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  #1  
Old 09-09-2019, 07:29 AM
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madmax-im madmax-im is offline
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My thoughts on the VYR and the Iron horse

Didnt want to detour the rally thread..but things have changed at the IH..and not all for the better IMO...
New owners..are more agressive about turning this place into a mega money resort..It has become too commercialized for me..The new Conestoga wagons are nice but Jeez what a rip off..$149/night? No effing bathrooms? Come on.. They added their Motorsports rental business and now you can buy their freaking gas too...
This is the price of success..This used to be a personable rally..It has gotten too big so it has lost that feeling for me..
Yeah..theres not many other places that can accomodate a crowd like ours..so you all will no doubt continue ..
I have heard 2 unsubstantiated rumors..1) IH is trying to or has gotten a liquor license and 2) their reservation policy has changed to require a year in advanced reservation and paid for as well...
Not ssure these are true and i hope not...Especially obtaining a liquor license in a dry county? What do you thingk that is going to cost? Along with their increasd insurance for liquor liability..Just where do you think they will make that $ back???
Watch..next years rates for rooms will go up.....they would have gone up this year but the rates carried over from last year..next year will prolly see it increased...
I'm uncertain if i will continue ..we'll see...
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Last edited by madmax-im; 09-09-2019 at 07:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2019, 08:11 AM
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Radioguylogs Radioguylogs is offline
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I'm going to show up with an open mind.

When new unknowns appear in my life, the unknown is filled in by my fears, until reality fills in the truth.

I am also worried about over-commercialization, but we'll see.

I'm going to have the time of my life when I get there in a couple of weeks, no matter how the place is changed. I will enjoy more covered parking.

Then we can decide if we are coming back. It's our choice.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2019, 08:19 AM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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Exactly Mike I too have concern about the direction the IH is going but I feel the same as you. I too will Go and have a good time.
Time to review our options for the following year is after this one.

Looking forward to seeing you and all the others. Old friends and new it will be a blast.

Phil
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2019, 08:32 AM
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madmax-im madmax-im is offline
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Oh..I plan on enjoying it to the extent that is possible..by all accounts this year's rally will be a huge success..I have no doubts of that.I love the VYR..wether or not i stay at the IH next year is uncertain..but my attendance will not change..I will continue to come. Its just a matter of where i will stay for accomodations...
The IH is convienient..or it has been up till now...
I suspect there will be NO change in the venue..It just comes down to a matter of personal choice...
Most definitely...I am looking forward to meeting up and riding with you all again...
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:40 PM
JeffH JeffH is offline
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I recently stayed overnight at Iron Horse. Same great place as always.
Only saw improvements. Saw the new authentic Conestoga Wagons. Actually visually nice to look at. Would I stay in one? NO. Would any of us stay in one? No. But they still have all the cabins and camping so all that has about zero impact on us except for something really nice to look at. Handmade in Utah as I understand it.

Gas and rentals a couple miles down the highway at Wolf Creek as it always has been.

Will just wait and see how any future changes might inpact what we want to do.

Biggest thing is I am so looking forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks

Jeff
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2019, 06:02 PM
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Conestoga wagons ? Cool !

I hope that cook is still there, he was funny

Brian
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2019, 06:44 PM
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kboehringer kboehringer is offline
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Iron Horse Thoughts based on First Hand Knowledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax-im View Post
I'm uncertain if i will continue ..we'll see...
Ben,
Sorry to hear your so discouraged with the Iron Horse when it seems unlikely you have been there since the last rally.

Personally, Nancy and I have been there not less than four(4) times since the last rally. We love to escape to those mountains anytime we have a free weekend and they have an open room. Once, we stayed in Franklin at the Hampton Inn and the "Feel" of that top-notch hotel just wasn't right so we pay a few extra dollars and stay at Iron Horse and make new friends every time we go! Our last visit was an Indian group and the time before that was the YZF600 group. We made new friends each time!

We've stayed at Lone Star Twice, Old Homestead, and Hog Hideaway, all since the recent changes and since the last rally. Wherever they have a room, we're there!

There are many cosmetic changes and some significant improvements: Additional covered parking, concrete parking lots at upper lodges, additional entrance, vastly improved game/conference room, snacks and Ice, an overall sprucing up of some neglected areas, improved parking for trailers, access to a fishing pond some may enjoy, the bunkhouse(s) may even be done by the time we all get there.

The Conestoga wagons are pretty cool although they wouldn't appeal to me they may appeal to some other folks. The price may be higher than you'd like to pay but again some may not be so concerned.

I've seen nothing to date that is an absolute negative. We're actually looking forward to the extended season that is planned this year so we can go again before the Holidays approach.

Yes, the ownership has changed and John & Charlene will be missed at times but they still live on the property and come and say hello every time we have been there. There is a new Group Coordinator whom is trying her best to keep Jeff and I informed and I expect she will get better at this as she gains more experience. Eventually, we may think of her as fondly as we do the Powells. She's already had special banners made for us (sponsored by Coca-Cola) and she is really trying to show how much our group is appreciated.

Yes, the new owner is trying to make money (just like the Powells) and they are trying to attract a wider group of potential customers. Personally, I will very likely pay for a spin on one of those Yamaha Viken's! Ugly SOB but looks like a blast to drive, I can't wait to give one a whirl and pay the asking price for the privilege of a short ride.

Yes, there is/was a plan to obtain permits to serve alcohol but I was told they were rethinking that. Honestly, for OUR Group of mature adult folks this won't be a problem (in my opinion). Add alcohol to a group of young hell-raisers and they could have a problem..... Again, don't think that's an issue for our group and I'm a guy that hasn't had a drink in more than 30 years.

There are a few people working very hard to assure a great time for all of those in attendance for absolutely NO financial reward. In fact, as usual, some of us are diggin pretty darn deep in our own pockets to help assure our friends enjoy a great week or weekend in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.

I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends, making new friends, driving those curvy roads, and seeing those beautiful views. My only concern about our Rally is that everyone have a good time and NO ONE get hurt out on the roads.

I don't at this point see any reason to be negative or to spread negativity. We may find something new or a new policy is not to our individual or group liking but those problems have yet to appear.

Sincerely,
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2019, 06:52 PM
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kboehringer kboehringer is offline
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Dave has a wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbrian View Post
I hope that cook is still there, he was funny
Brian,
Unfortunately, "Dave" and his wife "Theresa" have a wedding back in Kansas and won't be there for our rally. He was extremely disappointed to be missing our rally. But, family comes first and he will be at a relative's wedding.

FYI. Dave & Theresa are seasonal workers from Kansas. They are fantastic people and will be back next season. We got the opportunity to speak to Dave a great length on our last visit.

You're right..... he's an absolute comedian!

Sincerely,
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1970 - CT70K0 - Mini-Trail
1979 - XS1100SF - Pensacola
1980 - XS1100SG - The Duck
1980 - XS1100SG - Mayberry Duck
1981 - XS1100SH - DEAD Duck Café
1981 - XJ550 Maxim - Nancy's Mini-Max
1982 - XJ650 SECA - Hurricane
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2019, 09:16 PM
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madmax-im madmax-im is offline
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Thankyou Kurt and Jeff and Mike..and everyone else..i appreciate your points of view... I truly hope the new ownership gets there..they have big shoes to fill in replacing the Powells...
I hope you all dont feel this is a critiicism of you or your fine efforts to maintain this rally year in and year out. it is not..
This year's rally is going to have a special meaning for me..so I am very much looking forward to being there and being a part of it once again....
So I guess we wwill have to wait and see and weigh in post rally...
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Last edited by madmax-im; 09-09-2019 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:38 AM
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Too many people and too many bikes now. More people = more trouble and too many bikes = more crashes.

My last visit will most likely be just that. We'll see. Love the lodge and the folks that run it but since Yamaha took over XS Southeast it's become too big and I don't travel 8 - 900 miles to be told "you're on your own" with no organized rides. I'm lost there without a planned route with a leader. I can do that anywhere in a less expensive hotel w/shower, toilet, and TV.

Sturgis started small and turned into what it has morphed into. I have no desire to go there. A trailer rally that people bring their bikes to.
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Visit XS11.org too......
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:59 AM
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MPittma100 MPittma100 is offline
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All The People - All The Time

Iron Horse improvements are good improvements! It is the biker's premier place to stay in the Great Smoky Mountains. I'm sure if our rally wasn't there in a few weeks, the place would still be completely filled up with others who appreciate the place as much as we do. IH appreciates us all.

Rooms are possibly going to be more next year? But so is everything else. Pretty sure next year the IH will be completely full regardless of price.

Don't see any concern about alcohol. It is there every year anyway regardless of who sells it.

Some in the past have stayed in other places either by choice or as a result of availability. One of those places is now closed. On the VYR website is an alternate place to stay mentioned. It is in Robbinsville and only 25 minutes away. It is an easy ride from there to the IH. I stayed there once this summer (IH was full) and I would stay there again. Name is San-Ran motel.

Let's make VYR 2019 fun AGAIN! Looking forward to it.

Mike
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
Too many people and too many bikes now. More people = more trouble and too many bikes = more crashes.

My last visit will most likely be just that. We'll see. Love the lodge and the folks that run it but since Yamaha took over XS Southeast it's become too big and I don't travel 8 - 900 miles to be told "you're on your own" with no organized rides. I'm lost there without a planned route with a leader. I can do that anywhere in a less expensive hotel w/shower, toilet, and TV.

Sturgis started small and turned into what it has morphed into. I have no desire to go there. A trailer rally that people bring their bikes to.
Since we've done away with the group rides, our crash incidents have dropped dramatically. No incidents last year.

No one is left on their own if they're looking to be guided. We have plenty who know their way around. We have a bunch of groups of 8-10 bikes and some lunch time meet-ups. If anything, I believe the whole experience has improved. Please don't knock it until you try it.

Love ya! Please come back.
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2019, 12:56 PM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
Too many people and too many bikes now. More people = more trouble and too many bikes = more crashes.

My last visit will most likely be just that. We'll see. Love the lodge and the folks that run it but since Yamaha took over XS Southeast it's become too big and I don't travel 8 - 900 miles to be told "you're on your own" with no organized rides. I'm lost there without a planned route with a leader. I can do that anywhere in a less expensive hotel w/shower, toilet, and TV.

Sturgis started small and turned into what it has morphed into. I have no desire to go there. A trailer rally that people bring their bikes to.
Hi Greg,
Please come back. I have led a group of 5to 6 over the past couple of years. When i wandered off the planned route the others soon straightened me out I'm following Brian this year as he is never lost.
Mike Pitman lead a small group of us on another excellent ride.

Yes it does take a little more effort to join up with the group that is going on the type of ride you want. Gary Granger will lead you on a very brisk ride

So please come and hang with the group. Plus I owe you a beer and want to hear all about your ride to Montana.

Phil
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximPhil View Post
... I'm following Brian this year as he is never lost...
You must be joking Phil. I think we do excellent at helping each other get lost ...and I have great memories of being happily lost in the mountains more than once ,or as you would say, being in a greater circle of uncertainty

Yes, rising costs are everywhere. I am going, whether or not I can afford to, because I don't work my ass off all year to sit at home and miss this kind of life experience and seeing good people. I would rather pay a little more and be at a clean well run place, than the same price every year for a run down s*** hole.

Keeping up the place is bound to cost them. I saw the reports about the improvements and was glad to see they are sinking some money and effort into the place so it will survive so we can return.

I have only been two years, and the organized rides were not done since I've been going. (Been on one at XS East). I thought the approach was excellent - a few individuals stepped up to lead rides and described the route and style they were leading (fast or easy going, long, medium or short, lunch stops, routes...) so you could choose what suits you, or form a group and do something else. Some people went alone. I was worried about being with a group that goes too fast and / or not on the roads I wanted to be on - so it was perfect for me.

Greg, hope you reconsider and we see you there having fun with the rest of the XS-sives.

Brian
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