GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing


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GWRRA Ends...

Post by kwthom »



An announcement was made during Wing Ding opening ceremonies.

Membership numbers have plummeted and no longer sustainable.



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GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by JR4802 »

Members of our GWRRA Chapter were at Opening Ceremonies at WingDing. They announced that GWRRA is closing and this is the Final WingDing. Due to the decline in membership they can no longer continue to operate. Another end of an era... :(
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by WingAdmin »

I have to say, I'm not entirely surprised by this. With the poor quality of management that took over a few years back, it was only a matter of time. They made some REALLY poor decisions, and did not plan well for the future.

I hadn't made this information public before, but with the demise of GWRRA, I suppose now I can do so: when Stu Oltman retired from GWRRA, he approached me to take over the "tech column" of Wing World magazine. After many long phone calls with Stu, I decided to do it. He shipped all of his Honda manuals, videos and resources to me, and I then spent time talking with GWRRA about how I would be doing this column. I was all ready to take it over until GWRRA senior management made extremely some poor decisions that I won't get into, and as a result I walked away from the deal.

I do still however still have all of Stu's manuals, videos and resources, and this goldmine is of great help running this site.



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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by WingAdmin »

A couple more details - membership has dropped from a high of 82,000 members to only 10,000, which is why the organization is no longer sustainable. Next month will be the last time Wing World is published, and the shut down will occur at the end of this year. Insurance services will continue until the end of the year. The headquarters building in Phoenix has already been sold.

There will be automatic pro-rated refunds for pre-paid memberships. Life members...I guess you still have a membership to an organization that no longer exists.

Here is a video of the announcement:


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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by kwthom »

WingAdmin wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 12:29 pm <...>
I have to say, I'm not entirely surprised by this. With the poor quality of management that took over a few years back, it was only a matter of time. They made some REALLY poor decisions, and did not plan well for the future.
Leadership continued, for the better part of a decade now, to believe there would be a change in how newer (younger) members would become active members of an association filled with their parents and their grandparents.

Our kids - and their kids - don't join groups for social reasons. There is no value in the proposition.


I'm finishing up a blog entry that'll be available later tonight on the topic. For me, they had two chances to get it right, and they failed each time. That occured well over a decade ago.

Too bad, since the first chapter was here in my hometown, and it was founded in January of 1978.
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More Breaking News: GWRRA Ceases Operations

Post by cbx4evr »

Just heard that an announcement was made at Wing Ding opening ceremonies that - GWRRA WILL BE CLOSING OPERATIONS, July 31, 2022.

https://www.facebook.com/1083887282/vid ... 303173657/

Sad to see this happen but the times are a changin’ as Bob said. We had a great time as members of GWRRA and met some really great people.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by BlueThunder »

Time to come to the Gathering!
_____
Brian

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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by samellring »

Been a member since 1995 and enjoyed the many people I met over the years. Rider Education and yearly Chapter Maintenance days had the biggest impact in my life as I learned a lot on safe riding and maintaining my 1995 SE goldwing, which I still have and ride often. It is how I became an MSF Ridercoach.

I guess Scott, hopefully, more of those GWRRA members will flock to your newsletter, YouTube and annual GoldwingDocs get together and continue to add value to your site and others as they did in the past for GWRRA.
Sincerely,
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by LK1LK1 »

I've recently read the posting from the WingAdmin, about his perception of poor management at GWRRA, which presumably led to the recent closing of GWRRA. My two cents on the GWRRA closing, and the critical posting of WingAdmin on the topic, goes like this:

The numerous factors that led to the GWRRA closing simply identified the organization as not being able to sustain the operational costs any longer. They (GWRRA) had a long run, and their management did a fine job. Unfortunately, membership declined rapidly -- whatever the reason(s). It was simply an unavoidable closing. It happens to even the best of managed organizations.

In contrast to the WingAdmin's not-so-glowing comment, about his "not being surprised at all about the closing" and further attributing the closing to GWRRA poor management, I suggest some fact checking on the topic before spreading a defamatory rumor. After all, you (WingAdmin) didn't run any part of their organization, but (reportedly) had once backed away from an opportunity (once, in the past) to actually be a part of GWRRA management.

Sour grapes, "would have - could have"?
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by aclewer »

No great loss. It’s time had come and gone.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by benc65753 »

I remember Stu's tech columns in the magazine and they were the first place I flipped to in the magazine. Tons of invaluable information.
Wingman, please consider compiling the information you have and releasing it so that we can continue to be able to access it for maintenance, education and entertainment.
Ride safe.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by kwthom »

LK1LK1 wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 7:50 pm The numerous factors that led to the GWRRA closing simply identified the organization as not being able to sustain the operational costs any longer. They (GWRRA) had a long run, and their management did a fine job. Unfortunately, membership declined rapidly -- whatever the reason(s). It was simply an unavoidable closing. It happens to even the best of managed organizations.
Plenty of others, in many other on-line locations, have an opposite opinion.

In fact, I would state that the very people they used to serve in that social capacity either passed on or felt that the money spent on membership fees were better used for other activities.

Excellent article linked below on the various thoughts behind the death of social groups over the last 50 years:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90350407/th ... ocial-club
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by Motor Guy »

WingAdmin wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 12:29 pm I have to say, I'm not entirely surprised by this. With the poor quality of management that took over a few years back, it was only a matter of time. They made some REALLY poor decisions, and did not plan well for the future.

I hadn't made this information public before, but with the demise of GWRRA, I suppose now I can do so: when Stu Oltman retired from GWRRA, he approached me to take over the "tech column" of Wing World magazine. After many long phone calls with Stu, I decided to do it. He shipped all of his Honda manuals, videos and resources to me, and I then spent time talking with GWRRA about how I would be doing this column. I was all ready to take it over until GWRRA senior management made extremely some poor decisions that I won't get into, and as a result I walked away from the deal.

I do still however still have all of Stu's manuals, videos and resources, and this goldmine is of great help running this site.



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Maybe you could resurrect it? You obviously have the talent. Just saying…
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by Solo So Long »

Motor Guy wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 4:14 pm Maybe you could resurrect it? You obviously have the talent. Just saying…
You could offer them a little money for the rights to the name, and make it work.

I would even join it, if it were in competent hands.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by WingAdmin »

Ten years ago today, I was in Fort Wayne at Wing Ding 33.

Parking lot at Wing Ding 33
Parking lot at Wing Ding 33

Reports of a severe thunderstorm and possibly a tornado were coming in, so I headed home in the afternoon. The storm did hit, several bikes in the parking lot were blown over.

I rode home through the hottest weather that I've ever ridden through. This was the thermometer on my bike:

Hot weather!
Hot weather!

I was buying bottles of water, pouring them over my head and riding gear, then riding until it dried off, then I'd stop and pour more water over myself.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by WingAdmin »

LK1LK1 wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 7:50 pm I've recently read the posting from the WingAdmin, about his perception of poor management at GWRRA, which presumably led to the recent closing of GWRRA. My two cents on the GWRRA closing, and the critical posting of WingAdmin on the topic, goes like this:

The numerous factors that led to the GWRRA closing simply identified the organization as not being able to sustain the operational costs any longer. They (GWRRA) had a long run, and their management did a fine job. Unfortunately, membership declined rapidly -- whatever the reason(s). It was simply an unavoidable closing. It happens to even the best of managed organizations.

In contrast to the WingAdmin's not-so-glowing comment, about his "not being surprised at all about the closing" and further attributing the closing to GWRRA poor management, I suggest some fact checking on the topic before spreading a defamatory rumor. After all, you (WingAdmin) didn't run any part of their organization, but (reportedly) had once backed away from an opportunity (once, in the past) to actually be a part of GWRRA management.

Sour grapes, "would have - could have"?
No. Let's just say that I had quite good visibility into the internal operations of the organization due to the opportunity I was offered, I actually STARTED working that opportunity. However, once I saw how poorly things were being run, and some of the decisions being taken, I decided it was not in my best interest to publicly connect my name with that organization any further. I did not wish them ill, but did not agree with how they were planning to move the organization forward, and more importantly, how they were managing finances.

From what I have been told by people who remained, nothing had changed since that time, so that's why I was unsurprised at the demise of the organization. I WAS surprised at how (and when!) it was announced.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by estaibjr »

Nothing like throwing a wet blanket on the start of their biggest affair all year. Think it should have been held off until the end. Guess maybe they wanted to get out of Dodge; can't say as I was unable to attend. 29 years with them and have barrels of great memories, like the day I kissed our DD while he was being evaluated by the Region Director at a District Staff Meeting.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by Calman »

I am not surprised that GWRRA is closing its doors; the handwriting was on the wall.

When Stu left the Tech Column in other hands I noticed a drastic drop off in the quality of the articles. And, the Wing World magazine turned into a shill for the Wing Dings - usually starting less 30 days after the close of the current Wing Ding - with less and less member-oriented and training articles.

On the local level the local Chapter Director started missing more Chapter Meetings than he and his spouse were making before they decided to become members only. I, as the Rider Coordinator/Safety Officer, found more and more members asking for specific rides - great I thought. I would accommodate them and the ones who asked for that specific ride neither showed up nor called to say they could not make it. And actually, fewer and fewer members were showing up for rides. This I attributed to the aging population of the Chapter. I think the Junior Member (age-wise) was 45.

I finally resigned from the GWRRA a couple of years ago.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by MikeB »

It sounds to me that the chapter director and the members that asked for specific rides weren't the only ones to give up and quit.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by estaibjr »

Hard to keep a good count on membership when member, trying to be cute, funny, or whatever, list their grand-kids or family living at a different address, or their pets. Had some that even had GWRRA vests made for pooch. But for 45 years they did what had to be done. Thanks to all who served us. What I thought was poor timing was making the announcement at the start instead of the end of the rally. That was a giant wet blanket, IMHO. We still have 2 GL1500 trikes that we plan on riding until we no longer can. But I will not buy any more as I approach 80. To all who have crossed our paths, be well and always remember the good times.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by MikeB »

estaibjr wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 3:50 pm What I thought was poor timing was making the announcement at the start instead of the end of the rally. That was a giant wet blanket, IMHO.
Agreed. It's too bad they didn't have the courtesy or good taste to inform the district officers of the impending closure. It showed a serious lack of courtesy and respect.

It was a pretty good run for thirty plus years or so but then it started a downhill slide it couldn't recover from.

I suppose all good things must eventually come to an end but it is sad to see it happen.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by WingAdmin »

Calman wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 12:03 pm I am not surprised that GWRRA is closing its doors; the handwriting was on the wall.

When Stu left the Tech Column in other hands I noticed a drastic drop off in the quality of the articles. And, the Wing World magazine turned into a shill for the Wing Dings - usually starting less 30 days after the close of the current Wing Ding - with less and less member-oriented and training articles.
To be fair: when Stu was running the tech column, he had editorial freedom, and was able to decide what was in the best interest of the column readers to cover. He would go through the various letters, choose what would be beneficial to the largest number of people, and what would work well to cover from a DIY perspective.

Once Stu left, GWRRA and Wing World management took it upon themselves to dictate which topics would be covered in each month's edition, selecting the letters that they wanted answered. This was one of the major reasons I walked away from that opportunity, as the topics they wanted me to address were dull, uninteresting, often irrelevant, and had been covered ad nauseum in the past and elsewhere. They simply didn't have the technical background required to be able to make that kind of decision, and, well the result was obviously played out in the magazine.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by estaibjr »

Mind works in weird ways. With all these names being owned by Honda, (anything with Gold Wing) in it, why not restart Trike Riders International. No GW in it, as GWRRA we had trikes so now we can be trikes with 2 wheelers in it, Jere could stay on as Ex Dir, fine tune the guidelines to better suit trikes and blast off. What say y'all?
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by estaibjr »

Besides, I like the bird emblem.
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Re: GWRRA Closing / Last WingDing

Post by kwthom »

Gotta feel for those that paid 20+ (or was it 25+?) years into the old organization and became a 'life member' to have to potentially be asked to start paying again in the event a replacement organization starts up.

Simply have the feeling that there will never be another 'social organization' based around 'Big Red' motorcycles that will have a membership of 5000 or more for a sustained (3+ years?) period of time.


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