I recently heard that a resident offered a family of four facilitation and a tour for $50. And the family turned that down saying "We will gladly do work trade instead of the $50." and that didn't get worked out.
I am relieved. I feel a little less crazy now. It seems weird to say that we gotta have $100 per person no matter what, and then something like the museum of flight charged $15 per person.
On the other hand, the tour guides at the museum of flight get paid zero. And the museum of flight gets millions of dollars in donations and other gifted stuff. And they have a stream of maybe a thousand people a day.
And for all of our visitors, we have averaged paying $100 per visitor in cleaning stuff. And that's what we paid AFTER people cleaned up after themselves. I suppose that if we had more traffic, we might be able to optimize this to just $15 per person.
We do, sometimes, do something where we will have a work party set up and people can come out en masse and do stuff - and the gapper fee is waived. But it is usually pretty short notice.
I guess I am writing this because there is such a disconnect. $100 does seem high. And when we run all the numbers, $100 works out to be low.
Maybe we need a different pricing structure. After all, a lot of the cleaning costs was for people that were here a long time.
Maybe there can be an organized tour where ten people can be picked up in missoula, brought out, given the big tour and then taken back. People could pay, say, $40. And if could be figured out to be a five person minimum. If there are not five people, then the event doesn't happen and those people will be signed up for the next outing.
A really good tour is two hours at basecamp and two hours at the lab. Four hours. If a person is earning $15 per hour, that's $60. And that doesn't count vehicle use, coordinating stuff over the interne, cleaning up after people or getting them to and from missoula. That's just the tour.
Sometimes it is just one person and sometimes it is 30 people.
If a person is going to be here a while, they need to find out where to put their tent. Sometimes they don't have a tent and something needs to be figured out.
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Even more importantly: can a resident come up with a collection of tour programs and gapper/wwoofer facilitation without me having to be involved?
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People have come to say that they will do oodles of work - thus mitigating any costs that might be incurred by their being here. This is the root of the whole wwoofer program. But the problem with that is that EVERYBODY is sure that their contribution will be greater than the cost of keeping them, but the result is more often the opposite. I think that for certain organizers, that system can work out wonderfully. We have not yet perfected this system.
I wonder if we should do something where it is $100 per month for each person here. The idea being that $100 covers rides to/from the airport, the tour, getting them settled, talking to them on the phone or via email before hand and then cleaning up after them when they leave. And the $100 per month covers the cleaning and stuff while they are here, plus the additional cleanup after they leave.
A flip side to this is that we could pay bigger bounties to people that do the cleaning.
And, people that earn oodles of bounties won't have a problem with the $100 per month. People could slap down $100 to get here and then earn bounties to keep them going.
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Just some thoughts to try to get things working well again.
Is this going to apply to ants? I know that most of us are using community resources that you have provided (Allerton Abbey, the fridge, the red shed, poppers, showers ect.) But I also know that the idea with ant village is that there will someday be a mostly self sufficient community. This certainly won't happen overnite next week, nor overnite 6 months from now. Basically, I can understand the fee, but should it change to reflect progress made in the ant village community?
Everyone should stop being so naive and close minded and just start experimenting to make a better world.
An idea: Different packages should be set up and a fee of 200 be paid upfront; hopefully 300 for couples. The idea being to mitigate risk and keep spirits high. The bad apples will rot and disappear.
1:After ant village community is set up an ant would would have two choices:
A:Live in his plot or at an other ants place and exchange value with that person for the initial 800 agreed price plus 100 and get the 100 back if no cleaning was required when they left
B: use lab resources/housing and pay an extra 100 fee per month that would be subtracted in lieu of cleaning/tool burn.
2: Gappers would pay 200 upfront and either live off the land and get the 100 back at end of stay if no cleaning was required or use base camp resources and pay 100 extra a month and get 100 back if no extra cleaning was required when they leave.
Sounds fair to all and lazy people would leave because of lack of funds or not dirty or break anything living off the land at the lab and not effect or make others work harder making life good
The season is short but the land is extremely cheap. Let's help each other grow food!
I was referred here via the podcast with Davin and the link in the podcast summary.
Since before paying to start the Ant thing, I have been thinking of the possibilities of tours and or weekend outings to allow the "normal" people to experience the Permie life on a dip your toe in first kind of trial.
Things I planned for my area of the Ant Village is a communal "pea patch" garden using hugelkultur, that folks can stop at part way into the tour to have a little snack of the crop du juor. I'd really like to have a cut-away view to show off what lies beneath and why it works.
We would also be willing to house in our structure guests, or build a small shelter for overnight stays for those who want to dip their whole foot into the Permie way.
As far as $$$ goes, I had gone with the assumption that whoever was organizing the tour would be paying all expenses and whatever is necessary for cleanup. e.g. Missoula MUD brings a bus full of MUD people to show them the lab, they pay their own gas, workers/volunteers, and a security deposit or small fee to cover road maint. and any cleaning/repair of things like the pooper(s) and the pristine land at the lab.
Knowing humans, we would be better suited to have a "Visitor's center" reception area, where folks can "visit" the lab all without leaving the basecamp. Loaded with miniatures and conceptual drawings and "how to" manuals ets. (monetizing their visit). I hate paying for tours but love spending all the cash in my pocket at the giftshop. This would satisfy many folks' curiosity and leave the lab in pristine condition.
I'm a firm believer in vetting visitors, and allowing them access to only what they've shown they are capable of respecting, or even understanding. Ever been to one of those horrible things called a Zoo? They attempt to make the animals feel at home, sometimes spending millions of dollars to recreate the look and feel of their habitat, when any inconsiderate boob can redecorate with a popcorn box, pop can or even themselves. The priority should be on mitigating the damage of "normal" humans, before they do irrevocable harm.
I think there will be some tour worthy (Worth paying for) items in the future. I think folks would be willing to pay just as they do for things like MUD workshops, for a look into an alternative way of producing crops and living. I think too much.
Think like a person of action, act like a person of thought. - Henri Bergson
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