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Thread: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    They still stage in front of the General admission seating, where we sit on the ramp. All the jets do so I guess it is normal. About as annoying as the security trucks and golf carts that park right in front of us!
    The big jet teams bring in the people though. Just look at the GA areas after they land!
    Leo, where do you sit specifically? You are on the ramp directly in front of the GA stands, correct? Like directly in front of the Section 3 folks? Further west but before the Reserved grandstands? At the east end of the GA stands?

    BTW, I'm happy to bring up the vehicle parking issue at the next meeting and in our debriefs during race week to remind folks. That said, most of those folks have to park somewhere and have to have clear access to the ramp, stands, etc. It's a fairly large ramp so perhaps they can find a better spot.
    Last edited by Air Boss; 07-01-2020 at 09:52 AM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    We are in the area between the ramp access drive and the east end, right next to handicap ramp seating. Every year they have made us a smaller and smaller area. We USED to be in front of section 3, now east about 2 sections. I have gotten into only sitting Sunday and sometimes Saturday, walking or carting around (when I can get one and a pass) during the week, hanging out at friends pits, etc. We are the low end of the economic support of the races, general admission seating, food as required and a few trinkets. With the passes I can get we get there very early, around 6 so get a decent spot to set up. Been doing the same exact thing since 76, except for a few years in golf carts and when they had the platform at top of GA stands.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    We are in the area between the ramp access drive and the east end, right next to handicap ramp seating. Every year they have made us a smaller and smaller area. We USED to be in front of section 3, now east about 2 sections. I have gotten into only sitting Sunday and sometimes Saturday, walking or carting around (when I can get one and a pass) during the week, hanging out at friends pits, etc. We are the low end of the economic support of the races, general admission seating, food as required and a few trinkets. With the passes I can get we get there very early, around 6 so get a decent spot to set up. Been doing the same exact thing since 76, except for a few years in golf carts and when they had the platform at top of GA stands.
    Thanks, Leo. I'm trying to recall exactly where the ramp access road is that runs between the grandstands. You'd think I'd know for as many times as I run up and down the darn ramp in golf cart! Recollection is that access is at the break between Reserved and GA stands, correct? And the handicap area is now in front of the last section of Reserved, just before the ramp access break, or the first section of GA?

    Trying to determine how the jet teams parking would interfere with your sightlines as they would be staged almost due north of the Heritage and Military Static Display areas, east of where the Jet class stages on the ramp prior to engine start/taxi.

    Thanks for your patience. Just trying to understand your concerns here in the hopes I can pass it along accordingly.

    Cheers!
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Between that ramp access and the heritage area.
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Between that ramp access and the heritage area.
    Got it. Thanks.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Owen regarding the race/performer distribution, I think from most who understand that Reno is about the racing would agree that the current distribution is good. Personally I enjoy some of the performers as much if not more than the racing. Obviously military demo’s are the front runner. I think the thing is if you have 60-90 mins of civilian performers, they have to be varied. Nobody wants to see Jim Peitz twice in one day (I know he was a fill in and that wasn’t the plan), but it still holds merit. I don’t think even the casual fan wants to see two flippy floppy performers in one day. All the respect to the guys that do it, but it’s the same thing.

    When I mean varied I mean something like just ONE civilian aerobatic performer either high energy like Holland, Wiskus, etc. or a slower/comedy like Pietz/Pietsch (NOT both types just one) then something like a warbird demo or Jason Somes’ Mig-17 smokewinder demo, and then one or even two military demo’s. Next year the Thunderbirds for the USAF and F-35B (hopefully a full demo) from the Navy would be killer.

    Stuff like the Lightning Team could be good for a change. It’s not something I would jump up and down for, but if it’s a new act at Reno that doesn’t take up too much time I’m all for it.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Fri-Sun performers approx. 115min each day, 50min of which TBirds. Doesn't leave much time for much else.

    Jim P is an awesome guy and incredible pilot. He saved our bacon last year, flying out from South Dakota on a moment’s notice after Wiskus cancelled do to WX. Jim battled T-storms enroute and showed up about an hour earlier than planned. He's a rock star. But your point is taken.

    The other thing to keep in mind is cost, of course. Always is...whether it's Reno or virtually any other show. And sponsored acts like Wiskus/Lucas Oil (retiring), Kent Pietsch/JellyBelly, Sean Tucker/Oracle (retired) etc. are a softer hit on the pocketbook. Jet teams run around $7K/day but that doesn't include all the logistics and support required. A show must gauge the grossed-up costs against the anticipated (i.e. hoped for!) increase in attendance and concessions when seeking that level of performer.

    Fact is that virtually all shows that have more than half-dozen acts has more than one civilian aero act. I can't think of any show that I've worked over the years where there wasn't at least 2, and very often 3 or more. They break up the other acts in the schedule, tend to be more approachable to the crowd (again my argument that all acts should be staged at RTS), and from a logistical and management standpoint, a bit less demanding. Plus, they almost always do great PR work when they're in town. Like Jim P, they can save your bacon on short notice.

    Reno is a different animal, to be sure. And that's the challenge. Keep the hard-core air race fans happy (no small feat nowadays) but appeal to the casual airshow fan, who, IMHO, is a bit less inclined to sit still for all the class racing. They tend to expect higher energy entertainment. One way to look at it is does Reno look to attract airshow fans in the hopes they get hooked on air racing? Or vice-versa? Both? And to what degree?

    ICAS has a C-17 load of survey data that shows interest in airshow performers is:

    1. Military Jet Teams
    2. Warbirds (does our UNL class count?)
    3. Modern Military/Single-ship Demos/Legacy/Heritage
    4. Warbird Statics (again, does our UNL class count?)
    5. Civilian aerobatics
    6. Military Statics
    7. Vehicles (Jet powered)
    8. R/C aircraft

    And yes, if we can land the F-35 and perhaps another single ship, that would be a nice "show." Question is...there's only so many minutes in a day. If RARA could land several very high-profile acts (i.e. TBirds, F-35, F-18, a couple high energy civilian acts, maybe Jet Truck), what other "events" on the schedule would have to stand down? Or should they?

    The balancing act is not an easy one. Many die-hard race fans tolerate performers because they realize those folks do tend to bring in increased revenue, so they hold their noses and/or go get a beer and a dog instead. To each his own and Reno tries to appeal to all in that regard. But flipping that over, what does anyone think the future of Reno would be if it was strictly racing...no performers?
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Reno’s first and foremost goal should always be interest people in air racing. I think it’s safe to say that every other air show in the country if not the world is to interest people in aviation, but Reno is the only place to interest them in air racing. If the goal is not to interest people in air racing, there’s no point in having the races anymore if it’s just an air show with races. It’s AIR RACING with an AIR SHOW not vice versa. If it takes a high profile act like the Thunderbirds to get people there to get them into the sport, then that’s what RARA should want to do.

    IMHO, I think if you had the 2, 3, or even 4 single ship military demo teams (pretty much impossible), the attendance count would PROBABLY be pretty close to the attendance count if it was only racing. I say this because people that are going to Reno probably don’t do so because the F-16 demo, A-10 demo, MAYBE they would for the F-22 and F-35, but not nearly like the increase in attendance when the Tbirds or Blues come to town. In the end, that leads to what’s the point of spending money on single ship demo teams if the casual attendee probably doesn’t even know that the demo is on the schedule until it takes off... if that makes sense? I don’t see the casual attendee coming because of a single ship team because they probably don’t know any better. But I feel like millions more know the Tbirds and Blues, especially after the covid flyover publicity.

    But at the end of the day if you are looking to keep people in the stands all day so they spend more money and hopefully learn more about the races, then loud military jets will probably keep them awake from open to close. If it’s about getting them in the gate for their $$$, that’s a different strategy that I don’t think should ever be focused on. Even as a die hard air race fan I really only feel the NEED to watch F1 gold, Jet gold, Sport, and Unlimited, and having biplanes, slower F1’s, and T-6’s back to back to back without any performers in between is not something I would be too thrilled about...

    I don’t think Reno should ever just be the racing, and the Tbirds and Blues should always be on the priority performer list.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    Reno’s first and foremost goal should always be interest people in air racing. I think it’s safe to say that every other air show in the country if not the world is to interest people in aviation, but Reno is the only place to interest them in air racing. If the goal is not to interest people in air racing, there’s no point in having the races anymore if it’s just an air show with races. It’s AIR RACING with an AIR SHOW not vice versa. If it takes a high profile act like the Thunderbirds to get people there to get them into the sport, then that’s what RARA should want to do.

    IMHO, I think if you had the 2, 3, or even 4 single ship military demo teams (pretty much impossible), the attendance count would PROBABLY be pretty close to the attendance count if it was only racing. I say this because people that are going to Reno probably don’t do so because the F-16 demo, A-10 demo, MAYBE they would for the F-22 and F-35, but not nearly like the increase in attendance when the Tbirds or Blues come to town. In the end, that leads to what’s the point of spending money on single ship demo teams if the casual attendee probably doesn’t even know that the demo is on the schedule until it takes off... if that makes sense? I don’t see the casual attendee coming because of a single ship team because they probably don’t know any better. But I feel like millions more know the Tbirds and Blues, especially after the covid flyover publicity.

    But at the end of the day if you are looking to keep people in the stands all day so they spend more money and hopefully learn more about the races, then loud military jets will probably keep them awake from open to close. If it’s about getting them in the gate for their $$$, that’s a different strategy that I don’t think should ever be focused on. Even as a die hard air race fan I really only feel the NEED to watch F1 gold, Jet gold, Sport, and Unlimited, and having biplanes, slower F1’s, and T-6’s back to back to back without any performers in between is not something I would be too thrilled about...

    I don’t think Reno should ever just be the racing, and the Tbirds and Blues should always be on the priority performer list.
    Good discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hope we'll get other to chime in.

    Couple points:
    It's pretty much an aviation event axiom that if you're looking to increase attendance and revenue, book a jet team if at all possible. No question about it.

    I note your comment, "Even as a die-hard air race fan I really only feel the NEED to watch F1 gold, Jet gold, Sport, and Unlimited, and having biplanes, slower F1’s, and T-6’s back to back to back without any performers in between is not something I would be too thrilled about..."

    Fact is that's exactly what we have now. If you look at Thursday thru Sunday, the first performer in the airspace came at 1125 on Thurs, 1120 Friday, 1115 Sat, 1135 Sun. From 0800 to 1130 (+/-) was all racing events. And obviously much of that was the "...slower F1, Bip, T6..." events. I know you're only expressing your personal preference, which is exactly what I was hoping for and I appreciate it. Thing is, I spent many years standing at Home Pylon every morning looking at near empty grandstands while F1, Bip, T6 and Sports rounded the sticks until about 1200 or so. Adding high energy performers into the mix before 1130 would seem a worthwhile endeavor. More butts...more bucks. And those divisions get more exposure. Seems like a win/win. But those minutes have to come from somewhere.

    As for whether or not attendance would increase with single-ships, etc. if those coming to the event don't know that say, the F-22 Raptor is in town for the weekend, that's an issue. Hard time believing that's the case in general. Either they're just walk ups and had nothing better to do that day or they're not paying attention to marketing or PR.

    As for getting them in the gate for their $$$, if we don't get them in the gate to spend $$$, we don't race or have a show. Period. Getting them in the gate with their $$$ IS the focus. It has to be. And in order to do that, the event must offer excitement, entertainment, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with racers and performers. We do that really well in the Pits and hangar, but it's impossible to do that with performers if they are staged remotely. I know both jet teams (and indeed all military performers) really want to be staged at the show site, not remotely.

    No doubt getting the Birds and Blues on alternating years would be a win. Let's hope the Blues select Reno for 2022. It's something I've supported, and I know RARA does as well. Just have to convince the teams to get on that rotation. No easy task...

    Good feedback!
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    The thing about RENO, in my mind is that it's always had a bit of a "bad boy" reputation... by that I mean, it has always been the ultimate in motorsport, beyond INDY or any NASCAR event ever held, this is...

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AIR RACING!

    It was at one point pretty much a point of national pride and regarded as such.

    As humans, we need heroes to admire, it's good for all of us, it brings out the best in the young who have yet to aspire to whatever they might become. Air racing, to me, is just one path to that reality.

    Right now, we have a BUNCH of heroes who are not getting enough daily recognition, that being, our men and women in uniform who are deployed world wide and whom we hear little of.. Hand in hand with that, RENO has always been a celebration of heroes.. Initially a celebration of the heroic aircraft that helped save our way of life..

    I don't really know how to express what I'm trying to say but....

    In my mind, I've always associated the Reno National Championship Air Races with something much bigger. I've always thought of it as sort of a celebration of WWII because of the aircraft in the Unlimited Division..

    I'm rambling..

    Had to take BeerNazi to the ER tonight... she's got a heart gig going on and has been working herself too hard..

    Back home tonight, prolly not completely able to express what I'm trying to say.. \

    I think I will sum it up in that I feel that the National Championship Air Races should be considered an event worthy of whatever support necessary to keep this path to aviation related innovations...

    Just my totally distracted .$02
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

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