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Originally Posted by Hellgate:

 

1.  There will be a lot of inventory that will saturate the market soon.

 

Yeah, whenever someone makes rude comments about the younger generation of railfans, I just take a second to remember how much I'm going to enjoy buying their trains from their kids on eBay in a few years.

If they open to the public I doubt you'd see a dramatic uptick in attendance. If they do things will definitely change. Whether for the better or not will have to be seen. Both sides of the argument bring up valid points. 

 

Regardless I'll keep attending as long as I'm having fun And seeing my friends. 

Last edited by MartyE
Originally Posted by Hudson J1e:

       
Originally Posted by MartyE:

If they open to the public I doubt you'd see a dramatic uptick in attendance.

I agree but what we will see is a huge decline in TCA membership.


       


If people are only members so they can attend the show,  they're not *really* members in the first place, they're just playing along so they can pay to attend.  It's just taking the dollars out of the "dues" column on the ledger and putting it into the "admissions" column.  Obviously people will pay what they pay in dues to attend the show.
Originally Posted by Putnam Division:

I believe they were soliciting the public by inviting people to come in as a guest as a one time thing. If you like it, join TCA for next time.

 

A reasonable approach to be sure.....I was at the Eastern Division business meeting.

 

Peter

This would seem the most likely solution as it skirts the sales tax issue. As for a decline in membership, nature is taking care of that anyway. Reports are health issues prevented some vendors from attending, not just members.

 

Pete

Originally Posted by Wowak:
Originally Posted by Hudson J1e:

       
Originally Posted by MartyE:

If they open to the public I doubt you'd see a dramatic uptick in attendance.

I agree but what we will see is a huge decline in TCA membership.


       


If people are only members so they can attend the show,  they're not *really* members in the first place, they're just playing along so they can pay to attend.  It's just taking the dollars out of the "dues" column on the ledger and putting it into the "admissions" column.  Obviously people will pay what they pay in dues to attend the show.

So are you suggesting that they raise the registration fees by $25 (since dues are $50 a year)? What about the guy who is in it to go only once a year? In this case they would lose half the dues. Perhaps you mean to say that they should raise the registration fee by $50 for April and then in October if one attended the April York you get to register for what is the price today? This may be a more difficult to manage system than what they have today. And as you said it is just putting the numbers in a different column of the ledger. Is it worth the extra trouble? I honestly don't know but I would guess that it isn't.

 

I doubt this system will satisfy people like Dennis.

 

Does anyone really care who is a "real" member and who isn't? I certainly don't.

Originally Posted by peanutboo:

I disagree about the decline of TCA members.  The reality is they are already dealing with declining membership due to the aging membership.  The TCA is aware of all of this.  I'm sure something will be on the horizon.  If you want to expand the hobby and grow it , this is the only way to do it. 

Respectfully disagree. I have heard at least a dozen guys tell me that if they didn't have to pay dues to get into York they would drop their TCA membership IN A HEARTBEAT. And I am not one of the "celebrities" of this hobby where I know tons of people. If I know 12 guys who would do this then just imagine how many more are out there.

Originally Posted by Norton:
Originally Posted by Putnam Division:

I believe they were soliciting the public by inviting people to come in as a guest as a one time thing. If you like it, join TCA for next time.

 

A reasonable approach to be sure.....I was at the Eastern Division business meeting.

 

Peter

This would seem the most likely solution as it skirts the sales tax issue. As for a decline in membership, nature is taking care of that anyway. Reports are health issues prevented some vendors from attending, not just members.

 

Pete

Agreed. The real problem is getting new younger folks to join up. This is a problem across the board on all types hobby based organizations. Magazine subscriptions are down. Attendance is down at car events that I have faithfully attended for 15 years and that show is open to the public. As someone else mentioned somewhere on this forum younger people, for whatever reason, don't feel a need to belong and participate in these type of organizations.

I think that was me who said that about younger people and I am of them. The main reason, I believe, is that young people are to busy to join anything. I am 45 and have 3 boys who are 11 years old. All are involved in sports, school and clubs to a point that was unheard of 25 years ago. Sports has taken over, like it or not! Also age of people having children, when my father was my age, 45, I was 21. People my age, now have kids who are still very young, so they are involved with kids not trains or Elks etc. My kids have practice 3or 4 days a week, then a game day. I hope to run my trains for a hour a week at best!! It's just a different world. I dropped my TCA because there is no benefit for me, Im not going to spend $50 per year and maybe go to York once every couple of years..

I've tried to wade through the many comments here, but will restrict my comments to my own experience at the recent meet...

 

This was probably the BEST York Meet I have attended to date. Didn't buy a single train item, but sure could have spent a good deal of $ if there was something I needed. Truth is, I already have more trains than I can make use of in several lifetimes--one of the advantages of having been in this hobby for a good number of years. But that sure didn't diminish my enjoyment of the meet one iota. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet-up with countless friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years, and several who I haven't seen for nearly a quarter of a century. That made this meet special for me in ways that are truly important.

 

I should note that even though I didn't buy any items this time around, I there was one item on my short mental list that I would like to have. In talking with Ken, from Trainworld, I found that he has it in stock at the store (it's a G gauge item, not O gauge) so I'll be calling Trainworld tomorrow and placing my order. So, technically, I guess it could be said that I did buy a train at this meet.

 

As others have noted, the hours of operation are clearly spelled out in the TCA Eastern Division's handbook, and they are in place so members who pretty much have to remain at with their tables in member halls also have a chance to visit the dealer halls if they care to.

 

And this fussing over older vs. younger hobbyists is ridiculous. There would be no York Meet if it wasn't for the older generations...even those older than me who are no longer with us. These are the people who, like me, worked their entire lives and were finally able to spend time and money on their hobby, be it trains or something else. They earned and supported the "perk" of having this meet in the first place, and even though the demographics of the hobby is changing, the seniors among us are still the foundation of the hobby because, first and foremost, trains, both real and model, were such an important part of our earlier lives. That is not the case for younger generations today, but there's little most of us can do about that aside from promoting the hobby as best we can. I doubt that it will ever again see the number of participants gleaned from those born and raised in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s in particular, but that's just the result of societal evolution and inevitable change. The model railroading and train collecting hobby will still be around long after I'm gone, but we have to be realistic in our expectations in that regard.

 

Finally, my sincere thanks to the VOLUNTEERS of the Eastern Division who organize and conduct this meet. They can NEVER be all things to all people--TCA members or not--but they do one helluva job of putting on the world's largest and greatest toy train meet. 

Last edited by Allan Miller
Originally Posted by peanutboo:

I would like to see the TCA open the York meet to the public on Saturday & Sunday only and closed meet to TCA members on Thursday-Friday.  I saw a lot less tables and people buying this York.  Saturday is such a light day at York, I think it can only be a benefit. 

Oh? I have often wondered who that "public" would be. Would that public draw from the immediate York area? Has anyone done a demographic study of who would actually come to the Meet from the "public"? What public?

 

And once it was determined who that demographic might be, how would they be reached/informed of the model train meet/show/event?

 

As a potential vendor at such a Meet extended into Saturday and Sunday (!), for example, from my viewpoint, that would have to be one wonderful, well-heeled, model-train-loving, and motivated group to get me to want to stay longer. Believe me.

Jus' keepin' it real,

FrankM.

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Last edited by Moonson

Starting/ending times aside, whether or not the young and the old can attend.  York is by far the best train show I've ever attended. But with that said I kind of look at it differently.  With limited funds (like most I'm sure), I look at the six hour drive, the several hundred for hotel room, food, gas, money spent at the show, taking time off from work with limited vacation time, etc, etc.  I wondering if the money spent would be better investment in engines, rolling stock, accessories, etc etc, ordered right from the comfort of my home.

 

So for me anyway, going twice a year or even once a year is not likely to happen.  Last April was my first in eleven years.  While my son had a blast I had to wonder if it was worth it. 

 

Maybe someday I'll make it again, God bless you guys that can go twice a year. 

Originally Posted by Jim Battaglia:
........... That said, there are Dealer Hall members that never get to cruise the member halls for the same reasons. Lets keep them open past the dealer halls, so Grybowski can see my offerings..... (I'll shut up now)


    

I've sold 2 items to Jeremy in the early hours when he is looking for items (probably customer requests, I doubt what I had was exceedingly rare, both modern pieces from the last 15-20 years).

 

If you have it and a customer of theirs want it, I think Jeremy will find you!

 

-Dave

Originally Posted by Moonson:
 I have often wondered who that "public" would be. Would that public draw from the immediate York area? Has anyone done a demographic study of who would actually come to the Meet from the "public"? What public?

 

IMG_3530

"The public", as I have noted at many large train shows, tends to be a young family with kids, out for a fun weekend day trip. They mainly buy "Thomas" stuff for the kids, and perhaps a "starter set" or other train toy.

As I have said before, within a 2 hour drive from York are about 24 "public" train shows per year...one of them in York, and at least 4 others 30 minutes away in Timonium, MD. How many of the attendees at a Greenberg or Allentown show are "public" I would have to guess 10%. Spending-wise probably 1%. Remember, most of the "train people" at these shows are probably into HO, G, N rather than O or S, hence, no reason to be a TCA member.

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