Looking to run a community Pinewood Derby race

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Vitamin K
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Re: Looking to run a community Pinewood Derby race

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:21 pm

Well, organizing a community race didn't pan out this summer. Too little time, too little help, too little experience...etc., etc., etc…

That doesn't mean I'm completely deterred, however. It just means I need to be more realistic about the endeavor. That is, if I want to run a community race next summer, now is the time to start planning and fundraising.

So...here's where I need your help and input. I need to brainstorm all of the things that are going to require an expenditure of capital in order to put together a budget. Once I have an estimated amount, then I can better know the scope of the operation.

So, here are the major costs that I forsee:

- Venue: This is the big one. Need a place big enough to hold the track, the racers and the spectators. Thinking perhaps a high school gymnasium or similar? How long should I expect to need the facility, realistically, to deal with set up, racing and tear down? 8 hours? 10 hours? 12 hours?

- Personnel: If I've got a lot of people present and I'm taking money at the door, it seems reasonable to have some kind of security present. If I end up renting space from the County, the cost for security personnel is $33/hr.

- Track: I'd likely need to rent a track from one of the local Packs. I'd like to be able to offer a good-quality track with electronic scoring. Any ballparks on what track rental typically runs?

- Insurance: I imagine that if I'd need some kind of insurance coverage for the event? Does anybody have any experience getting quotes and providers for that sort of thing?

- Permits: One way to help recoup costs would be to sell snacks at the event. At the District race I attended, the boys devoured a LOT of junk from the concession stand. However, my understanding is that I'd need a permit to provide food? Does anybody have experience with this?

- Prizes: Gotta have trophies and ribbons, right?

Can anybody think of anything I've left out of the equation here? I know a lot of you have actually done similar things to what I envision. Any hidden costs or gotchas that I should be aware of?



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Stan Pope
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Re: Looking to run a community Pinewood Derby race

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:48 pm

re food permits ... consider offloading the "concessions" to the organization from whom you rent the facility as a means to reduce your rent! They may want some guarantee for traffic, but that should be negotiable.

School gymnasiums are good if there is bleacher seating. Check to assure that the school will contract for the schedule. Some may insist that their own events, added to the schedule later, will preempt yours! That would not be viable.


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whodathunkit
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Re: Looking to run a community Pinewood Derby race

Post by whodathunkit » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Vitamin K wrote:- Track: I'd likely need to rent a track from one of the local Packs. I'd like to be able to offer a good-quality track with electronic scoring. Any ballparks on what track rental typically runs?

Any hidden costs or gotchas that I should be aware of?
Vitamin K,

I have seen some track rentals packages with costs something like this..
That might get you in the ball park as far as hidden costs or gotchas...

Two lane tracks (basic package) $40 plus $100 damage deposit.
Comes with tech support (befor the race)
The renter is responsible for the pickup & return delivery of track.
(Note: 2 lanes are good for 15 racers or less.)

Two lane race package.. $75
Scouts race with computer & projector with tech support they set up and take down as you request.

And then the..
Four lane track package $ 85
Same as above: computer,projector, tech support, set up and take down.
(Note: 4 lanes are grate for 30 or more racers but additional charges may apply also.)


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Vitamin K
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Re: Looking to run a community Pinewood Derby race

Post by Vitamin K » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:18 am

Interestingly enough, here in Montgomery County, all of the school facilities are rented out by the County itself, so you don't actually involve the school, but the County. Of course, if I rented space from a private school, that would be a different matter.

Not sure how well a concessions deal would fly, but that's attractive to me because it's one less thing to worry about, and if it saves money, all the better. I should probably try and track down some local folks who have put together community events around here and ask them to share their experiences with me.
Stan Pope wrote:re food permits ... consider offloading the "concessions" to the organization from whom you rent the facility as a means to reduce your rent! They may want some guarantee for traffic, but that should be negotiable.

School gymnasiums are good if there is bleacher seating. Check to assure that the school will contract for the schedule. Some may insist that their own events, added to the schedule later, will preempt yours! That would not be viable.



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