Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

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Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby Mountcastle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:16 pm

I noticed a banner advertisement for this place at the top of the forum:

http://www.railwayadventurecamp.com/

Naturally, I asked myself, why could not the Arcade & Attica do the same thing as a means of generating revenue? They've got a full-scale short line RR and all the equipment. If people will pay $2000.00 to attend sessions at the Railway Adventure Camp, why not at the A&A?

Just a thought.
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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby ctclark1 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:19 pm

$2K seems a bit too high for the general public around the area. And I'm sure insurance rates skyrocket when you start letting untrained people run a railroad, so I don't really think the balance of income to the increased expenditures associated with it would turn out to be very much.
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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby Mountcastle » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:35 am

Well, I suspect that their customer base, were they to embark upon such a venture, would not be limited to a particular geographical area. I'm certain, for example, that those who fork over the big bucks to participate in the Railway Adventure Camp don't all live within a twenty mile radius of the camp. I'm sure they come from all different parts of the country or even the world; so I think to dismiss the idea based upon local consumer spending habits would not be sound.

As far as I can see, they've got all the makings for a superb facility for such a venture. The Arcade and Attica has two operating vintage diesel locomotives that are small and that seem relatively stress-free to operate. They have a complete short line railroad that runs through a town, over a creek, through residential and factory areas and finally through a picturesque countryside; they have a mill at the end wherein participants can engage in switching operations. Finally, the Arcade & Attica has an operating steam locomotive. I'm not necessarily suggesting that camp participants be allowed to drive No. 18, but a steam-powered excursion could still be featured as part of the camp.

In fact, the only concern I might have would be with respect to accomodations, but I'm sure that's easily resolved with a package deal worked out between the railroad and some local hotel or motel. I know there used to be a hotel down the street at the end of the block. If it's still in business, I'm sure they'd be willing to spruce things up a bit if such a program were to be constituted.

I just think the Arcade & Attica would be ideally suited as a railroad camp and I think that if they were to feature such a camp on a regular basis, they would be in a fine position to financially benefit from it. I mean, for heaven's sake; take a look at this Railway Adventure Camp's website: neither their roster of equipment, nor their depot, neither anything about this place is nearly so impressive or so enticing as what can be found on the Arcade & Attica Railroad, yet they, apparently, manage to make a go of it.
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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:39 pm

ctclark1 wrote:$2K seems a bit too high for the general public around the area. And I'm sure insurance rates skyrocket when you start letting untrained people run a railroad, so I don't really think the balance of income to the increased expenditures associated with it would turn out to be very much.


The idea works the same as "Engineer for an Hour." Anyone who wants to be a part of that program becomes an employee of the railroad, and thence a student engineer getting instruction from an FRA certified engineer (since civilians are not allowed in the cab). Of course, the "adventure camp" sounds like it might beyond the resources of the ARA at this time.

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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby Mountcastle » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:18 am

Of course, the "adventure camp" sounds like it might beyond the resources of the ARA at this time.


Because of staff and advertising costs, I assume you mean. With respect to everything else, it's all there, already, of course.

I think it would be relatively budget-friendly to advertise modestly, at first, to railroad enthusiasts via brochures, banners on boards such as this one, via website and also by way of small, printed advertisements in railroad-oriented magazines from time-to-time. Railroad enthusiasts are going to be your principal target group, in any case. I don't think you'd ever need worry about television or even radio advertisements.

As far as staff, well, I don't imagine the A&A's staff are commuting back and forth from Nottingham Terrace every day in Jaguars--they aren't paid a King's Ransom--and in the case of those staff who are salaried rather than hourly... And don't forget about volunteers. The Arcade & Attica always seems to find willing volunteers to help out.

I don't see the initial outlay being all that prohibitive and, at 2K a head, won't the first camp (assuming 5 or 6 attendees) pay for much of it? At any rate, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby ricalls » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:59 pm

Hello, my name is Richard Allison and i am the operator of Railway Adventure Camp. I realize that it is a late date to add to this post, but perhaps it can do someone good. You may have noticed that Railway Adventure Camp does not appear anymore on the web. As the camp was launched just months before the economic crash, we have only received great interest but nobody with cash, as was the problem with many recreational and vacation ventures. upon our second year we decided to discontinue the camp due to current economic indicators. I certainly hope to try again when the economy picks up, as i have received many emails expressing regret that we closed.
Insurance was not so much of an expense. there are many carriers out there that specialize in adventure camps and kid camps and have many affordable packages. the waiver that an attendant must sign is huge, of course. Our camp was to be staffed with 2 people plus an outside catering company as well as outside resources for laundry and housekeeping. Our marketing was national via trains magazine and trains.com as well as some newspaper and other magazine adds. Website response was huge, over 90,000 hits over a 9 month period. It was the sudden downturn in the economy that killed us in the end, thankfully before any major investments were made.
I would encourage any organization to consider such a program as it is unique in many ways. Operating cost can be low if a hotel package was incorporated.
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Re: Arcade & Attica Railroad Camp?

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:10 pm

Richard,
Thank you for commenting on your program. It is NEVER too late to have valid, accurate, information. That is exactly what we like. I hope that things turn themselves around whenever we get out of this economic slump.
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