It's only 41 days until this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous, and so far the number of registrations sent in for the Rendezvous are critically low. There are a number of factors that probably are contributing to this including the state of the economy, higher air fares, and other factors, too. Some folks who usually attend the Rendezvous every year won't be there this year due to circumstances beyond their control, but are still planning to be there next year.
It has been suggested that the Rendezvous should be moved closer to one place or the other, but any move closer to one region is farther from somewhere else. Reno is one of the most gun-friendly places around, and if you make a list of all the factors, there are few, if any, places that score as high as Reno. It is also important to me that the location is at least close to my resident time zone. Trying to set up a convention over the phone is enough of a project as it is, without having to deal with a large time zone difference too. The Silver Legacy hotel people have been really good to work with, and without a really helpful bunch of folks in the group sales department, the Rendezvous wouldn't be possible, at least if it's put on by only one person (me).
The gang at Western Nevada Pistol League have been great in letting us use their pistol bays and loaning us steel targets, stands, and timers. Not every club would do that for us. You don't find a 1,000 yard rifle range everywhere either, and the Pyramid range just outside of Reno is excellent. Having the Quick Cal Eilrich, the Cowboy Fast Draw Association's founder only 20 miles away in Fernley, Nevada, is a big help as it makes setting up a Cowboy Fast Draw event for the attendees possible. Having 23 restaurants available in the resort hotel complex is handy, as you can always find something to eat at the rendezvous 24/7.
For the Rendezvous to be successful a minimum number of rooms must be occupied at the hotel each night, which in turn, gets us the free internet access, discounted room rates, and most importantly, the free use of the Silver Baron 'B' Hospitality room, where a number of our activities are held. If we were not to get the Hospitality Room for free, most, if not all of the registration receipts would go to renting them instead of going to Project Valour-IT. Some things, like the Friday morning breakfast have a minimum number requirement for the hotel to serve it. At the moment we are below that point. The status of the breakfast, at least as originally planned, is still up in the air.
To get good sponsorships and valuable donations of guns and so forth for the Valour-IT fund raiser raffle, I need to be able to show to the sponsors that they will be getting some good exposure for their companies and products. One of the first questions they ask is about attendance. The bigger our Rendezvous, the more sense it makes for the sponsors to donate more valuable items. They only have so much it the budget to spend, and to stay in business, they need to get the most bang for the buck, and you certainly can't blame them. It is critical for the continued success of the Rendezvous that we have enough folks show up.
This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous will absolutely go on as planned
, and all of the activities originally on the tentative schedule are still planned. We will still get in lots of range time, lots of socializing, a pizza feed, and some other activities too. We will still have the raffle on Saturday night, as we have done in the past.
If you are still undecided about attending, send in your registration and book your room ASAP. You definitely will be glad you did, as we always have a good time. If you have attended the Rendezvous in the past, but other things have come up and you can't be there this year, please encourage others to attend. Tell them about the good times you've had at previous GBR's. If you are a blogger and you've attended in the past, help to get the word out on the Rendezvous. If you can, put up a post describing your previous attendance from your point of view. Let folks know that it's a weekend like no other, and the socializing alone is well worth the trip.
The bottom line is this. This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous will definitely go on as planned. Next year's Rendezvous, however, may or may not happen, depending on the success we have this year. For the Rendezvous to prosper, it must continue to grow. If it does not, then maybe the writing is on the wall and this may be the last Gun Blogger Rendezvous, at least in its present form.Time will tell........