Vendor Row

When I was scheduled to arrive around lunchtime on my first day, I texted ahead and asked my colleague if I should plan on lunch on the field or stop at McDonalds. “The healthier choice will be to stop at McDonalds,” was the answer. Well, we did find one vendor with excellent, reasonably healthy food…Korean BBQ. One booth in the pits and another behind the General Admission stands. Their line was consistently long…much longer than that peculiarly popular chicken sandwich place a couple of booths down the row.
Looking for a job in aviation? Sky West and other companies were recruiting for pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers, and other aviation positions.
The Navy was also there to talk to folks about opportunities in the military.

What to do when the winds cause numerous cancellations of Reno racing and you’ve already explored the pits? I figured it was time to see what was happening among the vendors in the General Admission area. It seemed like there was a healthy number of booths selling or promoting all the sort of things you would expect at Oshkosh: aviation-related products, non-profit causes, books, jewelry, fly-market-type junk tables, hats and clothing, careers, and, of course, food and drink. We learned from one commercial vendor that his standard booth costs $1400 upfront plus 20% of sales beyond $200. (The 8% state sales tax is handled by RARA and included in this fee.)

Two organizations honoring the Tuskegee Airmen were among the booths.
Many of the familiar aviation companies we also see at AirVenture and Sun’nFun, like Higher Power, were there to talk with the pilots in the crowd.

It always seem to find one or two Christmas gifts for aviation friends and/or spouse each year and today was no exception. I even splurge for an aviation-theme ring, helping at least one vendor meet his necessary quota to make the benefits of coming to RARA outweigh the costs.

The Reno chapter of the 99s, an organization dedicated to promoting aviation among women and girls, had moved locations from previous years but were out trying to raise money for their scholarship program.
Comstock Quilters of Nevada were among the many non-aviation booths.
There may have been one bright light for RARA’s bottom line when the winds came up….the line to buy pit passes and enter the area exploded. At $38 per person, it would be curious to know how many of these spectators intended to buy pit passes anyway.


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