When I spoke with THF when "the letter" first came out, I was told that answers to any questions or concerns would be answered by them.
I'm curious, has anyone who has written a letter or otherwise communicated with THF ever received a response from them? And if so, can you share?
I haven't received anything from them.
Also, I know our Early Ford Registry President sent a letter, with no response (I'll check again with him and advise if that changes),
M.M. & OCF... D.O.A. R.I.P.
I got this from a friend.....They aren't mailing anything out to notify you of application times. I do my father in-law's application for the motor Muster and I got no info at all. They didn't even E-mail me to let me know the application period was open. It will be interesting to see what happens
I sent an email to John Neilson on Feb 1 -- NO REPLY.
On March 13 I sent a personal letter to Edsel Ford II (since he is in the board) -- again NO REPLY.
Rick,How did you send your letters?? Bud.
I believe I sent the Neilson email to email@example.com.
The letter I sent to Edsel was to his home address in Grosse Pointe. Rick
I doubt that anyone will ever receive a response from anyone connected with the Old Car Festival, to any letters or email messages sent expressing concerns with respect to the changes implemented at the OCF for this year.
For me, it doesn't much matter though as I have struck the event from my list of activities for as long as I can see into the future.
I also doubt that any member of the Ford family really cares much about the OCF or The Henry Ford as it appears to me they have all but severed any ties they had with the OCF or the museum.
Rick,Sorry but the reason i asked was it snail mail regersted with a return reciept requested or certified with the same? Same old Bud [spelling opt].
Bud, Just sent regular mail. Rick
My brother in law had lunch with Bill Ford a couple weeks ago. I should have asked him to bring it up.
Time might have passed us by? I say this when it was close to the 100'th anniversary The Fords were there front and center!! Now with nothing going on the HF might make more money on tv with parent's sticking kids in front of the tube watching the moe you know?? I have fond memories of the Press Event for the West to East Model T Tour!! I meet many Nice People,Some Important,Had a free lunch,and even a Nice Check!! Bud.PS,I'm sure going to miss a lot of Friends!!!!!!!! Bud.
Sorry if I didn't make myself clear, but I'm not referring to any confirmation letter about Motor Muster.
When I spoke with Sarah at THF in January and asked her a bunch of questions about the changes, at the end, I asked if I could share the answers and sent her draft of what I had composed, which included an encouragement from her that we write and voice our concerns and questions, she said, (paraphrasing here) "No. That (the information) really should come from us.", which I understand. She further stated, (direct quote)
"I think what you've composed is fair. It's always useful to receive feedback from participants and this feels like what you're encouraging through your message."
Putting the two together, I had hoped and assumed that if concerned collectors voiced their concerns and asked their questions, they would be answered. But, so far, I guess that's not the case.
No response to "our" letter either. Three copies sent, to Patricia Mooradian, the C.O.B., (name escapes me), & Bill Ford Jr.
They just don't care, so neither do I. I think it's going to be a long time before I set foot on their property again, for OCF, MM, or any other event. My interest in the place is gone, at least for the foreseeable future. Sad.
I think it appropriate that MTFCA and MTFCI publicly distance themselves from HFM, regarding all organisational and publications collaborations. Museums are a tough business where most sincerely appreciate dedicated members like those exhibitors who helped make HFM a success...these people clearly do not. If you agree, then don't spend your entertainment dollars in Dearborn, cancel HFM memberships, and do not donate to them. These actions will not shut the HFM lights off, but you can be sure the dollar and PR impact will be noticed.
Thank you, gentlemen. You, too, Jerry.
I was just curious if THF would follow through with their comment about answering questions directly from them.
I still have my notes from my conversation with Gainor but I'll remain true to my word and keep them to myself, as she asked.
And you're right, Jerry, sad -- and tragic.
I'm sorry if this has been covered already, but I'm not an actual member of the national clubs. I'm just trying to paraphrase for guys like me who may not have heard about what's going on here.
So there were two annual events at The Henry Ford, called Motor Muster and the Old Car Festival. As of right now they've done nothing to advertise if they are still hosting these events, and have ignored any correspondence in relation to questions about said events. Is that a fair assessment of the situation?
I know many of you are PO'd or should I say T'd off but the fact seems to be that these 2 shows just don't pay for them. The bottom line is $ as it always was and this is the chosen path for management to cause them to die on the vine. How many of you frequent the place on "off" days ? Or donate if they requested it? I'll lay you $5 it's darn few. No matter what you personally consider it to be it's a business and what pays counts. We're a minority and actually few in that minority participate. I also doubt that letter protests and postings here weren't anticipated and were dismissed out of hand as not much of a problem. Just shows the small impact. At least it's still there. For now anyway.
Jared, the lack of response to questions and comments is the immediate situation. It was preceded by several announced changes (like a $50 non-refundable fee for submitting an application) that prompted the questions and comments. This isn't directly related to the national clubs, though they're among those who have questioned/commented because many of the interested parties are members. The contretemps is between THF and folks who have (or had) an interest in participating. Apparently THF is stonewalling the folks.
Send the only message current management will listen to.
Stay away - do not financially support the direction in which they are taking the organization.
Things have to get financially worse for them before they will change their thinking.
These are both huge events that DO make money for THF.
It occurred to me that the non-refundable fee would be like taking your family to the theater and being told that the movie is sold-out, but you'll still have to pay $12 each...
Or kind of like buying your plane ticket, taking your seat, and then being drug off the plane you have bought a ticket for. Can't' happen.........
Wait a minute......
Why kill off a money maker? I doubt that's the case. In fact I think the event might be too much trouble to deal with. Whatever their reasons it's over. Organize your own or tie in with somebody else's event.
Charlie B. Why kill off a money maker? Because they consider it a "hassle" and they aren't car guys like we are. They prefer to make easy money with little work by having wedding receptions, etc.
They just don't care. Henry would roll over in his grave..... At the rate they're going, they'll make this into an inner-city amusement park. Just watch....
Just my opinion, Keith
There is a Facebook page for The Henry Ford, where one can comment on happenings in the village and museum. Just sayin'......
To respond to some of the responses -- and I thank you for those -- MM and OCF make money for THF.
As for the shows being a hassle, they have a wonderful event called "The Makers Faire." It's really cool in that innovators and inventors show off and demonstrate their stuff. There's really more to it than that. The point is, that, too, is a "hassle" and a money maker.
THF also has "Halloween Nights" and is a big event with thousands of carved pumpkins, etc. etc. That, too is a "hassle" and a money maker.
And on and on with the events as being a "hassle" and money makers.
If THF wanted to do away with the MM and OCF, they could simply do it.
Because THF is not answering questions, letters, etc. as I understood they were going to, we may never know the story or the reasons why they are doing what they are doing.
I was responding to Jerry's post saying the event was a money maker which by the way I don't believe. Actually I think there may be a small return but probably isn't worth the effort. I also stated in that same posting that the events might be too much trouble to bother with. There's no way everything is a hassle like Marty states. There's too much trouble to bother with concerning these 2 events so their being dropped by hassling the participants. Of course they prefer to make easy money that's just common business sense. Their cutting out 2 problems and probably increasing profits to boot. You may not like it but they ain't wrong.
I find it hard to believe OCF isn't a "money maker." There are many different entities who benefit from the event, hotels, gate receipts, food vendors in and outside the grounds, etc. etc.. I wonder how the Dearborn merchants feel if they are aware of these developments. Most hotels are booked for months in advance, and any retail business in the area surely benefits.
It seems to me there must be other "issues" causing these changes. Even just lowering the number of participants could have been done by just raising registration fee. Raise it to $100, $200, or some extravagant amount that simply lowers the number of participants. However, playing the "game" of send in your registration fee, and maybe you are in, or maybe you are out the fee, is a slap in the face.....
I don't get it.
Rob, my guess is that IF the OCF dies it will be a slow death not sudden. Many old car guys will now skip it but many will not and the general public will still flock to see the "cute" old cars. The event will go from being amazing to just good.
Maybe there will be a 10 to 20% fall in cars and spectators; but that still means hotels, bars, etc. will be full. A fall in numbers is exactly what the management wants remember.
IHMO keep dialogue going to see if they will reverse on some of the changes but at the same time speak to Gilmore or T museum to set up a new event.
It"s quite evident to me some of these posters have never attended much less seen hundreds of people coming in at night just to see the gaslite parade!Bud.
There is a similar event at Gilmore on May 20 with a really good tour split into 1-2 cylinder cars and all the rest on May 19. Check out gilmore.org for specifics.
I know of not a single museum that doesn't end up with money problems. Just keeping the building heat on is more than they can afford even with a staff of all volunteers. Very few of the "public" have any interest in visiting a car museum if it costs any more than chump change and most visitors now come to HFM for their omnimax theater and they will likely need every dime of that revenue. When we all show up at a tour somewhere the public does show up but not typically in droves. Most of the interest on those tours is from people who happen to live nearby or are also staying at the same hotel. It is our love for old cars that cause us to be the only ones often visiting some small car museum somewhere. The Model T ride at the HFM is very popular and tons of people ride in the T's but I wonder if the bottom line including repairs to cars and roadway oil doesn't make the whole idea a little less popular once someone takes a really hard look at the "big picture". I had a lot of talks with Bruce McCalley on trips to Chickasha before his health prevented him from joining us and he voiced the above lament to me and as much as I wish it was not true....well - I have to say he saw it too. Museums exist but after grand opening and initial popularity they then need to pay the bills and reality sets in. We alone must support any museum that serves us and unfortunately Model T people are just not willing to fork over the $$$ for most anything until after it is gone and then they swear they would have helped if they had known. So here is what I have to say - if you want a museum to stay afloat you need to get involved in it and be prepared to spend money and not get any for your time. Unfortunately many museums hasten their own demise by spending their meager treasury foolishly and biting the only hand that feeds them. As much as it seems wrong to us the truth is that museums don't change enough. Change brings in more money and also costs more money to do it so there is the problem. As others have said - the truth is that it is a business and it has cheap customers. I suspect that THF exists largely due to grants and those are hard to come by when business and government revenues are down.
When the cost of the ocf went from free to 25.00 several were not going to attend but after a year or two they came back.I feel we always received good value and i have no trouble at 50.00 or even 100.00! What bothers me is the send your money non refundable and take your chances!! A big change i have seen is in the help or lack of it with parking! I can remember several times when Security was a wonderful help,once when our grandson got a cinder in his eye on the train ride,and after the Storm!! Construction now is blamed on parking woes and changes,but after suggestion's and letters go dead i think the powers that be would rather kill it off than respond?? A few years ago a good friend and T man told me this was in the works when they hired Curly,Larry,and Moe to run things!! If Curly Larry and Moe have not talked with any of many clubs they have moved away from us.Not WE From Them!!!!!!!!! Bud.
Well said, John and Bud. We offered to help and work with them, but they have not come forward. They haven't told us what the issue(s) are. Any manager will tell you that if you want someone to "buy into" a decision, have them be involved in making the decision. THF hasn't made any attempt to have us be involved or at least have a voice in this, it's been all very much one sided, like a dictator would do. As I said, these people (THF) aren't car people like us and they don't seem to care.
Just my opinion. Keith
It is true that NO museum pays its own way, they all must rely on "Sugar Daddies" whether it's a rich foundation or an endowment, the entrance fees never pay for all the bricks and mortar, let alone display changes (which keep people coming in. A museum cannot be a stagnate place or it loses audience.
However, when you get nothing but "been counters" in management, who don't understand the idiosyncrasies of museum management, then things like this current state of affairs happens. It's not unlike the fiasco a few years ago when some significant 'stuff' was accessioned and sold off.
It is hard to say if a special event "makes money" or not, as what it does is raise awareness of the museum, which can lead to financial support, more visitors, or even more donations. You can't measure the impact of an event by what happens only on the day(s) of the event. A lot of the management is guided by intuition. Some folks are good at this, others just aren't! The managers don't have to be "car folks" BUT they do need to understand "car culture" and have some respect for it. IMHO, that's what's missing at THF nowadays.
David Dewey, "retired" Museum Curator.
There most certainly will be a loss of participants of at least 50% or more! I think more. Whomever said 10 to 20%, that is exactly what they are looking for! Pay my $50 and hope I'm accepted..... what absolute BS! This will be the first OCF I will miss being apart of in 17 years! This is how they treat loyal participants (we always dressed in period clothes), because it WAS fun. No longer!!! As someone said in previous threads, I would rather spent that extra money on our vehicles. At least we will have something to show for it. Or donate the funds to the Piquette Plant, a worthwhile cause! They choose to kill off the OCF, not the participants by making unreasonable demands! How sad it makes me feel sick.....
Rob, you're right. Many hotels, gas stations, restaurants, etc. will be affected. The Dearborn Chamber of Commerce should voice their concern, if any.
Kenneth, you, too, are right. Just before dusk, the place is flooded with visitors who come just for the Gaslight Parade and live music. A lot even come to have dinner at the various Village eateries and that's more income for THF.
John, it's my understanding that the "Ominmax" (although I think it's called the I-Max) has been dropped by THF even though the theatre is still there and showing movies. Also, it isn't just Model T people who are very unhappy with the changes. If I'm reading between your lines in that part of your response, a lot of Model T people due tend to be "frugal". However, there are multi-make clubs that have corresponded with THF about MM and OCF expressing their displeasure and asking questions, with no responses. I agree with most everything you said, John, but THF is a going concern, a world-wide attraction and not a little, one-theme complex. I highly doubt that our participation in MM or OCF is the only thing that will keep THF 'afloat'.
David, well said.
In a previous comment, I mentioned the Makers Faire but did not mention that the majority of the event takes place in a THF parking lot. Not sure how THF does that and accomodates cars and trailers.