The torrential rains made a mess of much of the parking within the fair grounds. Several of ther generators were flooded and the 30 amp service was simply not available. Many of us (several hundred) were directed to large reserved parking lots at the Destiny Mall abut 2 miles away.
This post is to applaud the organizers of The Rally on the terrific job they did on mitigating what could have been a disaster. I don't think anyone could have anticipated the amount of rain they received and the effect on the parking. On very short notice they managed to find a place for several hundred RVs, acquire the appropriate camping permits from the city, establish a shuttle service and set up a refund process for those who signed up for electric but did not get it. They also set up water delivery, sewage service and trash pickup to come to the mall within a day.
I'd also like to recognize the volunteers who stood out in the rain and mud and did the best they could with a smile on there face.
We actually preferred the Mall after seeing the flooded quagmire that used to be the fairgrounds parking area. I said in another thread and repeat here, GS/CW cannot control the weather. I heard there was anywhere from 800 to 1000 RVs at the Destiny USA mall, and looking over the 4 large parking lots we were in, I can believe that number. I also heard the total number od RVs attending was somewhere between 3500 and 4000. I do not know this to be true, but there indeed were a lot of RVers.
I also want to say good job to all the RVs at the mall who set up parking without any direction about as good as if there were attendants there parking us. I have to believe the parking lots were more orderly than I have ever seen for this large a crowd.
The only thing I was disappointed with is that we felt, with our 9 year old grandson in tow, traveling by school bus to the concerts, then keeping him from getting antsy that we could not attend. If we were parked at the fairgrounds we could have walked to the concerts, then back when he could no longer sit still.
A hearty thank you to all the staff and volunteers that made this possible under these extraordinary circumstances.
A special thank you should go out to those that made the youth activities what they were. My grandson had an excellent time (his words) for the 2 days he attended. Thank you from him!
Yes, the Rally did have to make major adjustments to parking due to the never-ending rain we have had in upstate NY. For you out-of-staters, please come back again. Our upstate NY area is beautiful but the month of June has been horrible this year to the huge amount of rain that has fallen. The Rally folks could not have predicted this and I think they tried their best to make the best out of a bad siutation. We spoke to folks at the Destiny mall and most seemed to have a good time and liked the shopping after hours and the food choices, as the rally pretty much didn't have a lot going on after five p.m. If you missed Wayne Newton, you didn't miss much. The man has lost his voice and needs to hang up the tuxedo. People left in droves after the first 20 minutes. Reba was the opposite. She put on a nice show and the courthyard was packed and no one left. Those of use who went to the Meet Marcus and the Find your Match meeting/giveaways had an opportunity to make points known. Many people spoke and many complimeents were given to the volunteers and those that tried to improve the situation. Marcus was no where to be found, he had to drop the puck at ah hockey game and others tried to fill in but didn't quite measure up. I hope that another rally will be held on the NE section of the country but after all the problems at this one, I doubt they will try again anytime soon.
Western New Yorkers
One lazy Westie
2000 F350 DRW 7.3 PSD crew cab
2010 Jayco Designer 37rlqs
I have to agree with Twins89. The Rally organizers did a GREAt job of turning lemons into lemonade! Thursday's rain was torrential! It's no wonder the entire Fairgrounds wasn't under water (as they have ALWAYS had drainage problems!). By Thursday night, everyone had been provided with a safe place to park and "camp", and by Friday morning, shuttle busses were running, sani-john's were in-place (though I never saw one used in the Mall parking lot, as everyone was self-contained), water was bing delivered, trash picked-up, and all-in-all, they bent over backwards to accommodate.
We didn't attend Wayne Newton (no interest in him from anyone in our group), but Reba was great on Saturday night, and then the organizers hit ANOTHER home-run with a very smoothly run shuttle bus service getting people back to their campsites after the concert!
So GREAT JOB, Good Sam / Camping World! The Rally could have been a bust, but you made it great!
As with everything in life, it's all about attitude; if you wanted to have fun and enjoy yourself you could, if you wanted to find fault and be miserable, that was easy to do as well. Personally we had a great time. Sure enough, it rained, and it rained a LOT. That is something GS had no control over. What they did have control over was done very well. This was our first Rally (we're more the "gathering" type) but it was still enjoyable.
Reba was excellent, as was Carolyn Kohl, the opening act. I've never heard of her before, something tells me that won't be the last time we hear her - the girl has talent.
I'd also like to give a shout out to both Roadmaster and Atwood. Without asking Roadmaster came around and serviced our tow bar. Much appreciated.
The guys from Atwood went above and beyond. Thanks for the service and information guys! Again, much appreciated!
Even with the never ending parade of trains, we were still pretty happy to be parked behind the grandstands - on pavement.
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910
This was our first Rally and when all is said and done, we really enjoyed it. There were lots of things that I would do differently if I were running the thing, but if you look at the overall picture, it went off pretty good. With thousands of campers and people, all the vendors workshops and programs its amazing it all comes together like it did. Then throw in the crazy rain!
My biggest disappointment was the timing of everything. I'm a teacher and school is not out yet up here, so I got my camper parked, but then was not able to attend any of the seminars. Then everything closed at 5PM, so we really weren't able to start fully enjoying the rally until Sat morning. The kids loved the youth building and wanted to go back the last day, even though we were ready to leave, but there were no family events the whole weekend. Then the bike drawing for the kids and the big prize drawings were at the same time, so we were split between two buildings. I really hope that they hold another rally in the North East again sometime and can start to add youth and family events to draw in that younger crowd. People were very friendly and I enjoyed the conversations I had, but I would be afraid to guess the average age. I felt pretty young, and I'm almost 40!
The funny thing is, my wife and I were talking and even when all is said and done, I would love to attend another rally.
Also, I paid $200 to camp with electric for the weekend. Reba is coming back to the fair this summer. To take my family of 4 to just see her concert at the NYS Fair, would be $200 and that's the bleacher seats, so you can't beat the price of the rally. We broke even just watching the concert!
I have to agree with just about everyone who has posted their KUDOs for the Rally Organizers, the said we have 3,012 attendees. We arrived Thursday morning (with the rain) and were promptly parked and thankfully on the graveled area of the Grey Lot. No real flooding in that area!
My youngest (age 9) really enjoyed her stays in the Youth Center and their activities. My oldest (now 16, her birthday was yesterday) didn't arrive until Friday (as she has a final exam on Thursday) and even though she thought she wasn't going to enjoy herself, but Saturday night she came to me and told me, "she was wrong, and was really enjoying herself". She met several new friends.
My only comment would be on the trams... On Friday they were nearly non-existent for most of the day. But they were a lot better on Saturday and Sunday. So someone must have re-evaluated this.
As for the concerts... I'm sorry, but Wayne Newton (who I really wanted to see) needs to think about retirement. He just can't seem to sing like he use to. Reba (and her warm-up act) both put on a very enjoyable show. And for those of you who didn't/couldn't stay around for Sunday's concert, you missed what I would say was the best show of the weekend. The Vogues were very entertaining.
Last note, as a retired member of the military I was truly honored to march with those fellow retirees/veterans. The love and appreciated we received from those there was truly special.
Again thank you to Good Sam for bringing this Rally to Syracuse and please consider the Northeast Region for future consideration.