As the title states. GSW attendance has been down the last few years to points we haven't seen since the first year or two of the event. We've always had kind of the core GSW crowd that shows up come hell or high water, but the Planners Group is curious if the timing of the event plays a significant role in peoples' decision to go or not go. If there's a reason other than timing please let us know that too. It has been thrown around among the Planners many times to move the event up in the calendar a bit to April or May, and there's pros and cons to all of it just within the Planners Group, but we wanted to reach out to everyone else to see what you thought. Please answer the poll and feel free to post any comments you may have about the event so we can help plan a better event.
gsw is always the weekend before my son gets out of school or i would have been to the last three.
Heat is a big role in the equation for me, a cooler month would be more enjoyable and more attractive reason to go. Although I would have gone to 2013 if I had gotten all my crap done. Just my poor planning to blame.
But IMO, cooler (IE earlier) would make me more inclined to go.
MC has also seen a slow down in the past couple of years. Chit chat is a ghost town. Maybe the GSW and MC activity share a similar cause of decline.
I feel like "wheeling in general" has gotten quiter the past couple of years. Gas prices probably aren't helping, and there's no doubt that a lot of traffic has moved to general social sites like Facebook.
I'd make GSW, but I can't justify a couple of grand for a weekend trip any longer - it was easier when I was younger, dumber, and gas prices were under 2 dollars.
I have not attended yet. Since moving to Colorado that's been a goal of mine, but circumstances got in the way for me. This year I started a new job the week that GSW started, so it was out for me because of that.
In the future I should be able to attend regardless of when it's held. We have no kidlets in school and the biggest issue will be getting the dog to a boarding place. So time of year will not make a difference to me.
Well the poll is evenly split across all 3 options, way to help us make a decision guys! lol
I agree that everything has seen a slow down. Sites like JF seem to still be going plenty busy, but they're obviously targeting a different demographic than MC is. However, GSW is targeting a lot of the JF-type crowd as we need that new blood to keep the event going. Just like the site does.
i have been to moab a couple times and its a great place, but i feel for me with what my rig is at currently i would rather spend the money on weak links like doing an axle swap, i know there is plenty of trails to choose from for every level rig. but if i had an awesome paying job then where it is at now would work best for me. but i know you can't schedule something to fit 50 peoples needs.
Several of us have similar ideas. After GSW I wrote a pm to Sandy regarding some of this, but mostly because of a comment he made at the banquet. See below. He told me I should post it on here to get more opinions. I held off on posting it due to a part of his response, which he also said I could post, but I won't unless he asks me to do so. Since he is one of the founders I don't want to come in and just change this event. I will put out there that I have attended 7 so I don't feel like a rookie, yet I am surely not an old timer. I do want to see GSW not only continue, but I want to see it grow so more people can experience such a great event.
I would love some feedback on what I wrote, and any other ideas any of you have. I LOVE GSW and voted I will be there hell or high water!
Originally Posted by K2
Ken, don't be concerned about saying what you feel - after all, this is Mallcrawlin.com! And, that's what this thread was created for.
Creating more interest on other forums was one thing the planners have discussed and agreed that we need to do. What will help is for everyone to help out with that. JF is one of several jeep-centric forums from which we should seek more interest.
Pics of rigs on the trail is also what caught my interest in GSW back in the late 90s (and back then, the pics were limited compared to now), so I understand what a great tool that is.
It was great to see you again, and thanks for your feedback!
I'll give that idea some thought Ken, I definitely think it has some merit. Another idea I've had is to let someone who's attended GSW in the past in a Grand continue to attend if they have a different rig. At this point I think it's more about the people than the rig, and I know there's several people (I.e. Cody, soon to be Kevin) that were regulars but just have a different rig now. The 2 ideas could easily just be done together, as long as someone is actually willing to sponsor Cody or Kevin.
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My opinion is probably of little value since I don't own a Grand anymore.....but - I'd still like to come out and ride shotgun, be a photographer, etc. while I'm still living out West. This year the wife and I were on vacation the same weekend GSW was held. If it worked out that vehicles other than Grands were allowed I'd bring my truck out and do some of the really easy stuff.
Last edited by Sandy R; 08-07-2013 at 08:28 AM.
Not to muddy-up the discussion by adding another variable to the mix, but what about changing the location? Personally, I've never really wheeled anywhere else (Indiana doesn't count), and some of the trail in Moab are getting a little stale to me (yea, yea, insert joke about me still being on a BB). I think we generally tend to get a lot of people from Colorado; so would moving it to Colorado increase attendance (2 hr drive for Denver people vs 6)? I know there are tons of advantages/disadvantages to a location change, but I wanted to throw it out there.
As far as timing goes, April/May would work. The lower temps might help when it comes to the drive to and from the event. It was 108 deg in Kansas on the way home this year. I couldn't go over 72 mph without the Jeep starting to overheat. I'm sure Krash was a little sick of the heat too, as he didn't have AC from Grand Junction to middle-of-nowhere Kansas.
GSSE started loosing Grands after a while. Myself included, eventually. We originally didn't want to let the non-grands in during the early years. But GSSE became more about the people who attended and not the rigs. That is why GSSE survives, but it's a different situation. Our event doesn't exactly have the range in rig level due to the event location. We now have an excellent core group of people who attend every year come hell or high water. Last weekend was GSSE and I think we technically had only 2 ZJ's. Well, what's left of them. I think it's just harder for people to make trips these days, pinching penny's getting busy with life outside of wheeling or whatever.
GSW to me has always felt like a true hard core Grand event and should continue that way. But, if there were are way to incorporate those of us who no longer wheel a grand; that might mix it up a little and bring out some old or new faces. Maybe have a "mixed group" category. Are you guys going out to Area BFE now? A lot of fun there!
Regardless, I wanted to say kudos to you guys putting in the effort to keep the event alive and relevant! It takes a lot of work out of your normal day to day "work".
Damnit, I had a huge long reply all typed up and my computer spazzed out and I lost it all. I'll try to remember as much of it as possible.
I do like the idea of doing something here in CO, but I don't think it should necessarily replace GSW-Moab. I think a CO event could compliment a Moab event. If we did GSW-Moab in April/May, and then GSW-CO in late July or early August I think it would meet the majority of the needs of both sides of the "time of year" debates. I wouldn't expect everyone to make it to both events, although I know I would. Some of the locations in CO that are prime locations are just about as far from Denver as Moab, but that also makes them a bit closer for the AZ/CA crowd as well. I think Ouray would be a good option, although the trails are a bit easier down there. Not quite as easy as the trails in Aspen that we ran in 01 though. I think if we did it in CO our first spot should be the Buena Vista area. Since the trails are a bit more spread out down there, there will certainly be some drive time involved, but I think we can group them pretty well to keep most of us in the same areas to help with breakage and such that may occur.
Here's a basic sample itinerary we could work with:
Easy - Mosquito Pass
Moderate - Wheeler Lake
Difficult - Holy Cross
Easy - Tin Cup Pass and Cottonwood Pass
Moderate - Old Chinaman's Gulch
Difficult - Carnage Canyon (may be too much for most of us)
Easy - Mt Antero and Mt Princeton
Moderate - Grizzly Lake
Difficult - Iron Chest
Moderate but a LONG Day - Independence Pass, Pearl Pass and Cottonwood Pass
Why not keep GSW-Moab a Grand-only event and organize the CO trip to be for whoever can make it regardless of vehicle? I think that would satisfy everyone, at least on some level
IMHO, if GSW is "split" into multiple locations, it will dilute the participation. While Colorado has awesome trails, it is so nice in Moab to have the trails so close to each other. Less time airing up/down. Less time loading/unloading to/from trailers. More time hanging out with people.
GSC (Grand Slam Colorado)? Sure. IMHO, it could be mixed up and be more of an expedition style. There are so many awesome loops you can do in Colorado. Hell I did a few hundred miles in Ouray over 7 days covering pretty much every trail down there (covered 20-40 miles per day). The downside is that it wouldn't necessarily lend itself to families that want/need to be in hotels.
Ryan, I wasn't suggesting calling the Colorado trip GSW, actually I think we should just make it a MC crew only trip....doesn't need to be limited to Grands.
I agree with Ryan in that we'd more than likely dilute the participation if we had 2 separate events. I know I would only end up driving out for one event. My suggestion would be to move GSW for one year (open it to other vehicles or not) and give everyone a chance to evaluate how the trip worked out for them (trails, lodging/lack thereof, other logistics). That way, we change it up a bit and still get the family experience we all look forward to every year.
Sandy thanks for posting, I know you said I could, I didn't want to step on your toes. I was still apprehensive due to your comment about degrading GSW by allowing non grands. But if it helps GSW then I may be for it. I am torn whether I even like my own idea. One of the things I remember most about the first few GSWs was being able to talk to someone about a problem and someone there had it happen and had a solution. The Grands only thing is pretty cool, but I like the camaraderie more.
With a GSC event, even if it diluted GSW for a few years, it may generate more participation later. After people went to GSC they may be more inclined to go to GSW?
Dave we should do lunch one day, I am down there twice a week.
Last edited by Sandy R; 08-09-2013 at 01:39 PM. Reason: spelling
For those of us who are in UT/CO it's nice having Moab so close and heading down in the spring or fall when it's cooler and less crowded. But lately since I got back into fishing more I have been desiring more scenic stuff like they have in Colorado, I would probably be more likely to attend if there was a Colorado based GSW, it's not much further than driving to Moab. Having lived in CO from 1998 to 2006 I can say that the trails have more appeal than a lot of the Moab offerings, even though Moab has more trails within such a small area. I love the trails going up over the passes and dropping into the valleys, even if they aren't challenging. One of my funnest trips was over Mosquito and Hagerman passes followed by dinner in Aspen. That was almost 15 years ago when my Jeep was mostly stock, but still have fond memories of it. Wheeler Lake was also one of my favorite trips, nice and cool even in the middle of summer.
Just went over red mountain pass to Silverton and Durango and just going through the mountains reminded me of how amazing Colorado can be and even saw mid 60s temps in August!!! Even with that said "Moab" will always be a vacation destination for wheeling, biking and hiking etc;, that said GSW Moab for us is thee big event of the year! And I think we should consider grands or xj's only because the similarity of the two and the whole un-wrangler(frameless) thing!
Turning into a Cherokee event could double our attendance if that would be of interest? Still calling it GSW because it is the grand event of the year that stays as the core/group event!
Last edited by Stealth Crawler ZJ; 08-09-2013 at 11:05 PM.
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