a fact, not an assumption. It stands to reason that ticket sales might have suffered if this was not addressed. You additionally show your lack of understanding of the event this event's dynamics with this comment:

"the air show is nice but let’s face it it’s not why we’re here"

Probably the number one complaint about last year's event was the quality of the air show. Sadly, "true hydro fans" are sort of a dying breed. It is about the entire package now. Personally, I could do without the air show component. Unfortunetly, for your "Joe Blow" general admission ticket fan this seems to be a requirement. So, it's a neccessary evil so we can have this hydro race every year.

You are right about the viewing problems on the Pasco side regarding the lights. I guess a blind squirrel can find an acorn every now and then. Maybe they will adjust the course this year. It's hard to know if that will happen because it's so early. Let's just Blast Water Follies though. They obviously didn't put any thought into thier decision I'm sure. They just did it to make you and the Pasco fans mad apparently. I expect any day now we will see a huge groundswell of support for this disenfranchised group of fans protesting the lights addition. I look forward to that. There hasn't been any decent comedy on tv since the writer's strike.

Also, you might want to check you figures before you describe the Pasco side as more than half of the paying fans. Although the Pasco side has been growing in recent years, I don't think it surpasses the Kennewick side yet for attendance or, more importantly, revenue generation.

"As for you, with your cutting intellect and debating skills you should consider a future in politics. FYI I hear that Mrs. Clinton is hiring"

Once again, another snippy emotional midget comment. What a shock. Your grasp on the high road gets more tenantive with each character you type.

If you have a problem with Water Follies, you should address your concerns with them professionally. Write a letter. Don't post "This is an open latter" blah blah blah on a blog. That's probably the most unprofessional way to air a legitimate grievance. Taking the right method might lead to some positive results. But no, I wouldn't expect that from someonoe posting on a blog.

HydroInsider said...

You kids play nice or I swear I'll turn this car around right now!

Anonymous said...

Hahahah good one. Seriously though I don't know why this blog allows anonymous comments. Really should consider turning that off. People tend to be less snarky when they can be identified to something.

Anonymous said...

Interesting tread here. It seems that supporters of the ULs not only can’t take criticism they insist that criticisms be silenced. But wait no one criticized them they just assume that questions are in fact a form of criticism. A pretty thin skinned little cabal you guys are. BTW the last few times the ULs ran in the Tri-Cities their race course ran from the Official Barge to the Blue Bridge and was biased to the Kennewick side. This geographical limitation made them visible to maybe half of the paying fans but less than half of the potential viewing area. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would say constructive criticisim should be encouraged. The first post is just someone's rant because they don't like WF decision to bring in the lights. It has nothing to do with supporting the Lights or not. It's pretty obvious he/she has no idea what factors or reasearch went into bringing the lights back this year. I keep looking for the constructive suggestion or alternative in that post. I'm not seeing it. Seems more like just using the forum to blast away at WF from behind the shield of anonymous posting. If you have a suggestion let's hear it.

Also, I would tend to side with an organization that under its first year of self managment erased all its debt, signed a new title sponsor and ran a successful event, under thier first year of self managment, rather than some anonymous internet poster on a blog who thinks he knows more than they do. Seems to me WF proved they were able to make the tough business decisions with any "emotional" attachments to me.

Anonymous said...

Woo who! We finally agree on something. In 2007 the Water Follies dropped the Lights and balanced their books…

Anonymous said...

The facts don't support your conclusion. ULHRA is such a small portion of the overall budget that it simply couldn't have caused the organizer's problems. It is literally a dimes to dollars comparison with the ABRA and airshow. You make another unsupported conclusion thinking that ULHRA and the rest of the show compete for sponsors. ULHRA spends their own efforts to bring in their own series sponsors into the event. There is little, if any, competition for resources -you have no facts to back your view. Give credit where credit is due, these organizers are running a tighter ship and are doing it right. There is no data to support your contention that "no more tickets will be sold" ULHRA is a growing fan base and has many advocates. If you have trouble viewing/hearing why don't you cross the bridge? Despite the denials you obviously do have a problem with the ULs and the current organizers as well. No one wants to stiffle legitimate concerns but we would like constructive (fact based) criticisms instead of obviously personally motivated potshots Calling those who disagree with you "emotional amateurs" pretty much lumps you right in that category!

Anonymous said...

Great post above there. Right on the money. Look at the ULHRA circuit expansion this year. They have been working hard and adding events. Stands to reason they must have a decent fan base that could help us pick up some ticket sales and/or sponsorships. Plus, this gives water follies many more potential heat sponsorships that could be sold. Sounds like a good business opportunity there.

Also, while dropping the lights last year was part of "balancing the books" as you put it, it was not the only factor. I think the previous news stories have indicated a lot of things factored into the financial turn around. Not the least of which was finding a great new title sponsor in Lamb Weston. Running without a main sponsor for a couple of years was probably a pretty big financial drain.

There are a lot of items involved, cutting or adding one particular act is not going to drag Water Follies budget into the red. It's the overall management of the event that will tell the tale and last year they did a splendid job in a tough situation.

A. Nony Mous said...

The Water Follies is back in the black with money in the bank. Why not bring back the Lights? More boat racing is a good thing!

And there's supposedly a sponsor that's coming to underwrite it that wouldn't have been part of sponsoring hte Water Follies WITHOUT the Lights.

Anonymous said...

Well...THIS has been interesting to say the least....but here's one true fact. I did not take my family of 4 to teh Water Follies last year because they did not have the lights. I instead took them to the Desert Thunder race in May (lights). We come from out of town and drop a decent amount of $ to do so. After last year's race, I sent the Water Follies office a letter to explain why we did not go to the race. And now that they have added the lights againb, we will be attending both Desert Thunder and the Columbia Cup.

I make no claims that there are a bunch of people like me. I just don't know. But I DO know that the lights make a big difference for this family.

Rusty

Jim Wilmot said...

Dear Rusty,

As an owner (UL-929 this year) and a member of the web and video team for the ULHRA. I'd like to thank you and your family for your support. I hope you enjoy our product We are doing our best to improve what we do, all the time. I hope you like our new behind the scenes "Roostertales" features and our ongoing live streaming of our race action. We owe everything to fans like you folks.

Jim Wilmot

RT said...

I'll go to see both UL races at TC this year. Why don't they rotate the course 90 degrees for a unique view of the boats from both shores. If the hard core fan wants to watch, its just a short walk away on either side or end of the race course. RT

Jim Wilmot said...

RT,

I assume the reasons for not turning the course 90 degrees have to do with safety, in terms of runout room to populated areas. The big guys especially, need a lot of safety margin that way. The reason we do our course setup the way we do is to have the same start/finish timing location as the Unlimiteds while using our shorter course length. Our guys setups are all predicated on a much shorter course and we really can't run safely on the big course. Also, there are so many permits and approvals that the organizers have to go through that would also stand in the way of radical changes. I never realized how much complexity there was to this stuff until I bought a boat! I'm glad to see this kind of post because it says that people care about the sport and above all else, we need that. Thanks RT!

Jim Wilmot (Co-owner UL-929)

Anonymous said...

All I can really say is from having experience working around the boats and being apart of the behind the scenes action is that we all want to see the sport as a whole grow and survive. It doesn't matter if it's a turbine or big block, we just want to see it be popular and get to a state of good economic stability. For those of you say you can't hear the lights must not be paying attention or must have a lack of hearing because I can hear them 3 blocks off the river at a friends house as they go by. This is constructive talk but egos need to be eliminated for our sport to go forward. Support boat racing, not just unlimited racing