Roger’s Hobby Center has been involved with a bus trip down to the Toledo Show for as long as I can remember -- it was always a fun experience for me as a kid, getting to spend the day with my dad and seeing all the cool stuff, plus it was a day off of school. When I started working here, my approach to the show changed. Now it was part of my job, but the enjoyment of going down, seeing the sights, and talking to our customers didn’t wane.
Then, when we ended up taking the reins and organizing the trip ourselves -- and I became the trip coordinator -- the show changed for us again. Now we had to worry about the finances of getting the trip together, collect payment, and coordinate a large group of people at the same time. That first year was daunting, but we made it through, and the trip’s workflow and behind-the-scenes operation got easier and slightly less time consuming. Yet again, however, none of that diminished my enjoyment of the trip.
Over the past couple years, though, the finances have become a problem, which all came to a head last year, when we ended up with barely enough people to make the trip pay for itself. Couple that with a show obviously in decline, and an industry with problems attracting new hobbyists, and sadly, it no longer makes financial sense to organize the Toledo Show Bus Trip.
I’m as sad as everyone else we won’t be bussing down to Toledo anymore. I’m bummed the show’s appeal has nosedived over the last few years, and I’m disappointed costs in transportation have risen so much that we need more people than ever to make the trip possible, but there is little I can do about any of that.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone that made the Toledo Show Bus Trip possible over the last twenty-some years. A special thank you goes to Art Lewis, whose now-gone tour company organized and carried out the trip for many, many years before handing us the reins. The trip only existed in the first place because of him.
It’s been an absolute blast chatting with all of the people who joined us on the ride down, learning about what they saw at the show that got them excited, and what turned them off. Those people all have my sincere thanks for taking the time to explain their hobby to a young kid that knew nothing about it before he worked at a hobby shop.
It’s not impossible that we’ll revive the trip again someday, should conditions change. I wouldn’t put money on it, but I wouldn’t completely discount it, either. A lot can change in a year or two. For now, though, thank you once more to everyone that joined us on the bus, and we hope to see you all in the store.