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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:58 pm 
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(Editor's note: This letter will appear in the Sept. 25 Tomahawk Leader. We're looking for comments from others about the earlier closing on Saturday night.)

To whom it may concern, On behalf of the group of 7 people that was at the MDA fall ride this weekend, we do not like the new format of ending the bands on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. We rent a cabin for 4 nights and 5 days at over $1,400.00. Not to mention the money that we spend at local restaurants, stores, bars, gas stations and venders. We also have used the taxi service, so we don’t donate to the police department. We have been going to this event for 14 years and look forward to it every year. I heard several different reasons for the change. One of which was that the thought was that everybody would move into the taverns afterwards. From what I saw this was not the case. In the past, the bars are always crowded throughout the night. Also, by closing down the street early, this also hurts the street venders who use this as their main fund raiser. If I want to sit in a bar I can do this at home and save my money.

If you choose to keep this set-up, please let us know so we can make other plans to support a community that will appreciate the economic influx that we can provide. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:13 pm 
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From a local standpoint, closing it down that early didn't make any sense at all. Things are just getting started about that time and it sure didn't help anyone in town who had a business or any of the local groups that were trying to make a few buck with a food or beverage stand. You can bet that once the bands shut down everyone headed out of town and went to Bubba's up in Nokomis or some other party.
Sounds like someone is doing their best to kill the goose that is laying the golden egg. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:41 pm 
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I agree, I don't understand the change to saturday street hours. I'm a long-time/frequent Fall Ride participant, but some years I cannot ride up until Saturday. The fact that the street/music was shutting down at 8:30 made me decide not to attend this year.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:27 pm 
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I've never been to the Fall Ride...someday hope to make it to town for that weekend.

About bands shutting down at 8:30PM...that's pure sacrilegious. Anyone who has ever had a drink or danced or listened to a band KNOWS that the fun BEGINS at 8:30PM !!! I hope that this was an experiment for this year and that the mistake will be admitted to so things get back to a more 'normal' schedule for next year.

"Sorry folks, the music is being shutdown at 8:30 this year but we'll start our second set at 9:30 tonight at Bubba's...see you in an hour !!!"

Pure sacrilegious !!!! :shock: :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Reduced traffic in town, kids can sleep without hearing a train of motorcycles every two minutes, no loud music... I'm failing to see a downside here. I was also glad to see the police have again increased their forces. The message is still falling on some deaf ears, but hopefully soon they will get it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Reduced traffic in town, kids can sleep without hearing a train of motorcycles every two minutes, no loud music... I'm failing to see a downside here.


Sounds like someone who wasn't invited to the party and can't stand the idea of someone else having a good time. :roll:

For two nights a year, I don't see anyone suffering all that much by having the band playing until 11:00. Once the band shuts down the town is pretty much empty within a half hour so you should still be able to get your beauty rest.

God knows you probably need it ! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:23 pm 
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I agree with the majority above. This event is held once a year and has been a economic boon for the area. Ending the downtown street activities early on Sat evening is a big mistake, especially for the tourists (yep those riders are money-spending tourists) that can't arrive until Saturday morning or later.

And regarding the noise, I hear as much disruptive, sharp noise around the Memorial Day/July 4th/Labor Day holidays as folks shot off fireworks late into the nights surrounding these dates, but its accepted as being an American in a free society. Well...Harleys are as American as apple pie or fireworks during the holidays.

Tomahawk needs to nurture this event for the positives it brings to the businesses&charities in town and surrounding area. Some of those Harley-riding tourists may come back in the future with their extended families or friends for a non-riding vacation (hunting, fishing, etc). And without vibrant tourism, Tomahawk's future is not positive.

So adding on to what Old Scout said...maybe try joining the Harley celebration is some way rather than just complaining about some momentary inconvenience. But watch out, you may just have some fun!?!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Old Scout wrote:
Sounds like someone who wasn't invited to the party and can't stand the idea of someone else having a good time. :roll:

For two nights a year, I don't see anyone suffering all that much by having the band playing until 11:00. Once the band shuts down the town is pretty much empty within a half hour so you should still be able to get your beauty rest.

God knows you probably need it ! :lol:


Actually, I work nights so it's not that much of an issue for me. My kids, however, do not. I don't see the "golden egg" of renting out our town to people who just want to drink and make noise. Our city would be better served if everyone made an effort to shop at local businesses instead of Walmart, Kmart or elsewhere. The people who are shopping downtown are buying from vendors from out of the area, not supporting local businesses. The only ones who see an influx of shoppers are the bars and perhaps the grocery stores.

Moving the people who want to party out to the speedway previously/Nokomis currently makes sense. Two years ago, a little girl was hit on her bicycle by a motorcycle. What are the chances that would have happened if it hadn't been Harley weekend? Granted, accidents can happen at any time, however, increasing the likelihood is foolish. The only time the FBI, DEA and multiple outside law enforcement personnel are in Tomahawk is during the fall ride. How is that a good thing? Oh yeah, the bars make a few more bucks. Let Bubba and Nokomis have it. He has apparently done well promoting and providing a venue considering its growth. If we're so afraid to start a campground because it will destroy a natural resource and part of "What Makes Tomahawk Great", why is it a good idea to solicit the entire city?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:32 am 
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Neup99,

You obviously have NO idea how many businesses are helped by the Fall Ride which gives the impression you haven't actually been to the event or have any communication with actual business owners in the area. Many businesses in Tomahawk are barely getting by as it is right now. They haven't been able to give their employees pay increases in years, have had to let workers go or not refill positions, the owners haven't drawn a paycheck in longer than they can remember and they're either not paying some bills, paying them late, or drawing money out of savings or retirement accounts to stay above water.

It's absolutely amazing how many businesses don't make any money off the Fall Ride in your opinion that advertise in the Tomahawk Leader or on WJJQ, sometimes for the only time all year. I strongly suggest you go through the Fall Ride Guide and look at all the businesses that bring in significantly more money. Bubba's party is probably one of the worst things for the area. The entire goal is to provide as many of the services on site as possible so that people don't need to leave. That means only that event makes money and those people spend far less in town.

To fill you in on a few more businesses that are significantly helped by the Fall Ride population influx...

Tomahawk Leader
WJJQ
Gas Stations
Hotels, Motels and Resorts
Restaurants
Coffee Shop
Pharmacies
Auto repair shops, towing, parts stores
Craft, Gift & Antique stores
The new bath & body shop (who I believe listed the Fall Ride as a consideration in opening)
Banks (and ATMs)
Radio Shack
Ben Franklin
Laundromats

That's just thinking about it quickly. Every business downtown sees an increase in customers (heck, even the Post Office). It would be much easier for YOU to try and list a business you don't think sees increases in sales during the fall ride. I certainly am having a hard time coming up with one. For a large number of the businesses you claim you want to support locally, this can be their rare chance lately to pay back a few bills or heck, maybe even put a little money into savings so they have enough to make it through another winter.

And don't forget, all of those businesses and their employees spend money at the other businesses in town too. Take away that influx of money and within a year I guarantee you'll see an awful lot of additional empty buildings.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:55 am 
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Well stated Kerry! I'll just add how about the charities that sell food&drink. There's more than one group that have told me this is their biggest event of the year from a fund-raising perspective.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:13 pm 
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The people who are shopping downtown are buying from vendors from out of the area, not supporting local businesses. The only ones who see an influx of shoppers are the bars and perhaps the grocery stores.


A lot of the local organizations that do a lot to support activities in Tomahawk depend on the fall ride to make money the helps them with their programs all year.

Examples, the American Legion which has many programs the support the youth of the community. I talked to one of the Boy Scout leaders and their popcorn stand made enough to help many of the Scouts pay their own way to camp next year instead of the parents having to foot the bill, I have no doubt that many church groups, the Optimists, the Lions and others depend of the funds they raise in this one weekend.

Now what is the bad part of this ?

What do you do to support these groups ? ? ?

As for the law enforcement part, do you seriously believe the Tomahawk P.D. could handle any large event all by themselves ? Shucks they even have outside officers here for Pow Wow days. It only makes sense to have the help at a time like this. It should make you feel really safe.

I get the impression that this is just a curmudgeon that likes to complain ! ! ! :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Who's brainstorm was it to shut down the activities on Wisconsin Ave that early? In only one trip, I counted four traffic stops from the Northwest city limits to the downtown on Thursday night. Welcome to Tomahawk visitors. The city seems to be more interested in chasing these bikers out of town than welcoming them. That weekend puts a ton of money into the hands of the small businesses in town, as well as many of our civic organizations and the MDA. Considering that most of the bikers are riding Harleys it also helps keep a lot of our people employed. Those folks aren't Jr. High school kids that need an 8:30PM curfew, so let them have some fun while visiting Tomahawk. Perhaps they'll come back next year. If the noise bothers you for those two days go buy some ear plugs. This event started out as the Tomahawk Fall Ride for MDA but it rapidly becoming the Buba's Nokomis and parts North Fall Ride.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:09 am 
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Does anyone know who first requested the downtown street event on Saturday be closed at 8:30PM? Was it the Fall Ride's organizer team that came up with the idea, a request from police dept, or some other group/reason? It would be interesting to understand the rational of this change?

The MDA bike raffle was also changed to Saturday night verse Sunday at noon. Seems there was an overall emphasis on compressing the weekend's timeline to end things a little earlier this year.

Can anyone from the Fall Ride's organizer group explain the impetus of these changes to the Leader staff for clarification? Seems like that maybe a news-worthy article (hint hint).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:07 pm 
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The Department of Economic Development of the state of California did a study some years back that traced the impact of each new dollar of revenue that enters a community.

The short version of the results concluded that for every one dollar of new money that entered a community, it represented $7 in positive economic impact on the community because it changed hands 7 times before it left the community by being spent out of town.

So if the Fall Ride brings in $50,000 that is $350,000 in impacts, $100,000 would be $700,000.

I don’t know what the revenues are but if the one letter writer and his $1400 rental is any indication, the total revs should be way over $100,000. The question is in these horrible economic times can Tomahawk kiss off this kind of money for a few nights sleep for a few people? Supplying earplugs would be much more cost effective.

The study also pointed out that the benefits also impacted a large percentage of people that had no connection what so ever of the original source or their connection was very remote.

My guess would be that every single person in Tomahawk is in some way either directly or indirectly benefited by the monies from the Fall Ride.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:38 pm 
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Out of curiosity, how many people telling me how great this is live within two blocks of 4th St, W. Wisconsin or S. Tomahawk? How many even live in town?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Not me !!! I live on the Right Coast!!! But, in my mind, I can hear the Harleys all weekend of the Fall Ride !!! 8) 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Just a little teaser to get a copy of next week's Tomahawk Leader. The reason for the time change had to do with money, not surprisingly, and how long the event should go Saturday, I believe, is already on the Tomahawk License and Permit Committee's agenda for this coming Tuesday.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:34 pm 
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I think I have it figured out !

The regular city officials were not available so they brought in replacement officials and they made some bad calls ! ! :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:26 am 
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Old Scout, I think you are thinking of a different debacle. But you aren't far off.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:00 am 
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neup99 wrote:
Reduced traffic in town, kids can sleep without hearing a train of motorcycles every two minutes, no loud music... I'm failing to see a downside here. I was also glad to see the police have again increased their forces. The message is still falling on some deaf ears, but hopefully soon they will get it.


This was my first fall ride experience. I live on W. Wisconsin Avenue, right in the heart of downtown. The noise did not bother me at all, I was very surprised. I had my windows open. I was able to sleep Friday night despite the bands.

Only one thing bothered me, and it's not unique to the fall ride. Is there any reason for all the cigarette butts all over downtown? There are large cigarette butt disposal containers everywhere. Are smokers lazy or they can't read or recognize the disposals? :evil: It's annoying the **** out of me. :roll:

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