After the burn? Wilbur Hot Springs.

topic posted Mon, August 23, 2010 - 2:11 PM by  Uncle Fishbits
I was going to ask what everyone is going to afterwards, but even that is sort of .... smokey.

I have been a burner since 1995 when Marian set Alex Bennett on fire in 1995 at KITS in studio. Begging for people to come because they were almost broke, they lit Alex on fire and I was like, "holy cow this is for me".

Since then, I have watched it thick and thin, grumpy and thrilled, etc... I hope all of you trust me and have known me for long enough to know I am not some odd due pitching something random? Pitching, itself, is bad show and terrible form...

but I also don't know how to bridge the gap of actually uniting people with something that is relevant, deeply satisfying, etc.

So I will come out and say it... you all know me, and that I go to Wilbur Hot Springs after the burns.. always have and it's heaven. They know I burn and they are totally happy for me to tell all of you that they love burners.

I am just being delicate because I don't want to seem like I am not being earnest, etc. Basically the upshot is I can get burners a sick rate (about 30% off) anytime now through the next couple weeks, because they don't know how to talk to you guys and know, at least, I am on this board.

So... sorry if it's annoying, I mean no harm, but if you need to rest after the burn, get in some hot springs, etc... let me know. Part of respecting the culture of the Burn is knowing how delicate a line it is between connecting community and boring people with spammy bullshit. I doubt this is the latter, and if the former interests you, let me know.
posted by:
Uncle Fishbits
SF Bay Area
  • Re: After the burn? Wilbur Hot Springs.

    Mon, August 23, 2010 - 3:49 PM
    I was worried until I read that the Burn has a cell signal now.

    Well Wilbur doesn't. It's 1800 acres of 100% solar powered nothing. No Foursquare, no texts, Nothing. Just Hot Springs. Yay.

    I don't feel so bad anymore. =)

    Wow the burn has a cell signal... I don't judge, and it will likely save people (can you imagine getting through to someone because you forgot your ticket, or something like that... wow).
    • Re: After the burn? Wilbur Hot Springs.

      Tue, August 24, 2010 - 1:50 PM
      Permaburn is having an after party as well.
      We don't have hot springs, but we do have hot steamy stuff from out of the ground- cow patties!
      • Re: After the burn? Wilbur Hot Springs.

        Wed, August 25, 2010 - 10:29 AM
        Sometimes the things under the pattys are nice too. =-)

        Thanks for at least a nod in this direction. I was sort of panicked (can you confirm the rumor about cell phones on the playa? I know the shenanigans we get up to when we feel sassy.... and I call shenanigans.)

        • Alright, Everyone be Calm...

          Wed, August 25, 2010 - 10:44 AM
          ...Fishbits is in need of grounding, and when they go wild like that they can smell fear. We'll sedate him and let him rest.
          If he's okay on THursday, we can call him from the playa and wish him well.
          • Re: Alright, Everyone be Calm...

            Thu, August 26, 2010 - 12:11 PM
            I am basically just frightened of general grumpiness, which is a profoundly powerful derailer.

            or something.

            I cannot believe how technology effects our brain. I just compiled a grip of frightening stories.

            The whole point of the burn was to get away from it.
            • Re: Alright, Everyone be Calm...

              Thu, August 26, 2010 - 12:43 PM
              I don't know that the *whole* point of the burn, was to get away from it. Although, I grant that it was damn nice. I didn't power up my cell phone last year, simply not interested, and I doubt I'll try this year either.

              And when there are no places where you don't have reception you will have to learn to turn it off all by yourself. Just because you can do something (be connected all the time) doesn't mean you should.
          • Re: Alright, Everyone be Calm...

            Thu, August 26, 2010 - 12:11 PM
            I am basically just frightened of general grumpiness, which is a profoundly powerful derailer.

            or something.

            I cannot believe how technology effects our brain. I just read a grip of those NY Times stories on the blog....

            The whole point of the burn was to get away from it. There are so few places you can do that now.
            • So, Wait...

              Thu, August 26, 2010 - 12:46 PM
              Are you the official blogger for these hot springs?

              And are you using the tribe to drum up business?
              • Re: So, Wait...

                Thu, August 26, 2010 - 1:07 PM
                no official blogger. I blog for em b/c I like em. I don't even get to go much, but I love the place with all my heart. I doubt tribe would drum up biz... it's more of connecting people who already know it? It's a fine line, hence my nervousness. It's not like tribe is an aggressively populated social network... so there would be better places to go to make people annoyed and ruin Wilbur's name. =)

                If it was a infomercial for some needless product, I would know it's out and out bad form. This would seem relevant, but I guess if I am nervous about even talking about it... that says something, eh? I respect your commentary and view of it, Crypto.. so I will completely defer to you, mods, or the teeming masses.

                It is curious though.... how do you tell people about something they very likely would like to know about if they don't? That's a hard question for a small hotel like that.

                What's more... how it extrapolates into the greater Burn experience. That place is on an 1800 acre nature preserve in the middle of NOWHERE... it's more like the original burn than the burn is now. Maybe just have them start throwing a huge party for burners.

                I think they have a lot of burners that are fans, and know its the right place for the same crowd, but are at a loss how to connect with it. They aren't the type to do "marketing" with email lists, demographics, market segments, etc.

                And if they were, I would tell them this:

                I miss Bill Hicks so much.

                Anyhoo... yup that's my piece... in fact a lot of the conversation about cell signal at the burn went into it, as well as a fairly in depth self-conversation about why I go to the burn.... I realize that the unplugging was 100% why. Almost as much as the experience for myself, telling people I was unavailable was refreshing and exhilarating.

                But I am laying out transparent here... they don't pay me to blog, yeah it would be super cool if people that would love the place and don't know about it find out about it.... and if any of this is inappropriate conversation at all I am *out*.

                Of course, that means I will be mumbling threads to myself as all of you giggle and writhe in dusty glory.
                • Re: So, Wait...

                  Thu, August 26, 2010 - 1:15 PM
                  I didn't want to say that you couldn't do things. What bothered me was the lack of upfront information about your connection and whether or not you personally stood to gain. (In the economic sense, I suppose. You might gain a lot in other ways, but that's not the issue.)
                  I might have gone with something along the lines of:
                  I really love this place and I think some of you might too. One of the things I like most is that it really is not connected, no cell phones, no laptops.

                  I probably would have spent a lot of time on tone and been very upfront about things. It's the sneakiness that bothers me--that's when you start feeling someone's doing some sort of bait and switch.

                  On the other hand, I might be wrong. Maybe you would have had an avalange of snark to deal with. I'd like to hear other opinions, just get a reading. I'm only one member of the "community," I don't have any special powers to speak with everyone.
                • Re: So, Wait...

                  Thu, August 26, 2010 - 1:26 PM
                  Yes - it was definitely about engaging the community. No, it wasn't some passive "drum up biz" mentality.

                  But thank you... what's great is this has me thinking about all this stuff.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: So, Wait...

                    Thu, August 26, 2010 - 1:53 PM
                    This is so much more interesting than I could have hoped.

                    I don't gain diddly. I work in hotels, and have clients that actually pay me. They can't afford stuff like that. I actually haven't been up there in more than a year. It's sort of become my burn... it's the only place I feel I can really escape. They used to try to do payment, trades, etc... but that since has dried up during the 08 recession.

                    this is *sooo* weird, but prolly necessary. But, here's my background. Grew up in and around the hotel biz, and I love it. I went from a room service cashier at the Parc 55 to opening hotels. That is 15 years of food and beverage & rooms operations, total. Line management, etc. Then, in 2005, I helped Passport Resorts open Cavallo Point through the design, construction, and opening operations phases. I still work for them a bit, but mostly with Waterford Hotels and Inns - our family management company. The owner of Passport resorts met his wife at Wilbur, and he introduced me to Wilbur Hot Springs owner, who was in a "what in the hell do we do moment". I did get payment for looking at books, spreadsheets, operational efficiency, but do not do "marketing" or "pr". I have helped them in the past with social media, but being off grid and 100% solar doesn't lend itself to being online, so I don't think that is going to go too far. Neither passport nor waterford has any involvement or direct relation with Wilbur, other than it has deeply affected most of us (less my pop, who thinks I am a hippy. He does refer to our event as "The Burn" now, which is cute.)

                    In my professional world, however, I *am* being forced to ask those sort of marketing questions for *our* hotels... how in the hell do you reach audiences nowadays because marketing is disingenious to a great degree, and with an example like Wilbur.... anyone that might be your guest might also react very negatively to traditional or old world marketing tactics.

                    I have an offer to have a trade out room when I have a chance to go up there, but never have a chance to go up there. So I do talk about it, but I am not receiving anything for going on a social site and talking about them, and certainly don't get anything if more people go or don't go. There are so many advocates of the place, it might not be necessary for me to talk about it.

                    BUT... I am interested in connecting the right crowd with it... something their marketing hasn't been able to do.... when you mention "nudity", many puritanical morals take over and blind anyone that might enjoy the place.

                    The Burn philosophy and mentality fits perfectly for these guys.... so I hesitantly asked. I need to go back and review exactly what I said... but I think this is all innocuous.

                    It is REALLY, REALLY interesting to me tho... because Crypto you always have been thoughtful *and present* (I am not buttering you up), and you do sort of speak for everyone. More than sock puppets or other chaos might.

                    But now this is more about the bigger, changing world of how do you reach a potential guest without pissing them off. The properties I do work for and that "pay for my groceries" are so boring... that's an even bigger question.
                    • Re: So, Wait...

                      Thu, August 26, 2010 - 2:03 PM

                      So yeah... wow. This is crazy stuff.

                      What I like is that the consumer model has ultimately flipped.

                      You can't take a shitty product and lie about it, because the online groundswell will out you... illogical & authoritarian mentality will start to erode in the 21st century. Ferociously. I think everything from the edifice of the Roman Catholic church to closed corporate environments like Apple (even if they are making the best designed and most beautiful products) are in big trouble.

                      The other part of that flip which lends voice to consumers is that marketers don't have a clue what to do. I think it's sort of funny, but it's also really weird. The idea of controlling a message or brand is sort of silly... most hotel websites pop up *after* yelp, or tripadvisor. How can you control your image if everyone else does it?

                      Well that's the point... *YOU DO NOT CONTROL ANYTHING*. There's no image to control... it's just ethical business. It's just running yourself and organizing your culture so that you are doing things right, you are open to change, you listen to the guests, etc. You can't bullshit about a crappy business anymore, you just have to be a good business and hope people realize that.

                      I love it.

                      This is the single biggest shift in communication in.. human history? Maybe since the printing press? I don't know, but it's sort of all sorts of epic.

                      But then there's the issue of *HOW* to appear genuine. Should I link my linked in prior to talking about it? Tax statements, etc?

                      Trust, transparency, earnestness, etc.... it's going to be the hallmark for future business. I sort of hope marketing gets usurped by operations, so we can actually just work really hard (like my 16 hour days in a kitchen or in a front office) and watch the wilting marketers panic about no more 4 hour lunches.

                      But I am feeling rambly.

                      I just think people will like the place. haha.

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