Jump to content




Photo

How can slot racing's visibility be raised?


  • Please log in to reply
155 replies to this topic

#101 Steve Deiters

Steve Deiters

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,788 posts
  • Joined: 28-May 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cincinnati, OH

Posted 24 July 2015 - 08:08 AM

Mike S., thanks for the "real world" observations.

 

Cheater, maybe it's time to have a thread for track owners and club guys to list and talk about the things that work for them. Not only in promotion and racing programs, but other items to carry in the non-slot racing realm. 

 

I'm not a believer from the school of "one size fits all", but you never know when ideas from different parts of the country and different forms of racing may meld together and cause some lights to go off in peoples' heads. That could be good for all of us.






#102 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:52 AM

Steve,

 

No problem with starting such a topic, but it needs the right subject. Perhaps "Ideas that worked at our track"?

 

But I am cynical enough to feel it's unlikely to bring much benefit to the overall scheme of things. Let me clarify what I mean.

 

I continue to observe that so many of the commercial raceways ignore or neglect the basics of retail business, thus I'm thinking most everything that might be suggested is in the nature of a Band-Aid over a bullet hole in the chest. Or of installing a supercharger on an engine that has three burnt valves.

 

And the home and club raceways by and large don't seem particularly interested in working to attract new racers, though there are some that are.

 

And your underlying thesis reminds me of the typical racer's thinking along the lines of "If they'd only change the rules in this one way, that class will see a lot more participation."

 

In so many situations (1:1 racing, slot racing, electronics, airplanes, etc., etc.) it is the overall combination of all factors that generates signficant success and that's an approach few seem to understand and acknowledge, with even fewer working diligently to try to make it happen.


  • hiline2 likes this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#103 PCH Parts Express

PCH Parts Express

    Posting Leader

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,099 posts
  • Joined: 27-December 09
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 August 2015 - 09:38 PM

Has anyone used an outdoor inflatable tube shaped dancing man to attract attention to the shop? 


Scott Salzberg
PCH Parts Express

#104 endbelldrive

endbelldrive

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,739 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Location:Witless Protection Program

Posted 09 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

Remember Prohibition?  Make it illegal and folks will want to do it. :pardon:   It would be good to hitch your wagon up to Maker/Hackserpace movement.  They have the space and the tools.  Stick a small track in the corner. :scratch_one-s_head:

Females!  Nuff said.   :bye:


Bob Suzuki

#105 tonyp

tonyp

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,308 posts
  • Joined: 12-February 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sanford, FL, land of lizards and big roaches

Posted 10 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

I think Lou DelRosario of Elmsford has really done it right. He has always found a way to let lots of newspaper coverage. He knows how to get the press out to his shop. Last time I was up there on one wall was a ton of newspaper articles on the raceway. He does things like having the Giants or jets I forget which at the track etc. he is always promoting.
  • Cheater likes this

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
ip


#106 John C Martin

John C Martin

    J.C Martin

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,050 posts
  • Joined: 02-November 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Smyrna, TN

Posted 10 August 2015 - 06:54 PM

Has anyone used an outdoor inflatable tube shaped dancing man to attract attention to the shop?

 

Tracy Brown uses one at "The Track" in Whitehouse TN... that thing really gets your attention!!



#107 SlowToyCars

SlowToyCars

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Joined: 12-June 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 August 2015 - 01:10 PM

I'm sitting here thinking about this, and the popularity of 1/32 cars in other portions of the world.

The competition in today's world is Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, and then the various cell phone manufacturers, Facebook, Twitter, etc. All of these occupy time and require little to no work on the part of the consumer.

I have raced for the better part of 23 years now. I love to race. What kills it for me is time involvement. It's not bowling. Practice matters, but even to practice requires time to build a car, paint/mount a body, a lot of work.

The popularity of the highly detailed scale cars in Europe should be a clue. You can buy several different very unique models, all of which are competitive, in relative terms, they are very robust, and they require very little maintenance.

This significantly cuts the time involvement not directly related to trigger time necessary to be competitive. The first step toward making anything viable is to provide a formula in which participants feel like they have a chance. My XBox is the same as every other XBox and my skill at the game I am playing determines whether I win or lose on the live service. I don't have to build a better car!

Once you establish a similar formula for a base, which, BTW, TSRF cars are the closest current formula I am aware of, you can then focus on visibility. The easiest way to gain visibility is the oldest way. Word of mouth. That falls on the track owners to provide exceptional, friendly customer service, combined with a formula that encourages everyone to feel like if they put in the driving time, they have a chance to win.

If you can do this, you will retain customers, and gain new customers. Standardized equipment, including controllers, extremely robust, with several different body/look options for any given type, with equal performance is the first step.

The speed of a modern slot car is not just an attention getter. It also happens to be very intimidating. Cars that ran 7-8 or even 14-15 second lap times on a king style track are far less intimidating. The car needs to have an aspect of requiring one to drive the car (built in bad handling), no allowance for change, and realistic appearance.

When we get a manufacturer willing to build such cars, and promote them heavily, we have the basis for expansion. Track owners with clean facilities, no odors, and excellent customer service and a friendly environment, you now have success. Success breeds success, or 'expansion' as others see an opportunity. That expansion is the visibility everyone wants. But it all starts with the basis.
  • hiline2 likes this
William Stox
There is no "Magic Bullet" It's one-hundred little items I do, each worth a thousandth of a second, that leave you wondering why you are a tenth of a second off the pace!

#108 jimht

jimht

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,116 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Alamo City

Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:37 PM

Some kneejerk thoughts...

For every "racer" in the real world of racing there are millions of vaguely interested players/spectators...likewise with video games, bowling, lawn darts, running for political office, gourmet chefs, angry birds, Rubiks Cubes and....slot cars.

No "race track", whatever the scale, can be successful without something going on all the time that helps pay the bills.

In the 1 to 1 scale world it's promotion that draws the watchers to the stands where they pay the bills/overhead by just gong through the gate and buying beer and Slim Jims. There's no need to have the spectators there every day, just getting them there for the races is enough. 

 

In a slot car raceway focusing on selling everyone a slot car and then having them come to an organised race just doesn't work.

Offering a few hours of organised racing in a 40-60 hour week has proven to be an abject failure as the way to pay the bills.

I know, and so do all the other long term Raceway owners out there, that simply filling the track with players when there are no scheduled races makes more money than anything else.

The focus on organised racing is too narrow. The smaller the market one focuses on, the smaller the participation, means less money in the register.

 

Yes, it really does matter what sort of slot car one presents to the players...but, the game is to somehow get them to come in and play with it, not race with it.

 

In the boom of the Sixties the tracks were full of players and the "racing" was limited.

The cars that were sold were designed to play with, fall apart and discard and if the interest was still there at that point, another was purchased and the demolition continued. Crash & Burn races, wildcat races or just disorganized mayhem kept the tracks full all day.

 

I've whined for years about using computers to do things besides run organised races, so I'll do it again.

How hard would it be to have a program running all the time that detects 2 or more cars running on a track, flashes on the monitor that a race will begin in 30 seconds if the players will bring their cars to the line, run a 5 lap race, declare the winner and flash that the next race will start in x minutes? Such a simple thing, use a computer to run a race, no lane change, just sort of organised, heads up racing.

The SRT guys didn't do it...maybe now that we have Windows based programs it could be done?

 

Would it solve all the problems?... no, but it would be a way that  players that don't own super duper highfalutin overpriced "race cars" could have more fun on a slot car track. 


  • Cheater, hiline2, SlowToyCars and 3 others like this

Jim Honeycutt

"I don't think I'm ever more 'aware' than I am right after I hit my thumb with a hammer." - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]


#109 SlowToyCars

SlowToyCars

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Joined: 12-June 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:47 PM

Jim is correct - we cannot rely upon racers only.
Again - back to my "Bowling Ball" - currently - there is a mountain to climb.
 
Several hundred dollars worth of investment, as well as many hours of time, just to play with a toy.
You are on an open track with people who have drastically faster toys of a similar variety.
If you came in to watch, because you were interested, the cars are so fast you leave confused, not excited.
And to be honest, most people who look at these consider them "things". They do not resemble their beloved #88 Chevrolet, or the Miller Lite #2 they enjoyed at the race track. It doesn't look like that beautiful Ferrari they love. Nor bear any resemblence to the Indycars they like. It doesn't look like that LeMans-winning Audi. It doesn't really look like anything.
 
We must re-think what we perceive as being a good race car - great handling, faster than the next guy - if we would like to help make the tracks we want to race at successful. As a racer, you always want faster, you want to find an edge. You don't want to admit that perhaps your driving is lacking.
 
When it comes down to it, for amateur type racing, it may prove advantageous to use a golfing, or bowling type handicap. You start a season at the local track scratch - after three races, you average the laps, and use an 80-90% handicap from "average" over a large group.
 
There's a lot that can be tried, but I still think it all comes down to the basis of the hobby. In the '60s, model kits were a big deal. There were several manufacturers who were basically offering a "working" model kit, known as a slot car, from what I have read. Today - it has to be far more simple. The building, and for the most part, the maintenance aspect, has to be removed if we wish to make it appeal to a larger crowd.
 

​Remember - they have to be slow enough to see.


  • hiline2 likes this
William Stox
There is no "Magic Bullet" It's one-hundred little items I do, each worth a thousandth of a second, that leave you wondering why you are a tenth of a second off the pace!

#110 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:56 PM

What kills it for me is time involvement.


William,

I've said it many times: participation in leisure-time activities is largely determined by the "budgets" of time and money people have available to devote to such activities. (And anyone who doesn't acknowledge that model car racing is nothing more or less than a leisure-time activity is deluding himself.)

Of the two, the time required to partcipate in the activity is the more critical factor and that includes both the time required actually to participate in the activity as well as the time necessary to prepare to participate.

After all, anyone can make more money but there isn't any one yet who has been able to make more time.


  • hiline2 likes this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#111 Mattb

Mattb

    Race Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 828 posts
  • Joined: 13-August 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:IN

Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:55 PM

I was going to write why I thought the future is so bleak for commercial tracks that 20-30 years from now you may be able to count the money-making commercial tracks in the US on two hands.
 
Instead of all the reasons I think that, I'd just like to ask you guys what your opinions are for the future. Not what can done or anything like that, but where you think things will really be.


Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#112 Pat Skeggs

Pat Skeggs

    Race Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts
  • Joined: 02-March 13

Posted 18 August 2015 - 08:27 PM

I think in 20 years it will be non-existent. The kids today like video games.

 

As for today's world everyone likes a shot at winning. A handicap system works great. At Slots-A-Lot we use to give newbies 50 to 100 laps; if they placed the next week they would get less. That's why the Retro East works, if you're a weaker driver you can be in an E Main and still have a chance of winning your Main.

 

But when you race at a local track and there are only eight racers your chance of winning is slim to none. If you give laps out more people will come, all people want is for a chance to win.



#113 SlowToyCars

SlowToyCars

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Joined: 12-June 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 August 2015 - 10:54 PM

Again, imagine from the perspective of a new participant, where the car they see now is an indistinguishable blur going around. Slow the cars down, to roughly half the speed. Make them realistic, maintenance free, ready to run, and equal. Ensure they are top heavy, handle ill, and require some driving.

 

Greg is right. From the perspective of a racer, time is the factor. It's why I quit for the most part. Newer, more complicated equipment, too many classes. Too much time for me.

And yes, everyone likes to win. You'd be amazed how many people are happy and come to race when they feel competitive. They don't have to win, just know that the car could. Seen it many times. I was a fiercely competitive racer. Now I miss the hobby I used to enjoy. But honestly, it's much easier taking out an R/C plane, going in the field next door, and flying for a bit. No work needed. 10-15 minutes of my time enjoying the activity. 30 seconds to put the battery on a charger afterwards.

 

That's what we should be trying to emulate. Instead we cater to experienced racers and build the equipment for racers. Until someone chooses to step up, and change the products, and promote it towards the hobbyists, force the racers to tolerate it, then I feel it will continue to die out. Nobody has adapted to the changing competition.


  • Cheater likes this
William Stox
There is no "Magic Bullet" It's one-hundred little items I do, each worth a thousandth of a second, that leave you wondering why you are a tenth of a second off the pace!

#114 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 03:06 AM

Great thread, guys!


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#115 Pappy

Pappy

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,051 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxford, OH

Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:57 AM

Instead we cater to experienced racers and build the equipment for racers. Until someone chooses to step up, and change the products, and promote it towards the hobbyists, force the racers to tolerate it, then I feel it will continue to die out. Nobody has adapted to the changing competition.

 

FCR is pretty much like that. Uses all stock parts.


Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
Danger is my middle name, that's why I race slot cars.

 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated
and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost
nothing to be a PATRIOT." - Mark Twain, 1904

 

 


#116 Eddie Fleming

Eddie Fleming

    Race Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 619 posts
  • Joined: 27-April 14
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fayetteville, GA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:09 AM

The trick to the FCR thing is the raceway needs to grow the class from scratch without the old racers mucking things up.

 

We are talking about growing the hobby, not a class for us to race.


Eddie Fleming

#117 SlowToyCars

SlowToyCars

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Joined: 12-June 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 07:38 AM

FCRs fail the robust, tamper proof, scale tests. And are a bit too fast.
William Stox
There is no "Magic Bullet" It's one-hundred little items I do, each worth a thousandth of a second, that leave you wondering why you are a tenth of a second off the pace!

#118 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 07:51 AM

We are talking about growing the hobby, not a class for us to race.


Not to insist on it, Eddie, but as the topic says, this thread was about bringing greater visibility of slot racing to the general public, which is not the same as growing the hobby.

But this is where discussions of this type always end up. And they always focus on the cars and their design, which I find sad and funny at the same time. The underlying belief seems to be that if only the proper kinds of cars are created, participation will increase. And that has never happened, not in over 50 years.

 

Let me say it again: the types of cars being raced in commercial raceways are not a significant factor in the continued shrinkage of that part of the hobby. A minor factor perhaps, but not a very significant one.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#119 MSwiss

MSwiss

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,237 posts
  • Joined: 16-April 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:08 AM

 Ensure they are top heavy, handle I'll, and require some driving. 

 

I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to say, but they need to handle well, which can be artificially accomplished by being slow.

 

Cheater questioned if a $25 retail car could be made, but I still contend it could.

 

I was at Target a few days ago and they sell a series of three 1/16 R/C monster trucks for $29.95. Gravedigger, Zombie (?), and some other goofy name. They are about a foot long, and look good, especially for the money.

 

Someone would have to make a $100K gamble, minimum, but I think it could be done.


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#120 SlowBeas

SlowBeas

    Troublesome De-slotter

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 747 posts
  • Joined: 15-January 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lost in South Carolina, USA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:10 AM

And yes, everyone likes to win. You'd be amazed how many people are happy and come to race when they feel competitive. They don't have to win, just know that the car could.

 

At Slots of Fun in Abbeville, SC, we tried handicapping racers similar to handicaps offered in bowling – I think it was about 90% of the diff between your average and the fastest guy.

 

The handicapping system was interesting and allowed different people to rank on the podium each race. It also required the "A" racers to be on top of their game each race.

 

Frankly, I think it helped inspire the slower racers, as they knew they had a chance to podium. However, I think it stressed the better guys who were accustomed to finishing at the top.

 

So, we offfered a benefit to some at the risk of alienating those who were more experienced. Did we run the risk of losing our better drivers because they were having to work harder and win less? Did the track run the risk of losing entry fees and parts sales of the better drivers?

 

We were fortunate that we didn't lose anyone because of the handicapping system. And it was great to see others have a chance to win. Just some reflective thoughts.


Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#121 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:22 AM

... the future is so bleak for commercial tracks that 20-30 years from now you may be able to count the money-making commercial tracks in the US on two hands.


Matt, if your definition of "commercial tracks" is 1/24 wood track raceways, I think we're there right now. I'd be surprised if there are more than ten stand-alone commercial raceways in the US that will show a profit for the year 2015.


  • Chris Dadds likes this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#122 tonyp

tonyp

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,308 posts
  • Joined: 12-February 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sanford, FL, land of lizards and big roaches

Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:20 AM

I know Greg Walker at Holly Hill does a track at the Daytona 24 hour race. Says very few people come into the shop afterwards. So I am not sure what works any more. I know he has one or two programs with the Scouts and maybe schools for Ho clubs that come in on Saturdays. I know there are a few R/C clubs in schools sponsored by the local tracks and they have been going for quite some time. Not sure how you could get involved in local school or Boy Scouts but that would be exposure.

There is not one magic bullet that will make you visible. I think it takes a lot of little things. One thing that made slots grow in the beginning was you could buy a car anywhere. Bob Haines once suggested giving a car or two on consignment to the local hobby shop in your area or car repair shop whatever. It's exposure... if they sell it you get paid but the person has no use for it unless they come to your track to race it.


"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
ip


#123 Pappy

Pappy

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,051 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxford, OH

Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:48 AM

We are talking about growing the hobby, not a class for us to race.


How do you grow the hobby without growing the classes we race?  :blink:  Racing is the hobby.
  • TG Racing likes this

Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
Danger is my middle name, that's why I race slot cars.

 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated
and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost
nothing to be a PATRIOT." - Mark Twain, 1904

 

 


#124 tonyp

tonyp

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,308 posts
  • Joined: 12-February 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sanford, FL, land of lizards and big roaches

Posted 19 August 2015 - 12:09 PM

Racing is the hobby, today. When it started it was building cars and running them with your friends. You would have a dozen cars maybe with all different combos of motors bodies and chassis. All for fun.

I know as soon as racing starts that box of fun cars dwindles down to race cars that are only run in races. Track time for the track drops off and racing becomes the main focus. Those that do not want to race or are not good at it eventually fade away. Seen it thousands of times.

I remember going to a raceway in Long Island that had a tremendous Womp program. The owner begged me to run my Gp27 car on his Hillclimb. I put down a little glue, blazed around the track, and the customers eyes popped out. Within a month Big Larry had no more race program except for once a week Gp27 races. No more track time during the week.

When BIR opened up a few years later, I bet we had hundreds of people come in that used to race when the biggest raceway in the area was in business. Most were people who just liked slot cars and running the with a fried once a week for fun. None were impressed with the bodies which were a big turn off. A few raced with their old cars, a few ran Womps and most never came back in after seeing how poorly their old cars ran.

If we ever can get back to the lets just get some track time and run our cars slots would be much healthier. The more people you can get in the more the word spreads.

Since I have been in this hobby I have seen it happen over and over again. Roy Crawley, who we always though was crazy, was right when he said you had to keep the racing low tech to keep people involved and coming back. I know off subject but just my 1 cent, 2 cents pre-Obama.


  • Cheater, Rick, PCH Parts Express and 1 other like this

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Noose Painted Bodies
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
ip


#125 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 19 August 2015 - 12:22 PM

Well stated, by our statesman.

 

The moral? - "Speed Kills".


Bob Israelite

#126 PCH Parts Express

PCH Parts Express

    Posting Leader

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,099 posts
  • Joined: 27-December 09
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 12:45 PM

Ms. Pac-Man was a total success and a sensation in the amusement industry. It was a game changer. What did it have going for it? Shall we dissect it in hopes we can learn the essence of success? 

 

Pleasant and effective signage (lit sign above the screen).

Affordable play.

Easy to learn.

 

Please add to the list.


Scott Salzberg
PCH Parts Express

#127 PCH Parts Express

PCH Parts Express

    Posting Leader

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,099 posts
  • Joined: 27-December 09
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 12:49 PM

We have noticed that people do not like the idea of making a commitment to buy a car and controller without more info, or whatever. They don't like commitment. 


Scott Salzberg
PCH Parts Express

#128 Pappy

Pappy

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,051 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxford, OH

Posted 19 August 2015 - 01:57 PM

If we ever can get back to the lets just get some track time and run our cars slots would be much healthier. The more people you can get in the more the word spreads.

 

Tony,  

 

I can't tell you how many times I sat in my raceway all evening and not a soul walked through the door. If they just wanted track time to just run their cars there was plenty of time to do it, but they never showed up. 

 

I don't know what the answer to this is. I can tell you this, you only get out of anything what you put into it. A few people will put a lot into it and always win and the rest of them will just quit. Seems like people today just want to be entertained. They can't do anything and they don't want to put in the time to learn.


  • TG Racing likes this

Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
Danger is my middle name, that's why I race slot cars.

 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated
and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost
nothing to be a PATRIOT." - Mark Twain, 1904

 

 


#129 jimht

jimht

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,116 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Alamo City

Posted 19 August 2015 - 02:43 PM

If all that's sold are race cars, then the buyers will only show up to race.
 
So, a question:
How many cars under the counter can be sold to a mother looking for a toy for her four-year old to play with once a week for an hour or two?
 
Wrong responses:
 
None.
I don't sell toys.
Mothers don't come in here.
Mothers can't maintain the cars.
Four-year olds don't come in here.
Four-year olds can't do this.
Four-year olds can't see the cars on the track.
 
Well, there goes a huge amount of expendable income that we ought to be tapping into.
 
Obviously, if one asks the same question at Wally World, Target, ToysRUs, etc the answer would be quite different.
 
Cheater keeps going on about how the cars aren't the issue. I disagree.
Sure they are, a serious part of the issue. 
We had the right sort of cars in the '60s and now they're worth a fortune.
It isn't because they were fast then or now.  :laugh2:
 
If the best way to advertise is word of mouth then getting a bunch of talkative women into raceways (because they have four-year olds looking for toys to play with) would be a great way of addressing the subject of the thread.
 
It's never too late for an optimist, is it?
  • Chris Dadds, aquavelvis and Samiam like this

Jim Honeycutt

"I don't think I'm ever more 'aware' than I am right after I hit my thumb with a hammer." - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]


#130 Samiam

Samiam

    Posting Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,729 posts
  • Joined: 18-January 12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted 19 August 2015 - 03:03 PM

Groupon.
 
You make doodely-squat but it puts people in your store who otherwise may never have set foot in your raceway. And then they put it on Facebook. Or book a birthday/Scout/company party. Or buy a starter set. The new people to this hobby have to start somewhere. My mom bought me my first car and controller after three rentals. Now, fifty years later I have a hundred, hundred and fifty??? :crazy: I lost count. 

Get 'em in the door first. :to_become_senile:


Sam Levitch
 
When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
Slot cars are quad-pods.
Support your "Local Racer."
:laugh2:

#131 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 19 August 2015 - 03:13 PM

jack-ziegler-i-see-that-there-s-an-excel


Bob Israelite

#132 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 19 August 2015 - 03:30 PM

We grew up in the age of the electro-mechanical revolution. 
 
If kids could race slot cars on their phones... it might keep their interest for a few minutes.
  • Steve Boggs likes this
Bob Israelite

#133 jimht

jimht

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,116 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Alamo City

Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:12 PM

The thousands of kids I've rented cars to in my raceway have as much fun doing it as they have doing anything else for fun.
Short attention span theater maybe, but how's that any different from what kids do with anything they play with?
 
But... the only thing most raceways have to sell is the hobby and kids aren't too much into hobbies, just toys.
And, while parents will spend a few bucks on toys, they don't try to get their children into "hobbies", eh?... especially expensive hobbies that their progeny might get bored with quickly.
 
So, comes right back to the product being sold... should be fun, not just racing.

Jim Honeycutt

"I don't think I'm ever more 'aware' than I am right after I hit my thumb with a hammer." - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]


#134 Pappy

Pappy

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,051 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxford, OH

Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:20 PM

What you need to do is build a ramp in your raceway where the kids can roll down it in the boxes that the race sets come in. They usually have more fun playing in the boxes than playing with the toys that come in them anyway.


Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
Danger is my middle name, that's why I race slot cars.

 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated
and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost
nothing to be a PATRIOT." - Mark Twain, 1904

 

 


#135 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:38 PM

Jim, like? ... Arrive and drive.

 

Kid brings suit and helmet. Track owner keeps car in 'tip-top' shape.

Mom can drop the kid off and go go shopping at Victoria's Secret and 'run errands'.


Bob Israelite

#136 Mattb

Mattb

    Race Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 828 posts
  • Joined: 13-August 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:IN

Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:52 PM

I didn't think the profit picture was as bad as Greg says it may be. If that's the case, there may be not for profit tracks open in three-five years. No doubt the future for a wooden commercial track will be a group of friends or one real diehard that put a track in somebody's garage or basement. I figure that is really the only possibility for the future and even that may be done in 15 years or so.

1/32 home racing will probably stay a somewhat viable hobby, though.

The funny thing is that there were five-ten reasons guys raced cars and were part of the raceway scene back int he '60s.

Fun – we were kids hanging out, renting track time, just playing around.
Modeling – real modelers liked building accurate models of real cars and "practicing" with them.

Speed/competition – Serious racers built cars and ran the weekly organized races for trophies/prizes.

Curiousity – Lots of tracks were in high traffic areas and got lots of "walk-in" business from curious people/kids.
Family time – A few parents found it a great way to have fun and be with their kids.

How many of those reasons still exist today? One main reason – guys that want to race in organized racing for the speed and building skill, modeling to some extent.

I know there are examples of the other reasons, but from what I read here and see locally that isn't the case very often.

The biggest detriment is probably distance. Very few people live within 30 miles or more from a track. I'm sure that is generous. I guess very few tracks are in high traffic/walk-in areas. Family time to play together, not when it takes longer to travel than to play. I would hope most tracks are clean and inviting places, but it's not like that here. Without a good income everything suffers.

 

I wish it was different, but it is what it is. What to do? Just go play now while we can. I really don't want to race with four-year olds, though!


Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#137 Pappy

Pappy

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,051 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxford, OH

Posted 19 August 2015 - 05:30 PM

I didn't think the profit picture was as bad as Greg says it may be.


It is. If your rent is super cheap and you don't care about making a profit you can keep one open. Summer usually kills 'em, no one comes in but the rent and utilities go on. 
 
You have to have a drag strip and something else to go with it like a full-fledged hobby shop.

Jim "Danger" Dunaway aka Butch
 
Danger is my middle name, that's why I race slot cars.

 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
 
"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated
and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost
nothing to be a PATRIOT." - Mark Twain, 1904

 

 


#138 SlowToyCars

SlowToyCars

    Backmarker

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Joined: 12-June 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 05:50 PM

Currently, rental cars on a King style track at half power are too fast for most people walking through the door. They handle well, and that's an issue. You want something that isn't easy to de-slot, but you want it to be hard to drive, where practice will make a significant difference in lap times. You don't have to retain attention for hours.

If a kid wants to play for 15 minutes, so be it. I am not advocating we completely destroy class racing. I'm advocating that it should be limited in favor of a new formula. Something far more appealing to the current generations. Rentals, collectible cars, no work, and reasonable speeds. The raceways in existence need to put focus on clean, smoke-free environments, and making the experience enjoyable.

Old school word of mouth is still the most effective form of promotion in the world. Gaining visibility is about promotion. Until we have a formula in place that provides that enjoyable experience, any promotion done will simply further destroy the image of slot racing as people show up and are disappointed.
William Stox
There is no "Magic Bullet" It's one-hundred little items I do, each worth a thousandth of a second, that leave you wondering why you are a tenth of a second off the pace!

#139 MSwiss

MSwiss

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,237 posts
  • Joined: 16-April 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:01 PM

"You want something that isn't easy to de-slot, but you want it to be hard to drive"

Unless you make a track with a T-slot, I don't see how that's possible.

My experience in ten years of being in business is that new people prefer easy vs hard.
  • Rick likes this

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#140 Phil Worthy

Phil Worthy
  • Guest
  • Joined: --

Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:07 PM

Whenever I see a thread like this, I always think of Emott citing Buzzy:
 

Buzz-A-Rama also has an epoxy surface blue King, which is very fast and smooth and where some big national level races have been held. I wish Buzz would let us hold a Retro East Series race there just for histotorical intrest... But he says Buzz-A-Rama is in the entertainment business, not the racing business. And that is why Buzz-A-Rama has been thriving and open for so many years... And I hope for many more....

 

Yep. Kids will play if you get them in the door and give them the opportunity to have have fun. How do you do it? Jim Honeycutt, Mike Swiss, and others here have expounded on how to be good to kids and new racers. Some will end up racing, more will only play, but a raceway has to be prepared to do both well.

The kids should never be treated as second class citizens. Similarly, costly race classes should not be privileged or promoted over less expensive classes.

Needless to say, happy racers keep coming back.


  • Cheater likes this

#141 NSwanberg

NSwanberg

    Race Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 938 posts
  • Joined: 01-April 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canton, MI

Posted 20 August 2015 - 03:21 AM

"Would it solve all the problems?... no, but it would be a way that  players that don't own super duper highfalutin overpriced "race cars" could have more fun on a slot car track. "

 

No such thing as a casual racer.

 

At Downriver Speedway moms are always fee. Word gets around. The players are paying the bills. JB just loves rental cars.


Remember the Steube bar!
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RACEWAY!!
"The denial of denial is the first sign of denial." Hank, from Corner Gas
Nelson Swanberg

Peace be with all of us and good racing for the rest of us.
Have controller. Will travel. Slot Car Heaven
Posted Image

#142 Cheater

Cheater

    Headmaster of the asylum

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,461 posts
  • Joined: 14-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norcross, GA

Posted 20 August 2015 - 03:30 AM

The players are paying the bills.


Yes, but it is rather disappointing to see how many raceway owners don't seem to understand that fact.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#143 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:42 AM

What would you do to revive slot car racing in your area?
Bob Israelite

#144 CoastalAngler1

CoastalAngler1

    Outlaw Racer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,158 posts
  • Joined: 03-May 14
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Quit Wishin Go Fishin

Posted 21 August 2015 - 08:34 AM

I didn't think the profit picture was as bad as Greg says it may be. If that's the case, there may be not for profit tracks open in three-five years. No doubt the future for a wooden commercial track will be a group of friends or one real diehard that put a track in somebody's garage or basement. I figure that is really the only possibility for the future and even that may be done in 15 years or so.


Fifteen years or so?  Check out P-1 Slotcar Raceway in Winter Garden, FL... this is happening now.
 
Side note: I caught two racers at the Outlaw race at SpeedZone PTC. They were leaving. If you fish, you might like that I gaffed them before they could get away. People just want to feel like someone cares.
 
One felt left out around 9 AM, I chased him to his truck where he was loading his pit box to drive 2.5 hours back home (pit area scarce, needed power at the only table left) - fixed that and he waited till 11:30 PM to run his only race in the D main of GTP. Thanks, Fenton!!!  
 
The other was a local who didn't think his car was worthy for NASCAR. This rookie grabbed some pliers and a block for some quick chassis straightening and made a fellow rookie friendship. Outlaw race rules are easy for anyone with a flexi car or Retro Can-Am to have some fun.
  • Gator Bob likes this

Charlie McCullough

Charlie's Speed Shop

JK Hawk Horsepower Specialist

Bartos Chassis

CHR Cars

Outisight Bodies

 


#145 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:15 PM

These discussions always circle back to .. " the rules", the motors, bodies or tires.

 

IMO - Common .. sensible and enforced rules are a factor in stability and sustenance but does little to raise the 'visibility'.   


Bob Israelite

#146 MSwiss

MSwiss

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,237 posts
  • Joined: 16-April 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:48 PM

If Jerry doing a weekend at a Cart race, with a track under the grandstand, and only get 1 follow-up customer, I fear the situation is pretty from.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#147 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:55 PM

 I fear the situation is pretty from.

 

Please explain?

 

I get the first part.


Bob Israelite

#148 MSwiss

MSwiss

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Advertiser
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,237 posts
  • Joined: 16-April 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 August 2015 - 08:02 PM

from = "dire".

My new phone is more evil than my old one.

I just typed in dire.

As soon as I put " on one side of it, it changed it to fire.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#149 Dennis David

Dennis David

    Posting Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,785 posts
  • Joined: 05-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:10 PM

Interestingly you don't see these same threads in the mostly 1/32 scale forums where every week it seems there are new cars coming out from Scalextric, NSR, Slot.it, Scaleauto and BRM.

I understand that the BRM (1/24) scale race at BPR might have more non-local than local racers attending. All I'm saying is this might be all that's left in the future.

What I'm trying to say is maybe we're trying to sell something that just doesn't translate. Those of us who were into slot cars in the 60's-70's understand and can appreciate the cars we see at the commercial tracks, even the wing cars. We see thingie's and they bring back memories. For people who were not exposed to then hobbie then all they see is these buzzing hornets running around the track that kind of look like cars but it means nothing to them. They just don't get the same attraction. So much of our hobby is built on nostalgia.

Dennis David
    
curb-line2.jpg
 
gph_sm.jpg
   


#150 Gator Bob

Gator Bob

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,739 posts
  • Joined: 12-April 11
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:.

Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:50 PM

Got it ...

 

Well, if there was even a 1/2 way decent crowd that day and only one follow on ... the missing word (dire) is .... accurate.

 

Fire..  would have been more confusing than no word at all ... damn those autonomous gadgets ... lol


Bob Israelite





Electric Dreams Online Shop