My perspective is biased towards building a viable and active club chapter. So, admittedly my justification, priorities and actions may differ. I don't think I'm alone when I say that our chapter needs to reach the 'next level'. The chapter needs sustainable and consistent growth, organization, and presence.
The old model doesn't work anymore and a new model is needed. [FLAME SUIT ON] Inevitably, the new model will have to have business elements to drive our decision making. I don't think we can survive with a model that emphasizes lowest pass-through cost. The old guard might be fine with status quo, but they're already sold on the brand. New owners aren't so easy and often seek out a richer experience. If they don't find it, they go/spend elsewhere. I'm making no judgements and I'm convinced we need both groups. In order to accommodate this shift, we need an operating model that allows us to cater to both.
So, what does that have to do with Petit you ask? It depends on what you are looking for. If you're more about just chilling out at the corral and meeting old/new friends, then I totally see your point. If you want to experience what it's like to be at pit wall when the R10 comes in with the heat/fumes/smoke hitting your face, then this might seem like a bargain. I wasn't at Mid-Ohio, so I don't know how the perceived value dropped. Last year's Petit, was fun but yielded little opportunity for sensory experiences. (Except when we moved the bathroom trailer ... but that's a different story and I don't think we can print that in the Quattro Quarterly!)
Let me say that I've lost a little bit of sleep over this and I really hate the thought of turning anyone away. After deciding to get involved with the chapter, it really dawned on me that we have a selection bias in our membership based on our offerings. The chapter needs all kinds to succeed and grow effectively. There has to be a mechanism that attracts them to our offerings. Petit is a step towards that.
Maybe I'm not seeing other solutions. So, what's your POV? Anyone, anyone ... Bueller?
Update with pictures 9/21/2007