Sea Ray Homecoming Cruiser/Sport Boat Expo !! Here we go!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Capt. Rusty Higgins, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    708
    Nov 6, 2006
    Florida
    The yacht delivery captain for Sea Ray Boats Inc.
    mostly 1100hp CAT/MAN
    WHAT A GREAT TIME...THANKS TO EVERY ONE WHO CAME AND SPENT THE DAY WITH US !!!! LET'S DO IT AGAIN !!



    In a nut shell and from the advise of those more computer savy than I, here is the plan.......


    What this is all about:

    Sea Ray Boats is hosting a Homecoming (Sport Boat/Sport Yacht Expo) in Knoxville TN on September 13-14 2012.

    Who gets an invite:

    All Sea Ray owners and prospective owners are invited to attend.

    Agenda and what to expect:

    Thursday September 13, 2012, from 5:00 PM to 6:30PM downtown Knoxville TN at Calhoun's restaurant on the river for the unveiling of couple new models that you all have been anticipating and then, Homecoming festivities begin at the Sea Ray World Headquarters in Knoxville at 9am and will continue throughout the day with demo rides on the new 2013 product line and activities to keep us all hopping until closing time.

    Have you registered yet ????? Please do !

    Rusty





    Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo

    You can see that I am tossing names around here but I believe we are onto a really cool event that we can make a reality!! Which name does the majority prefer??

    Here’s my update with some solid data to absorb. I went ahead and asked for what we want and was given the following response by senior management so please feel free to offer yours.

    FACTS,
    September 14, 2012 is a Friday and it follows the last day of our annual dealer school. I have been advised that having a “Customer Appreciation Day” on that date, can and will happen if we want (we is you folks.) Before we begin bantering on the date chosen, allow me to add value to the discussion. On that day the majority of our product line will still be in the water from dealer school and personnel around to provide demo’s all day long. All of the amentias will still be in place so that we can enjoy things like a B-B-Q, guided tours of the facility and senior management to offer dialog to us on a very personal basis. With a little research completed, we currently find in excess of over 250 local hotel rooms still available for Thursday and Friday evenings in the Knoxville area if needed. With over extending myself in the facts department, I do know that we (Sea Ray) will do more than to just feed, tour and demo you so get excited like I am.
    Yes, you will be able to bring your classics to this event for super photo ops and Yes, in a limit amount you will be able to cruise up to the plant in your Sea Ray boat. Am sorry to say that our dock and plant are not set up for overnight accommodations but there are local marinas in the area that are way cool to do so….that’s why I use the name of SR Homecoming, bring your classic home so we all can see her again.

    WISH LIST,
    Speaking with the good people in Marketing and Sales at Sea Ray Boats, I am asking for those of you that are in the mood for a move up in boats, that we make ourselves available to accommodate talks of Sales. We cannot and will not remove our dealers from a transaction simply because you do need service after the sale and we are a manufacturing facility, not a marina or service center. But if you ask FWEBSTER who experienced Yacht Expo, he will confirm to you that this is prime time to talk deals with Sea Ray standing by your side…that’s why I use the name of Cruiser Expo, could be big folks!

    SMALL BUMPS IN THE ROAD,
    September 14, is the day before the University of Tennessee plays the reptiles of the University of Florida in Neyland Stadium. Wish I could say there is availability for tickets but if you know SEC football that may be feat in itself. What I do know is that there is a ton of other activities in that area of the country that are fantastic. Gatlinburg TN or the Biltmore Estates right across the state line are beautiful places that would take up your full day to enjoy. Blackberry Farms is a world class spa and resort location that would pamper the Admiral like the queen she is. If Clark Griswald knew about Dollyworld his family would still be thinking he was the smartest man in the world. I am a biker so when not at the helm, The Smoky Mountains and Tail of the Dragon are one of my top riding spots in the entire US. Wilderness at the Smokies is probably the coolest indoor water park ever. All of the places I am mentioning also have accommodations and they are real close by
    Some have asked if one day at the Ray is enough for us to accomplish all we want. It certainly will be a fun filled and boating packed time but I want your feedback for those that might feel they may need to hear an engine more than once to accommodate a Sale. We may have to move in the direction of using some of Thursday during dealer school if a Sale is on your mind, simply because I would get concerned about lodging on Saturday night, game day in Knoxville….give me your thoughts. Rooms are available right now so I also think it would be best if we start getting serious about this venture real soon…are you with me!

    I truly want your input. You know that by me asking the club, is so that I can convince everyone at Sea Ray Boats that we are SERIOUS. I may have to ask Jim at CSR for a thread where we can keep a potential head count so that I can brag to management that CSR is coming in strength but until then, just post your thoughts and I will forward our excitement to Knoxville. I can appreciate and understand any negativity to the info above but this is the real deal folks so please only share your positive comments; it will help us all to make this a memorable event!

    I am doing this because some of you dreamed it to be, some of you asked for it to be, and some of you even have it on your bucket list….. Help me make it happen for YOU !

    Capt. Rusty Higgins
    Sea Ray Boats

    http://www.searay.com/ ….my favorite site of course !

    http://www.blackberryfarm.com/

    http://www.gatlinburg.com/

    http://www.dollywood.com/

    http://www.wildernessatthesmokies.com/

    http://www.biltmore.com/

    http://www.tailofthedragon.com/

    and there are more !!!

    Attending List as of 6/30/12

    Buckeye Boater # attending 3
    mistercomputerman # attending 2
    Pyrojodge # attending 2
    chuck1 # attending 1 or 2 hoping Ms Judy can make it too.
    mwph # attending 2
    phlorida # atttending 2
    moparlvr4406 # attending 2..... bringing the classic Sea Ray by land
    AMFM3 # attending 2
    sdarc # attending 2
    Summer Fun II # Attending 2
    Carterchapman # Attending 2
    Alfars # Attending 3
    Loneranger # 3
    BlewByYou88 # Attending 1
    matthewmiller01 # Attending 2+......Knoxville dock by water
    Dancin Dave # Attending 2
    MonacaMike # Attending 2
    ZZ13 # Attending 2
    RichmonS # Attending/Solid Maybe 2
    Spikedaddy99 # Attending 2
    Boater John # Attending 2
    OldSkool # Attending/Maybe 2
    Zboaterctf # Attending/Maybe 3/5
    Rcknecht # Attending 4
    CSR_Admin ...no more maybe, Jim's coming
    CarterChapman # Attending 2
    jason78 # Attending ?
    Sadler # Attending 2?
    JerryS # Attending 2
    Bennie # Attending 2
    Prosideus # Attending 2
    jff # Attending 2
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  2. moparlvr4406

    moparlvr4406 Active Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    Lake Monroe Indiana Fourwinds H31
    1985 340DA
    1966 SRV180
    1960 Sea Ray 600
    (2) 1963 808 Cruise-a-bouts
    twin 350hp Crusaders 4.0 Onan /
    Merc 950 SS
    Merc 650
    Merc 1100
    twin Johnson 40
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    ***pending vacation approval***
    count Kathy and I in and we will plan to trailer the 600 in behind us
    I do not think with this much advance it will be an issue

    VERY COOL DEAL Rusty
    look forward to meeting you :thumbsup:
     
  3. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    In discussing this event with Rusty this week, we ended up thinking that this could very likely turn into a huge annual event for Sea Ray owners. If it is like Yacht Expo and Sea Ray decides to give buyers some incentives, this very well could becomes Cruiser Expo, and then you can expect some serious factory incentives to help you buy the boat of your dreams. I know for a fact, that buyers at Yacht Expo are able to buy their boats cheaper than any other way or at any other time of the year, including boat show specials. I see no reason why this event won't be the same. Dealers will not be cut out, but you won't be shut up in a small box and pressured to buy either. Expect a very relaxed and cordial atmosphere, but understand that your local dealer will deliver your new boat and service it for you.

    And who knows......you might meet some pretty cool other Sea Ray owners while you are in Knoxville.............
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  4. Phlorida

    Phlorida New Member

    867
    Sep 15, 2010
    Satellite Beach, FL
    1995 250 Sundancer
    5.7L Mercruiser w/Bravo II
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    I'm in Rusty....let me know when this is firm and I will make arrangements.
     
  5. mwph

    mwph Active Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Lake Guntersville, Tennessee River, Alabama
    1998 250 DA
    7.4L, B3
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    As stated earlier, we are in.

    I can vouch for a lot of the mentioned local attractions. Top notch stuff. To anyone unfamiliar with SEC or college football in general, do not underestimate the crowd. Knoxville is a great town but it can be tight on game weekend. I think Neyland Stadium holds like 104k. It will likely be full for Florida, and another 10k will be there just to hang out outside.

    I mention this to suggest that we try to "sign up early". A block of rooms in the same hotel may help with transportation to & from any activities. It may also help our hosts at the facility. Again, just thinking aloud.

    Rusty, If there is anything I can do to help make this a sccess, just let me know. I feel privileged to be "invited". Thank you again.
     
  6. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    708
    Nov 6, 2006
    Florida
    The yacht delivery captain for Sea Ray Boats Inc.
    mostly 1100hp CAT/MAN
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Thanks for the replies guys ! This is the real deal and the only two things required (and one of those is a given and done)

    1-Quality of participants- CSR members, need I say more, DONE !

    2- Quantity of participants- We really need folks to join us for this great event, so please, everyone say you’ll come so I can brag to my company that we are on to something that hopefully will become an annual event…it all starts with a showing this year as a kick start to many more.

    Rusty

    mwph…all I need is for you to come and bring a whole bunch of other members with you!

    p.s. I do like the idea of blocked rooms but I have to leave that plan up to the Club to make it a reality.
     
  7. sdarc

    sdarc Active Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    Piedmont NC
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Wow, this is the same weekend as the ALMS series at VIR. Is this the same weekend as Shades of the Past in Pigeon Forge? Maybe that the weekend before. Admiral and I got married in a cabin in Gatlinburg. Can we say 2nd honeymoon?

    ps. if you go to the Biltmore Estate please enjoy the pipe organ I rebuilt and installed in the Great Dining Room. (shameful plug).
     
  8. Pyrojodge

    Pyrojodge Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2011
    Lake Erie Ohio
    1989 Sea Ray 340 DA
    twin 454 Mercs
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Get a concrete date and I will be in the car on my way South... I would LOVE to meet some other members and visit a Sea Ray plant!
     
  9. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    682
    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Rusty,

    This sounds like a terrific time. The impromptu tour we received at the Merritt Island facility earlier this year was tremendous. We can only imagine what the Sea Ray team will provide when they have time to prepare (not that Rob didn't do a good job!). We are planning on being there!
     
  10. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    682
    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Friday, September 14! (See post #1)
     
  11. Pyrojodge

    Pyrojodge Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2011
    Lake Erie Ohio
    1989 Sea Ray 340 DA
    twin 454 Mercs
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Literacy helps :grin: I'll put in for the time today... sounds great!
     
  12. moparlvr4406

    moparlvr4406 Active Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    Lake Monroe Indiana Fourwinds H31
    1985 340DA
    1966 SRV180
    1960 Sea Ray 600
    (2) 1963 808 Cruise-a-bouts
    twin 350hp Crusaders 4.0 Onan /
    Merc 950 SS
    Merc 650
    Merc 1100
    twin Johnson 40
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    can anyone recommend a motel near the facility ??
    everything seems to be north or west of Knoxville
     
  13. spikeitaudi

    spikeitaudi Member

    488
    Jun 3, 2011
    Raritan Bay, NJ
    HAD 2006 240 Sundancer
    Merc 5.0L W/ Bravo III
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Sounds like a great event. Wish it was closer or I would go. Have to get down to see the plant one of these days.
     
  14. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    682
    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    I'm a Marriott guy so I just booked a room at the Fairfield Inn/Suites Knoxville East. It is about 7 miles from the Sea Ray facility. Please note that with the Tennessee football game that weekend, some hotels are requiring multiple night stays. If you are going book a room early.
     
  15. moparlvr4406

    moparlvr4406 Active Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    Lake Monroe Indiana Fourwinds H31
    1985 340DA
    1966 SRV180
    1960 Sea Ray 600
    (2) 1963 808 Cruise-a-bouts
    twin 350hp Crusaders 4.0 Onan /
    Merc 950 SS
    Merc 650
    Merc 1100
    twin Johnson 40
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    They are booked solid already
     
  16. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    682
    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Just went on Marriott.com and they are showing rooms available at $99/nt at the Fairfield Inn & Suites / Knoxville East for Thursday night, Sept. 13. If you want a room for just Friday night, it comes up as unavailable. A Friday night stay requires you to also stay on Saturday because they require a 2 night minimum stay for the weekend. (U of T football game!)

    I am guessing this event will start early on Friday morning so you'll most likely want to be in the area the night before.
     
  17. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    As I understand it, the reason this weekend works so well for us is because Sea Ray is having a new line introduction for their dealers all week, Monday thru Thursday so all the new boats and many carry over ones will be available to see and actually run in the river at the factory. If Sea Ray is going to do a dinner for us, expect this to be an all day Friday into the early evening deal........one well worth participating in. To leave before dinner Friday nite means you will miss a lot of the reason we are going.

    I had a client in Knoxville a while back and find it to be a very easy city to navigate in, so if you end up West or North of town if won't be much of an inconvenience, since that is where the restaurants are anyway. The location mentioned above is one of the closest to the UT stadium so I would expect there to be restrictions and higher rates there.
     
  18. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    Lord willing and the Creek don't rise I'm in!
    Thanks again Rusty for all you do for the Group!
    You to Frank!
     
  19. mistercomputerman

    mistercomputerman Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jan 6, 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
    410 Sundancer - 2001
    Twin 8.1L Mercruisers - 2009
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    I am thinking I am in for this deal. Still have to get firm dates on my industry events that happen around this time.
     
  20. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Re: Sea Ray Homecoming/Cruiser Expo !! Here we go!

    I have traveled hundreds of miles to Tennessee home games for the last 30 years. Here are a few things I've learned:

    The Hampton Inn at Lenoir City (exit 81 on I-75) west of Knoxville and the Hampton Inn at Sevierville next to the minor league baseball field (exit 407 on I-40) are good places to stay. They are outside the reservation hot area but close enough to Knoxville to be a comfortable commute (20-30 minutes). Neither place has ever made me stay 2 nights on a game weekend. Traffic to/from west of Knoxville is far, far more congested than traffic east of Knoxville on game weekends. Most of the traveling fans are coming from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville. If you want to go to the game, even though its Florida, you still have a shot at reasonable priced tickets. The trend over the last 4 years is significant vacancy in the stadium (sign of the times - HD TV is great viewing and traveling to games costs money) and there is a huge scalper "industry" for Tennessee games. I mean there are dozens of people walking around with fistfuls of tickets. Just wait... and wait... and wait. Right around kickoff they'll just try to unload them. Especially if we lose to NC State before the Florida game. A good, cheap place to park for the games is at the Woman's basketball Hall of Fame (it was $7 per day last year) if you are up for a nice long walk. Park there about 2-3 hours before the game and then walk down the hill (by way of Ruth Chris steakhouse) to the river and then along the river to the stadium. You'll pass Calhouns, which is hugely popular and will be crammed with people but they have outdoor bars set up. And you'll walk right by the Vol Navy where you'll get more than an eyeful of Sea Rays.

    Good luck.
     

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