Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome to Tempe

It has always struck me that the organizers never miss an opportunity to make participants feel insignificant or get them to pay more money. They make millions of dollars on their races, merchandise, and sponsorships and yet they are after every penny they can get. You never get a break here. Everything is expensive and their exclusivity arrangements keep out any competitors that would force more reasonable prices.

They also make it plain that you are just a cog in their big machine. A replaceable cog too. They know thousands stand in line to get a shot at their races and the fabled Hawaii slots so they feel no obligation to treat you nicely. Quite to the contrary, you should be grateful that they let you in.

And at last nights welcome dinner that was once again clearly visible. The dinner was held at the Tempe Arts Center, a futuristic looking building along Rio Salado. Except that the dinner was outside on the grass and that non-VIP's were forced to park a quarter mile away in a makeshift dirt lot, and then walk through the center's large empty parking lot, and around the building to get there.

This year's welcome dinner was a spartan affair. No goodies on the table this time. No free anything, no gatorade, no fig newtons, no Erin's breakfast cereal, no powerbars. You get one drink and that's it.

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