President's Message - May 2019
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
As members with email addresses are aware, we recently conducted a survey of your opinions concerning the club’s Internet services. Thank you to those who responded. We will use that information to review and assess our Internet services.
Several members submitted comments concerning issues appearing to be of general interest. This seems to be the right place to respond to a few of them.
Some members raised concerns about why the rooms for the Louisville Grand National sold out so quickly. As a service to our members, we arrange for the hotel for the upcoming Grand National to take reservations onsite at the current Grand National.
As a consequence, many (but not all) of the rooms are typically reserved during the preceding year’s meet. We tweaked the procedure last year, limiting the number of rooms one could book and requiring a one-night deposit for each, as some members had been reserving as many as 10 rooms, preventing others from booking rooms.
Additionally, the host hotel is contracted several years before a particular Grand National is held. There are significant financial penalties if the contracted rooms go unsold. We do our best, but sometimes the rooms for certain nights sell out faster than we anticipate.
In those circumstances, we add rooms if the hotel has the available capacity or contract with a nearby, comparable hotel for additional rooms. Long story short, it is better to reserve earlier rather than later, and, if you wait until the first registration form is published, you may be at a disadvantage. Remember, we generally announce the location of the following year’s Grand National host hotel about a year out, which is when most hotels open their registration books.
Another concern raised was that several of the activities sold out quickly. No, the board did not have reserved slots. We offered online Grand National event registration for the first time this year. We tried to get notification out in advance, so everyone knew it was coming. We worked to coordinate the arrival of the hard copy and online availability of The Self-Starter, so that everyone had an equal chance to sign up for the activities with limited availability. We were not entirely successful, creating several very unhappy registrants.
I have a plan to avoid the vagaries of the U.S. Postal Service next year so that won’t reoccur. Remember also that all members now have access to the online The Self-Starter, so you can see the magazine online before it hits your mailbox.
Another limitation on tours is that we have to guess several years in advance how many people will be interested in a particular activity. This year, we had the opportunity to offer some extremely desirable activities which, unfortunately, had rigid capacity limitations placed upon them. We tried to be as equitable as possible, but weren’t successful enough. We’ll do better next time.
Many respondents indicated they were frustrated because they didn’t see enough about their particular vintage cars on the CLC Discussion Forum. Surprisingly, there were also comments from people with those same vintage cars, stating precisely the opposite. If you don’t see anything about the car you love, start your own conversation. Very few of us own “one of one” cars. It is likely that someone is waiting for an invitation to share an interest with you.
There were additional comments of general interest, but I get only so much space. I’ll address those over the coming months.