While I enjoyed the Calgary Motorcycle Show this year - it was more because of the hugs I was getting than the actual show itself.

Like many, many of the spectators, I felt the show was flat and lacked the depth and breadth we are used to seeing. The show coordinators can not be faulted for how small the show was. Many, many businesses felt they could not justify the costs this year with the economy and the uncertainty surrounding it.

There was no true custom alley this year, there were no real entertainments other than Jason Britton and the Yamaha riding academy. It was a very quiet and uninspiring show.

Heck, there wasn't even any background music.
The most exciting NEW products at the show were the Ironhorse Caddy bag
& although not new - only new to Canada - ROK Straps

In the motorcycle department - Indian caused quite a bit of excitement but I think the
Royal Enfield booth did not generate the excitement the Indian booth did from the comments I heard.

Some spectators felt ripped off and really I can't blame them. The fee for a smaller show was the same as last year and when you add the parking fee the Stampede Centre charges - $12 to the $13 adult ticket and the cost of even a bottle of water $3 - you are spending $30 just to go walk around a much smaller show than last year. A family pass is $35 + parking and any beverages = $65 or $70 bill and in this economy a lot of people felt that was steep. Again though - you can't fault the people who put on the show. The Round Up Centre is not cheap - the costs of putting on the show don't go down just because the show is smaller.

From a vendors point of view - the show was OK. The numbers of visitors was way down. The people who did come were spending money but sales numbers were still off compared to last year.

With the costs of parking $48 for a four day pass, the cost of a booth - a retail booth where you can sell product is $12.95/sq ft, travel, meals and accomodations, staffing, closing down their business location, I heard a lot of vendors are really rethinking what they are doing for next year already. It's a shame what the economy is doing to everyone. It will get better - so I hope they don't not go next year just because this year was off....

The show coordinators busted their butts to provide a great show but when the businesses won't show up and the spectators can't afford to show up...well - what can they do? The MMIC who actually owns the show - they didn't even have a booth at their own show - so what does that tell you? (and if they did, I did not see it and apologize). There were booths that had ZIP to do with motorcycling like the Roughnecks and the Casino - you do what you can to fill the place up as much as you have to pay the show bills somehow.

Some of the noteables missing from the show:  Thug/Precision, Grizzly Leather, MMIC, COHV, Saxon...

I was pleased with the response we got, yet the smaller numbers made the days kinda drag by... The hockey game Friday night kicked the crap out of attendance.

Oh well, maybe next year the economy will have recovered sufficiently for the show to be a better experience - as I said, Laurie, Pam and the rest of the staff did everything they could - they had the economy and the weather against them. After -30 weather, it's hard to be indoors when it's only -2...

If you are riding, you live in a better climate than I do.
Stay safe out there and if you get a chance come check out the on line show 'n' shine over at:

Belt Drive Betty
National VP A.I.M. Can

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