Richard Davis wrote:
> Dear QClub,
> I am writing with some observations/concerns that I have seen in the
> direction of the club since I became a member a few years ago.
> I have owned 4 quattros covering three different models over the years
> and currently drive a 15 yr old TQC that is probably one of the first if
> not the first quattro registered for use in the U.S. and have a strong
> desire to see an organization like the Qclub succeed in spreading the word
> about these great cars. In the last Quarterly, you sent along a sheet
> asking how many people we have turned to the Audi marque, I can point to 6
> individuals who have purchased quattros as a result of experiences in my
> I think a quick overview of membership demographics would be a great
> thing for members to have. I have attended only 1 event, the safety
> session at Lime Rock last year. It was alot of fun and I had a great time.
> I looked forward to Watkins Glen and the Rock again this year until I
> opened the slick new issue and saw the nearly 20% cost increases! With all
> of that ad space I thought for sure the club was making enough to hold the
> line on what some consider to be already excessive event costs.
> While I saw about 1/2 dozen S4's and S6's at the Rock last year, I would
> say that the average Audi in attendance was at least 5+ yrs old, (your
> records can confirm or refute this), my point being that not all members
> can afford the costs of the newer Audis(myself certainly included), with
> the 3yr maintenance package, nor can a lot of enthusiasts afford the large
> event fees. $260 will get me my coveted big brake caliper upgrade, some
> new tires or a timing belt water pump replacement. This is before I have
> to factor in overnight lodging rates and food for those of us who indulge
> in sleep and eating. Throw, on top of this, the 3rd day social and you may
> be alienating some of your target audience.
> In this price range I may find myself on the 3 day social plan, where I
> go to fraternize and talk Q's for a couple of days without being able to
> run in the track. Lets see, 80 participants X $260 per is over $20,000 for
> 2 days of track rental and insurance that is far in excess of other #'s I
> have heard this venue should cost. If I joined 2 + yrs ago and am member
> #1173, I assume you have at least 1,000 members at $36 per thats at least
> $36,000 in member fees, ads must run a minimum of $5,000 per Quarterly etc,
> in total I would guess your renvenues must exceed 1/4 of a million dollars.
> Where does the money go if not to help subsidize member events? (the
> little bio on page 5 did say the club was nonprofit?)
> In the Presidents letter of the last Quarterly, he cites the hope that
> increased ad revenues will hopefully offset printing costs. The inverse of
> that is to reduce printing costs. Well hell, we could digitize the
> Quarterly and have no printing or mailing costs at all. On the more
> practical side, I certainly don't need a 2 color publication with tons of
> pictures and coated paper and fancy typeset to get what I want out of the
> newletter, after all, we are a car club not "european car".
> Thiss also mentions losing money on the safety seminars with a goal of
> having " the regional chapters sponsor and run all safety seminar events
> sharing the profits with regional chapters." I'm not sure what this means,
> but if an event is sponsored regionally, profit and loss should flow to
> that chapter ditto for "national" events. Thiss goes on to say that
> Board position votes, as provided for in the by laws, will be upcoming. I
> never saw the by laws and wouldn't mind a peek. You could post them here,
> (if Dan doesn't mind) and save the postage to club members who are also on
> the list.
> With regard to regional clubs, I caution you that this can easily be
> translated as breakaway clubs who are discouraged and confused as to QClub
> USA's purpose and mandate. With 2 world class track facilities in my home
> state of N.H.,(that regulary sponsor open events for less than $100/day) it
> is very tough to justify the rising costs of Q events.
> I'm also not sure why he seems to be in a quandry over the voting
> process, 1 share 1 vote works swell for corporate America, 1 paid
> membership 1 vote works for me! Since you run a newsletter directly sent
> to the membership, I'm confused as to why "How to publicize...such
> elections" would present a brain teaser to the President!
> As a card carrying member of the Q club, that's the only reason I know my
> member #, I would be happy to donate my time and expertise in helping match
> cost and revenues and money management toward the end of club
> profitability, or "Accounting Break Even" (regardless of what the bio
> says). (that's what I do in real life!) As a paid up member I think we
> should all see how revenues are generated and spent as a matter of course.
> This letter was posted and possibly even read in an open forum and I of
> course look forward to your thoughts and others about the subject matter!
> Thanks for your time and effort in slogging through this!
> Mike Del Tergo Member #1173
I cannot address most of the issues in your letter, but as event master for
the Watkins Glen drivers event, I can certainly cover that. The "Club" is a
non profit org. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that it does not have to pay
bills. I can tell you that the cost for 2 days of track rental at Watkins
Glen this year is exactly $4500 per day. The insurance for last year was
$1100 per day, and most likely will increase this year. There are also a
number of admin costs involved in putting on an event such as this. Not to
mention the cost of transporting all the needed equipment from national
(helmets, lane toss lights, etc.) If you do the numbers, you'll see that
there isn't that much left over. We also must take into account that the
first event at the Glen (1994) lost approx. $5000 and last year just barely
broke even. Amortize this over the last 4 years. NO PROFIT!!!
If you looked into the other Glen events sponsored by the BMW or Porsche
clubs, you would see only a slight decrease in price, but these clubs
routinely run in excess of 120 students plus 40 instructors. I forsee a day
in the future where we can lower the price of the events, but we will need
guaranteed participation both by students and instructors. If you would like
to see first hand what goes into running a school, I suggest that you
volunteer to help with an event, or better yet, you could organize one in NH.
I am sure Steve Earley could use some help in the North East Region.
I agree that $260 is a lot of money. I wish I could afford to go and
participate in more events (Including my own), but that as they say is that.