Feed Back 2010

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Bill Edmundson
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Feed Back 2010

Postby Bill Edmundson » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:00 pm

Hales Bar said they want us back. They realize there were problems. They asked for feed back. Backstage we decided comments should be consolidated for most effective results, if that is where people want to go back. I'm starting this to let you vent.

I'll start:

I like the place overall. Floating cabin #2 had a rotted place in the floor in front of the A/C unit. The A/C unit didn't cool much. A bar of soap would have been nice and an extra roll of toilet paper. I tried to cook the clam chowder Saturday afternoon in the cabin. I could not get enough heat from the cook top to fry the bacon. I had to go get my stove and cook on the deck.

Lauren said it was just too close to tent camping for her!

If we had used the pavilion... It needed cleaning or just hosed down. Water was not readily available there, and restrooms aren't there.

And, of coarse the water weeds were a pain.

I had my ear bent on other issues. But, I'll let people speak for themselves.

I'd go back. But, many of the issues are easily addressed.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Fabricflyer » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:27 pm

I enjoyed the place. Of course, I was in the RV campground, so the cabins were not an issue for me. It would be nice to have the pavilion if needed. The main thing we needed there was some water and a restroom or porty-potty. The launch ramp worked out OK also. I really enjoyed having all the boats tied up and being able to use them at will. I'd go back to Hales Bar.

Allen Blackwell

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Roberta
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Roberta » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:40 pm

We had a land cabin. There was no soap there either, but when Rich asked at the store, they said it should have been there and gave him a bar. The AC was in the living room and did little to cool the bedroom. The kitchen had a decent refrig, but no stove or microwave. Instead, there was a hotplate and toaster oven and a hole in the counter where the stove might have been. There were no kitchen towels or soap for dishes. There was a wash rag. The lighting was poor and hard to find switches to turn them on. It was remote from the floating cabins. OK for overnight as we were, but bad if you were there longer.

I think a covered pavilion is a must. If the weather had not been so cooperative, we would be cooking in the rain. There were a lot of pluses, like the floating cabins and close proximity to the boats, and a nice lake to explore. I guess I would be interested in looking at other venues, but would not count Hales Bar out.

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kens
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby kens » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:34 pm

Besides the things already mentioned, a few more dock cleats are needed, especially since it is a marina.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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Dave Grason
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Dave Grason » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:01 pm

Well, I absolutely loved the setting. I loved the fact that the boats, cabins and docks were soooooooo close. The docks made an excellent breakwater for the marina. I thought it was cool that you could go either way out of the cabin and have a lake or marina to look at when you enjoyed your morning coffee.

The cabin that I shared with the Murphys was roomy, had 2 full sized bedrooms, a smaller bedroom with bunk beds for the kiddies, a gigantic living room by floating cabin standards, a dining area, two excellent bathrooms, a rocking air-conditioner and a full sized refrigerator. Having said that, there might now be a competition for that particular cabin next year. I'm not going to help anyone get to that cabin before me. I'm not going to tell them that it's cabin #17 and I'm definately not going to tell anyone that I personally can get by on a lot less. That's because I want it all to myself next year in spite of being perfectly content in something much smaller.

I felt that the staff was friendly and helpful. I didn't run into any problems with them though, so maybe if I had had some other issues, my impression of the staff might not be so good but then again, it may have gone just fine.

The proximity of the site from the Interstate is excellent. There was none of this driving for long distances wondering if I had taken all the correct turns. Not that I needed to but there was a Wal-Mart right down in Jasper, only a few miles away.

The milfoil was EXTREMELY oppressive IMHO. And I didn't even have my own boat there. But I felt very bad for those that had problems with the stuff. TerryMc, I'm so sorry that you came all the way from SoCal only to have that crap imbed itself into your jet. And there was so much of it that, even when I was out on the lake with someone else, I could see where there were pieces of the stuff EVERYWHERE. Avoiding it all together was absolutely impossible. You gotta be kidding. Bob Maskel and I went right through that area right after G2 and there was only a fraction of the milfoil present at that time. Of course, one advantage to the milfoil is that we didn't have to listen to a cacaphony of jetskis all weekend. That stuff is death on jetskis from what I understand.

As far as the lack of a pavillion goes, I thought we did ok with the 3 EZ-UP tents that we had. It occured to me that if we'd have about 3 or 4 more of them, we'd have done fine. Remember that rain this time of year is really rare in Tennessee. So the fact that even got any at all was quite an amazing event. And that's one reason why the rain that we DID get was weak and drizzly rather than strong enough to ruin the event. The fact that many attendees drove in some really serious downpours on the way home is truly WAYYYYYYY out of normal for this time of year. But, regardless of whatever venue we choose in the future, we will always have the weather as a roll of the dice. That is in no way the fault of Hale's Bar and should not be held against that location.

The batcave was a cool plus. Ok, so the bats stood everyone up. They're just snobbish bats and were probably jealous of all the finely handcrafted wooden boats.

I like the quaintness of the old Hale's Bar dam. And I laughed myself silly when we saw the "ghost" that is supposed to be haunting that building. For those of you that didn't catch sight of the "ghost," it was really the light from a river boat on the other side of the dam. As the tow worked its way downriver after dark,the light the pilot was using to see his way would shine up on the building from the backside. From our perspective, we could not see the river boat. We could only see the light itself and DANG, it looked just like a ghost in the building. I'm dead serious here. It REALLY looked like a ghost and several people on the dock that saw it almost screamed. Hahahahahahahahahaha! THAT'S where the ghost stories came from. I'm still laughing about it. :lol:

I think that, if the Tennessee Wildlife could come back in and treat the milfoil, that problem would be gone. Then, make cabin #17 available for someone that seriously needs a more comfy bathroom and that problem would solved also. Then the only real deal that the management would have to deal with would be to make sure that all the other cabins have clean bathrooms ready to go and make sure that would be no surprises. That would leave only the pavillion.

The floating cabin place in Guntersville had a floating pavillion that could be towed around to any place in their marina. I wonder if Hale's Bar could come up with something similar?
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Oyster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:30 pm

From what I am reading the only real advantage and the only thing that is a consistant plus is that you had the bulk of the boats tied along a common area in the water. I have done numerous boat shows with floating barges and even with big canopies over the barges with literally hundred plus people on the barge with some decent sized boats around the perimeter. In my opinion the lodging is extremely important when families are involved. One thing is for sure sewer backing up into the tubs and showers would not be my cup of tea and for sure I would not venture back to a place like that.

Personally I have experienced many larger floating facilities, even two story ones and the sewer issues have always been iffy even when most have lift pumps in them to a main line ashore. From what you guys are saying, these cabins have what amounts to holding tanks, limited at best too. On water cabins is really no different than large yachts. When we would have landlubbers on them we always had issues with having enough water and toliets plugging up too. In addition we would always run low on water because many took long showers and without a water maker we would load the holding tanks when in closed regions that required the use of them and also run out of water unless we were tied to a dock. This also plays into the issues of all the sewers backing up.

By some chance has anyone experienced Euchee Marina resort and campground??? Mile 740.5 above Watts Bar Damn
Read the link as it sounds inviting too and its in that area.

http://www.eucheemarinaresort.com/

MARINA & RESORT
Welcome home to Euchee Marina, Resort and Campground. With unquestionably the best location on Watts Bar Lake, our first class marina accommodations, our professional staff, our newly renovated lodge, first class dining and our relaxed family-friendly environment, we are proud to introduce you to Watts Bar’s premier Marina.

Marina - 20 to 50 foot wet slips with 10 new mega size slips with accommodations for safe harbor from the Gulf's nasty storms and transient slips for Yacht club regattas (book yours now). See our new Webcam security (coming soon).

Campground - newly renovated Land Cabins and our exclusive New Floating cabins along with rustic campsites.

Recreation and Event Planning - campfires, outdoor movies, a new white sandy beach with a 92 foot waterslide and anew fleet of rental boats.

Lodge - newly renovated rooms offer beautiful views and accommodations for group retreats

Location - Escape the crowds and enjoy the best location on Watts Bar Lake

Special Packages - We are new owners with a new vision for service excellence and continuous upgrades, check out our special packages



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jamundsen
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby jamundsen » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:52 pm

We were in cabin 3 which was great for my wife as she doesnt walk well. She really enjoyed everything she was able to see. She was able to sit on the bed and watch out the window and the other end had an outside porch she enjoyed. There was no soap but we had brought our own. One ceiling fan didnt work and there was some odor from the toilet. Keeping the lid down helped that some. The folks there were very helpful. I suspect we are the biggest group they have had. As long as we could get a close cabin so she wouldnt have to walk far we would be ready to go back. I might even have a boat that would float then. I think more pop up canopys would work well. The ones there that I saw were a lot better than the ones I used to have.(Wind got 'em.) The pavillion was too far away for us as Madelynn would never be able to walk that far. It looked like more dock cleats would be in order.
John Amundsen
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Lakeland,Fl

Work tends to get in the way of boat building

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kens
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby kens » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:34 pm

I second Oysters suggestion on Euchee.
Someone on the planning committee should call them and inquire, Bill.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

Oyster
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Oyster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:57 pm

I think the key issue is that if the cabin's freshwater comes from the mainland and the discharge of the grey and black water is contained solely in tanks in the cabin and requires pumping once every single day, by the sheer nature of the odds, the sewer will almost always back up if people are not mindfull of the limited storage. I am also assuming that the tank's capacity is marginal simply by the common theme of this time around that it backed up and smelled.


I also doubt that the people that runs the operation can give anyone a guarantee that this will not happen if the conditions and equipment stays the same. I have just had to deal with these types of issues on large boats too much to have faith in this type of setup with unlimited freshwater coming in and limited storage facilities on the outlet side.

You simply cannot use water at will and without being mindfull of the fixed amount of space thats required to store it as we do in our own homes without the possibilites of having a problem. On that note too, I do not think that anyone is really to blame either with this emerging theme either without really knowing the rest of the story, as its called.

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vupilot
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby vupilot » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:04 pm

Overall I would go back if they just did some basic maintenance to fix what amenities are already there and some basic cleaning as well as include things like soap in the cabins. The other is the many, many, trip hazards around the place. Especially the plywood covering gaps between dock pieces with holes in the ply and the pump-out line they had stretched across the docks all weekend long. Only two real problems with our cabin were the toilet seal leaked which allowed the water to empty in the bowl and the smell to come up and the sleeper sofa was not big enough for an adult.

Positives...
The calm water for all the boats was great.

Having everything right smack in front of the cabins was great

The scenery was great

Access to the interstate was great

Not too far to stores for anything you forgot or some groceries

Decent boat ramp for any of your sized boats

Light pleasure boat traffic.


Negatives...
The milfoil was very rough on some inboard and all jet boats and could easily be worse in a year.

The seal on the toilet did not seal so the water in the bowl ran out and this allowed the fumes in (kept door shut and fan on in bathroom)

The pull out sofa bed was not large enough for an adult which was very misleading when it said a 1 bedroom sleeps 4 comfortably (as long as 2 are kids then yes)

The place was not very clean, lots of cobwebs etc. No soap in the entire cabin, had to go buy some.

There simply is not enough floating cabins for everyone to be where the action is. I would hate to bring a boat and not get a floating cabin, like what happened to Dave L with the mix-up there. If we go back I think we should attempt to fill the floating cabins with folks bringing boats first. Even so, some folks will be left high and dry (rimshot :wink: )

I think Oysters location suggestion should be looked into in person as well as one of the other locations being talked about.

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Dave Grason
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Dave Grason » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:31 pm

I've got to add this little something here. And I say this because I'm very serious and I feel very strongly about it. Let's stop all this bantering back and forth. Let's find a place to have the Gathering and then let's PLEASE STAY THERE PERMANENTLY! This idea of moving it around is personally driving me nuts and turning my stomach inside out. I thought last year was bad enough when we left G'ville. Hell, we looked at so many places and they all looked good and they all had shortcomings no matter what. We considered so many choices, so many locations and so many circumstances and we settled on what we thought was the best choice - Hale's Bar! Now, it looks like we're going to have to go through all of this again and if that's the case, count me out on the exploration of new venues. I spent a hell of lot of time, phone calls and miles on the car so that I could do my share in making the best single decision that was going to work out the best for the most people. I do NOT want to do all that over again. It's a goddam thankless job. And it doesn't matter where we go, SOME ONE SOME WHERE is NOT going to be happy with it!! We simply cannot please everyone.

I'm going to say that we give Hale's Bar at least one more year. We gave G'ville 3 years for Pete's sake! Hale's Bar should have at least that much more opportunity to work with us. On Saturday night, Bill, you asked everyone for a show of hands to see how many wanted to return to Hale's Bar and everyone except your wife put their hands up. Your wife, BTW, only gets ONE vote just like the rest of us.

I really don't want to go through all this having it all up in the air again like we did last year! That just bordered on the totally idiotic.

Go rent cabin 17. Anyone that is not happy with that cabin is simply not going to be happy and has bigger issues than the Gathering.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Oyster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:43 pm

Dave, my only reason for posting my comments was that in the numerous replies that I have read two issues came to light even though I was not there. The clutter of the docks and the stinking and backing up sewer was indeed highlighted. Unless Hales Bar modifies their sewer discharges with tanks being on the floating barges with water entering from the land, I can guarantee you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you WILL have the same issue next year simply because the average person thinks that they are renting a motel room which is setup completely different than what appears to be here.
Of course this could be improved if they pumped the things twice a day. But from my point of view, "Honey Wagons" as standard fair during this type of event takes a lot away from the event, especially if your main gathering area is the cabin surroundings, IMO.
You cannot fault anyone here thats posting or have posted for the issues of the sewer. Sorry if this rubs you the wrong way. Several other issues have been brought to light.

Hoses laying around and people in a relaxed mood in the evening time can end up stumbling and falling overboard in the dead of night and darkness and for sure ruin it for everyone not withstanding their immediate family.

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jamundsen
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby jamundsen » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:46 pm

Perhaps we should make our concerns known to the folks at Hales Bar.
John Amundsen
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Lakeland,Fl

Work tends to get in the way of boat building

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Dave Grason
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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Dave Grason » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:50 pm

Aw Mike, I'm not arguing that. I agree. All I'm saying is: "Let's communicate with them and make sure that we get these probs addressed." Let's give them a chance. It would be a lot less effort than all of us running around like a box of scattered chickens like last year. And I personally would be happy, happy, happy to get right in there and communicate our needs to the management at Hale's Bar. I've already sent an email to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to find out what the story is on all this milfoil. They've been controlling it someway in the past. I want to find out the bottom line on that stuff.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Re: Feed Back 2010

Postby Oyster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:50 pm

jamundsen wrote:Perhaps we should make our concerns known to the folks at Hales Bar.

I think this thread was designed for talking about the issues so that the issues could be addressed using a single or a couple of people as a laison. I may not have been there, but I have read just about every single followup posts from people that were there. The message that stood out centered around sewer and the smell and backup that occurred.


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