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Thread: 2012 Sun-N-Fun Attendance

  1. #1
    Beach Bum's Avatar
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    2012 Sun-N-Fun Attendance

    I was reading on the T-34 email blast that AOPA's eBrief commented about record attendance at SNF this year. Seemed kinda unexpected to me given the believed poor handling of the tornado disaster last year and the terrible economy. One member that went responded and claimed they were lying and that the numbers were way off from years past. Those are his words.

    Anyone here attend....what was your take on the numbers? Could be fly-in attendance was down but pedestrian traffic through the front gate was up?

  2. #2
    tcraft128's Avatar
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    The fly in was WAY down. The Home built section was almost empty on Saturday.

  3. #3
    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    I ain't going there no more. Seems to be more and more of a rip-off every year. And besides, the way they done everbody when the tornado hit pretty much did it for me.
    I fly IFR (I Follow Roads).

  4. #4
    dougsappllc's Avatar
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    Walk in attendance was way up, not fly ins, but they did have free fuel for the warbirds which went unused, mostly because weather prevented some of the big iron from showing up. This from a fellow RPA, Nanchang pilot who attended. Assumption is that with higher auto fuel prices folks are staying home and looking locally for entertainment.

  5. #5
    JoeB's Avatar
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    In my view, attendance this year was much lower than the years before (I've been going the last 9 out of 10 years, missed the tornado). I was quite surprised to read the reports of 'higher attendance' this year because I just didn't see it. But then again, you can't believe everything you read in the newspaper or online!
    SnF 2012 was my first time flying in and we camped there Tuesday - Saturday. It was the most fun we've ever had there, met some really great people, and had plenty of time to see all the extra stuff that we usually missed or walked right past before. The SnF staff were incredible helpful and friendly, providing golf cart transportation and other assistance anyway they could. Several SnF volunteers stopped by our campsite multiple times just to check in and see how we were doing.
    It's too bad that there are such harsh feelings over the way things were handled last year, GA is slowly dying and I think we need to support every aspect of it to keep it going for future generations (fly-ins, airshows, Reno races, etc). Let's move on, enjoy aviation and each others company at these events.

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    There were not near the airplanes this year in my opinion. I was surprised because the weather from my perspective was perfect getting there the weekend before. I read in the paper that they had advertised heavily in the local area and though I left on Friday morning I understand there were a lot of people there on Sat and Sun. As far as the tornado last year I do understand they dropped that foolishness. There is a new director and there were some nice changes with more in the works. I personally had a great time. Got to spend a week with my parents and flying friends talking about airplanes. Having attended most every year since 1992 there are things that have changed that I don't like but I will put those in a letter to the new director.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  7. #7
    Brenda K's Avatar
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    My first trip to SnF was the day after the tornado last year, so when I attended this year, I was excited for a drier, more upbeat experience and I was not disappointed. I can't speak to the attendance numbers, but I can say that the air shows were FANTASTIC (I love John Mohr's stock Stearman), the volunteers were very cordial and helpful (seemed to have their 'stuff' together compared to last year) and the vendors were enjoying steady sales.

    I was also in FL to train for my seaplane rating so my excitement meter was probably pegged on high, but what I know is that the experiences you have at SnF, Oshkosh, New Holstein or a local breakfast run are contingent on attitude. I am happy to pay the $30 to have a common meeting place to hook up with friends and hang with aviation enthusiasts from all over the country. It's much cheaper than any bar tab I've paid at the end of the night! Ha.


    I really enjoyed visiting with Amy & Co. at the Dakota Cub booth and had a great time catching up with Jason and the Stewart Systems crew. Tats and hugs all around. So much fun!
    Tatted twosome.jpgJason and BK.jpgJohn Mohr.jpgFifi.jpgAwesomeness.jpg.Welcome.jpg




    My camping friends pulled our pics and videos together and made this YouTuber.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPaHf...layer_embedded




    And yep, I passed my checkride
    Adventure Seaplane instructors Dale & Brian and two smiley students. Some of you Northwesterners may know the guy in blue!
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  8. #8

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    I was there Tuesday through Sunday except Thursday. Homebuilt section down by half in my estimation. Classic were half to two thirds full. Sunday the only people on site had vendor badges. Cirrus did not even show up. Airshow Saturday attended by good crowds, but they were airshow crowds, not airplane people. The exhibits in the hangars did not seem as crowded as in the past. Yes, the homebuilt field was empty by Saturday. Perhaps they were trying to get out before the WX closed in on the east coast.

    I would NEVER fly in there again. Gave that up after less than stellar treatment a few years back. I go because it's warm, I can visit relatives nearby and hook up with some old friends.

    Rich
    Comm/Inst/CFIA/CFII...Now a happy Sport Pilot

  9. #9
    DW's Avatar
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    After all I have read about the treatment of GA I'm not ever going!

  10. #10
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Watch out DW, we might learn from them for the upcoming events we have

    Trying to figure out how to charge everyone $30 at the door in Anchorage...
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
    jjack's Avatar
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    I have been to sun-n-fun many times. Missed the terror last year .
    Found this year to be down on attendance but up on attitude. I think for the most part, sun-n-fun has heard the people speak. All volunteers I dealt with we're very helpful, including dropping off a case of oil to my plane.
    Enjoyed seeing Jason, Amy, and Chip. Missed meeting Clay at CC. He was busy giving rides.
    Overall, the best time I have ever had at this venue. Weather could not have been better . Left Saturday morning just in time to beat the weather back to N.C.
    DW~ you should go one year, enjoy the weather and form your own opinion! I think you would enjoy it!
    JohnnyJackson

  12. #12
    JoeB's Avatar
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    I'll share a quick SnF 2012 story
    I met a new friend, the guy was a Culver Cadet historian and a fantastic pilot! He had not flown his Culver in 3+ years due to a medical challenge so I surprised him with a flight in mine. This experience alone made the trip to Lakeland worth it (For me, I think it was more fun than taking a kid for his first flight).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13

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    They count the kids that get in free on sat. was there tus wed thur,mom lives Lakeland see her go to show win win.it would have to be very bad to not go.way down,but thats GREAT for me ,don't need masses to make it good,just like Germany,its for the rich,cheat steal lie,or work and you can enjoy it to.

  14. #14
    SJ's Avatar
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    I've never been to Sun n Fun, but you can read in these posts that like any other fly in, it's about the relationships we renew and develop when we are there. New Holstein of course is a tiny get together, but I do have first hand experience with how the weather effects these events. We have folks who will never come back again because of the wind/rain storm that occurred one year, oh and the next... However, we also have people who have fond memories of the camaraderie that often comes from being thrown together in a sticky situation. Often, we see the real person behind the person in these situations, and most of the time that's a good thing.

    It seems our day to day lives revolve (especially in an election year) around finding things about each other that make us different. I appreciate the opportunities to be around people who prefer to celebrate the things that make us the same - and events like Sun and Fun do just that.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  15. #15
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Well said Steve. Good thought.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  16. #16
    aktango58's Avatar
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    SJ,

    very eloquent, great thought...

    you have brought up the 'election year' a couple of times...

    have you reconsidered, and are now running for POTUS?

    quite the ticket: Grand Poobah and our own historian (cloudy) as vp!

    I like it!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  17. #17
    centmont's Avatar
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    SJ: This response, in particular, has revealed you as the good man you are. Good to be your friend. R
    "Entropy just isn't the same anymore"
    www.TheCubWorks.com

  18. #18
    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    Hey Brenda - come on, I bet you never had to pay for your bar tab at the end of an evening??
    Those who pound their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.

  19. #19
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrol Guy View Post
    Hey Brenda - come on, I bet you never had to pay for your bar tab at the end of an evening??
    Now that is funny no matter who you are.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  20. #20
    Brenda K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Now that is funny no matter who you are.
    You guys are so dorky, but funny!

    I meant the tab I pick up for my cohorts. My one beer and 10 cups of coffee are cheap compared to what the rest of ya belt down! (Ok, maybe not Pierce.)

    Point being, the 30 bucks (that was with discount) was worth the entertainment and opportunity to see some pretty cool aviation buddies. If you keep moving, you can cover the grounds in one day and still have time to skinny dip in the Gulf.

  21. #21
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda K View Post
    time to skinny dip in the Gulf.

    Now I (want to?) see a reason to make the trip!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  22. #22
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Will Amy be joining????

    Or just Cajun Joe...
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  23. #23
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrol Guy View Post
    Hey Brenda - come on, I bet you never had to pay for your bar tab at the end of an evening??
    Tactics, John, tactics . . .

    I think there was a fair amount of apprehension this year about SNF, due to many factors, including the weather at the event last year, the weather between home and the event, elections, gas prices, and other events like the Cub focus at Oshkosh. I can only comment from a spectator perspective but I think SNF is working to remedy what went wrong last year and identifying other areas for improvement. For instance, parking on Wednesday was . . . and experience. Thursday morning it was much better (a change from years past, but not the disaster that had us rolling through just about every parking lot but the right one). It is tough for an event to recover from the weather damages and the PR flap(s) surrounding how cleanup was handled. I respect the effort I have seen and wish SNF the best in building a great aviation event--it is an uphill battle for sure.

    In years past, all major fly-ins have brought in the airshow focus to draw more local traffic. It is more predictable than fly-in traffic, and they buy event merchandise. It also exposes many people to aviation that may have not otherwise experienced it. However, it doesn't really help out the vendors who make significant investments in attending such shows. It's a tradeoff.

    The attitudes seemed better, but my experience with past years is limited at best Several vendors commented that traffic seemed down, but, then again, if it is the RIGHT traffic then things are ok. I personally do not think it was a record year but again, I have little experience with good years at SNF . . .

    Regardless of attendance numbers, it was great to see so many familiar faces and meet some new friends along the way. Airplane friends are the best!
    In transition. Never sit still.

  24. #24
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Will Amy be joining????

    Or just Cajun Joe...
    We joked about a wet t-shirt contest after the storm last year . . . never did happen, which is fine by me. A LARGE audience of Ben Franklins would be required. Girl's gotta pay student loans after all . . .
    In transition. Never sit still.

  25. #25
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    A LARGE audience of Ben Franklins would be required. Girl's gotta pay student loans after all . . .
    What kind of number do you consider as "LARGE"
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  26. #26
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    What kind of number do you consider as "LARGE"
    To be determined but it would have to be a significant addition to my airplane savings fund . . . probably a safe margin above what the sc.org lot can muster. It's safer that way!
    In transition. Never sit still.

  27. #27
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Did someone say..."WET T-SHIRT CONTEST"?!



    Cloud(breasticularlybewildered)Dancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  28. #28
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Proving again that EVERYONE has a price!

  29. #29
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    A LARGE audience of Ben Franklins would be required. Girl's gotta pay student loans after all . . .

    thinking broke college student... or graduate, large is much smaller than large is to the Trump...

    Cub junkie beat me to the point of everyone having a price, but I was earlier referring to the skinny dipping, No shirt required!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Obviously y'all haven't seen Amy in person.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  31. #31
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Proving again that EVERYONE has a price!
    I'm smart enough to know there is one, but thankfully it is set high enough it's not likely I'll ever be in a situation where someone reaches it. That affords me the wisdom of recognizing everyone has a price with the very low chance of ever seeing it met!

    Not even going to have Pierce clarify his comment . . . it scares me and I am a sheltered little angel

    Anyways, like the banter of this thread, the mood was better this year at SNF, even when compared to last year at Oshkosh, I thought. However, it will be interesting to see how gas prices affect Oshkosh later on. I remember the last time prices were high that I did not notice a drop in aircraft attendance at OSH, but that may have been because pilots cut all the smaller fly-ins earlier in the year.

    It would be interesting to know how SNF counts people--Oshkosh used to use "people-days" which meant if you bought a weeklong pass, you counted as 7 people (because you were a daily admission), which ignored the idea of unique attendees. I thought I read something about this practice but I am unsure if OSH moved away from using it.

    So far I have been mostly groundbound (listening to the wind howl right now at DCA HQ) so I have not yet felt the sting of gas prices, so my habits have not been affected, but I hear talk of it affecting summer flying already. May have to start taking on hitchhikers!
    In transition. Never sit still.

  32. #32
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    To be determined but it would have to be a significant addition to my airplane savings fund . . . probably a safe margin above what the sc.org lot can muster. It's safer that way!
    So your price is College tuition and an airplane
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  33. #33
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    So your price is College tuition and an airplane
    AirplaneS. If I am going to sell my dignity the hangar better at least be full, with a fuel allowance . . .

    Until such time as I encounter someone with the requisite financial assets, my dignity shall remain intact--for quite a long time, I suspect!
    In transition. Never sit still.

  34. #34
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Ah, yes, the way to succeed in aviation: Marry well.....

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  35. #35
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Obviously y'all haven't seen Amy in person.

    I think the genesis of this was to see!

    AS I recall, Brenda brought this to light, and has now gone silent...
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  36. #36

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    Nice photos/videos Brenda. Noticed a big fence. Is that just in front of the camping space or is it around the whole field? There were a few shots where it would have been nice not to have the fence in the way.

  37. #37
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    I think "Brenda" is her "agent", thus why it is now multiple airplanes vs. one airplane.
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  38. #38
    Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    I think "Brenda" is her "agent", thus why it is now multiple airplanes vs. one airplane.
    We're frequently partners in crime.
    In transition. Never sit still.

  39. #39

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    Leave it to Brenda to bring so much fun to this conversation. We hit the high notes with Steves post, so well said, and then we got to Brenda's imaginative thoughts...and Amy just got drug into it just by being present at SNF.

    I thought it was a good video Brenda and also was wondering about the fence. Congrats on the seaplane rating! It was good to catch up with you.

  40. #40
    Anne's Avatar
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    I've enjoyed going to SnF, but just started going in 2007. What I most like is visiting with people that I only get to see once or twice a year. I've never been treated badly by the staff/volunteers, and can't blame anyone for the weather. I didn't go this year because there was too much going on at home and with the warm winter it just didn't seem urgent to see the sun. I'd go again.

    Anne.
    Baloney is still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.

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