Results, To Date, Of The 2001 Gathering Survey!

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Posted by Rich/Mohican Press on August 27, 2000 at 06:46:56:

OK. As opposed to last week's vague, non-specific, mind ramblings, we'll focus in on something this time around ... the 2001 Great Mohican Gathering.

Here's the results, so far, of our poll asking a few questions & trying to generate feedback (successful!):

Who Responded?: A vast majority of the folks who attended the 2000 Gathering provided their input. In addition, a couple of people not in attendance, but who attended previous Gatherings, and several folks who have never been here, one of whom we know to be a long-time lurker, sent in their responses. All in all, a very solid base, and LOTS of comments! Thanks!

Of these people, one said they were not sure if they'd be here next year. A couple said "probably so." Everyone else plans to be here. What does that mean? A LARGE Gathering. Initial interest has translated into numbers at every Gathering to date, so, it's to be expected.

Location To Visit?: Far & away, The River Walk was the biggest vote getter. Of course, right now, that's out of our hands, but ... Next, came The Cliffs, a distant second. Other sites receiving votes, in order, were: Tracking The War Party/The Elk Hunt (we combine them here because the are in virtually the same area), The Opening & Closing Vistas, Albany ... Tea Time, The Final Scene, Massacre Valley. No other location received a single vote.

And the Base Location?: By a 2:1 margin, a Chimney Rock Village location beat out Bear Den. Interestingly, most of those who voted for Bear Den were either not here this year, or were here for the first time. Some folks declared for a new, more centrally located place ... and some had no preference, but, as I stated, of those who did specify, about 2/3's, there was a 2:1 leaning towards Chimney Rock.

Comments & Suggestions: No shortage of these. Here's a representative sampling:

* I very much want to go next year so please consider having another one. It sounds like so much fun and
I would love to meet everyone.

* More than I can say, I would love to meet all of you and experience Mohican Country (North Carolina) with all of the enriching experiences it has to offer! If it is physically possible, I will be there next year!! Thank you very much!!

* We would much prefer a setting where we could spend more time with other attendees.

* Bear Den was lovely, but .. I was so tense and worried all the time about upsetting the 'neighbours' that I couldn't enjoy it the way it should have been enjoyed. Folks in Chimney Rock Park village not only made us feel welcome, they openly said how much they missed us this year!! I think they actually ENJOY the 'noise' we make!!

* And I would love to host either a pot luck breakfast or dinner for the gang ... give all of us relative newcomers a chance to relax and meet everyone when we are not on the run ....

* As to lodging - centrally located, easily accessible, and providing of our being able to gather, yak, laugh and such without being reprimanded.

* I thought Bear Den was fine--our cabin was great and it seemed fairly central to all the venues.

* I think the biggest general criticism was that there was not enough time (and space?) to visit with each other in the evenings - and I would agree with that.

* I was thrilled with the pace. Very invigorating ... I think the Non-not-for-profit traders should be discouraged from doing raffles. Save those for Ariel's Cabin and The Trading Post thing for next years Gathering. These raffles are so easy to do and wonderful moneymakers, but if there are too many, it gets confusing ... Chimney Rock was a really well-run day. I was so impressed with the parks arrangements. I felt very important and the food was delicious!

* I didn't hear one comment or remark that was negative!

* Heres an idea, move Bear Den to Chimney Rock ...

* Am I the only one who thinks four days is too much? It feels odd saying that, since I truly love LOTM, but believe it's an added expense on too many fronts (another vacation day from work, another hotel night, car rental day, food, etc.) ... Don't know if it's out of the question, given the ownership issues, but it would be great to go back to Triple Falls (in combination with River Walk). That was our favorite day in '99. Thought our day at Biltmore this year was a real "win". The staff were enthusiastic, the sites were interesting and memorable, lunch was great and it's a terrific setting. Biltmore was our favorite day this year ... Would like to see attendance kept at, or below, this year's (75 or less). As much as it would be great to include all who are enthusiastic about the film, there were too many times that people could not hear when we gathered to listen to Eric, the film location guy, you, etc. I guess it's a trade-off, one way or another.

* ANYTHING you guys plan will be good with me.

* Didn't Like the idea of having to drive so much across the campground (ie. cabins to campsites/store) A place should be found that would handle our needs. Based out of Asheville to cut down on driving time to different sites.

* I felt the Bear Den was too spread out, and too restrictive. We need our own place we can gather better
and make lots of noise.

* We had a great time, at the 2000, will just go with the flow ...

* One suggestion I do have (please stop throwing things at me) is to possibly have a mini-get-together in the fall ...

That about runs the gamut ... just a sampling, but I think it covers all the major points brought up.

Questions: Several of you asked about what we meant by "New York's Historic Locations." Just that, the real Lake George/Champlain/Albany area. It has been suggested several times through the years by various folks. It's just a thought right now (definitely NOT for the next one). Reaction was positive. Also, dates were asked about: The tentative dates listed on the Gathering page are the best we can do at the moment. In all probability, that's them, if we proceed.

Let me address some of this:

Will there be a 2001 Gathering? I still can't say definitively one way or another. As I expressed to everyone at The Gathering during my speechifying at the CRP pavilion on Sunday morning, next year is the 125th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and I MUST attend. It is my life-long passion & a once in a lifetime opportunity. That'll be around the 25th of June. Pretty sure we can find a way around that if we use the tentative dates we've established. Then, there's the enthusiasm factor. Certainly, most of you have got it. Now, if WE can just muster it up again! There's a distressing issue occuring behind-the-scenes that tempers it considerably. That needs addressed ... Plus, we have this little notion of a special suprise guest. If that is cemented, we'll do it, for sure. If not, a lot depends on the aforementioned enthusiasm factor ...

As for size, we are limited by the movie theater, which says they seat 75. As we all know, they can cram in more! But, too big would be unwieldy. I thought we did exceedingly well with the group size we had this year & would not be afraid to do it again. Someone suggested a megaphone ... I'm buying one!!! I was hoarse after last year. We are always attempting to keep things fresh. We added The River Walk & Eric Schweig in '99, Biltmore Estate, live music, & the Trading Post in 2000 ... the ability to keep it fresh is key.

As for driving distances, etc., there is no way to avoid that. It's the nature of MohicanLand. As pointed out above, an Asheville-based central lodging area works best for minimizing the driving. That's the only place that has a direct route to everywhere. It's the hub of the area. But to think you're not going to put a lot of miles on your car is unrealistic.

We thought Bear Den was excellent ... but, we didn't stay there. For sure, there was a problem. The idea was for a facsimile of Cameron's Cabin ... an outdoorsy, frontier-type setting. It filled that bill. I can't imagine a Trading Post arrangement in any other type of setting. Problem is, to my knowledge, there aren't too many other options in this area.

Regarding 3 versus 4 days ... it was suggested, I believe, as a way to allow more time for socializing. Knowing me, it would result in more of the same ... go, go, go. You might need to shackle me for awhile!

But these are just my thoughts, and I'm just one of perhaps 80 ... That's why we ask for feedback, so that everyone can be a part of the process. Everything will be considered, discussed & dissected before the plan is drawn ...

Many people volunteered their services to help. If we proceed, we will certainly take you up on your offers. As in years past, we would handle the overall organization, itinerary, including the movie theater reservations, communication, and other odds & ends. What else is needed? Here's the list, probably not complete, of chores. Keep in mind, some of it has specific volunteers in the wings already:

Program Guide
Group lodging arrangements
Ariel's Cabin
CRP arrangements
Caravan-flag maker
Music arrangements
Soldier #2 (sorry, no stand-ins!!!)
Probably half a zillion other little things!

Suggestions & new ideas ALWAYS appreciated!

Did I cover everything? I have no idea! All I know right now is that Marcia & Dana are planning to scout for suitable group lodging in October ...

Meanwhile, Elaine & I need to come to some sort of decision, while we continue to monitor the survey input. Keep those cards & letters coming!

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