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50th Pate Swap Meet
We're Moving To The East Side of TMS
Please note: this news is embargoed until 12-midnight when the public announcement is made.
There is an old saying that reads, "May you live in interesting times!" that is used as a mild curse. The actual Chinese saying roughly translates into something like "Better to be a dog in tranquil times than a human in interesting times". No one can deny that the last year has indeed been VERY interesting times in the life of the Pate Swap Meet. Unfortunately, interesting times are continuing.
Very late in the afternoon of Friday, March 5th, our colleagues at Texas Motor Speedway called to inform us that the Pate Swap Meet cannot interfere with the operations of the Denton County Vaccine Hub currently operating in the TMS VIP parking lot, right in the middle of Pates Zone 2, 1a and 1. Also, the Petty Place Boulevard is the main entrance to the Vaccine Hub and its traffic flow cannot be disturbed.
If you were at the Pate Board of Directors meeting in Decatur two weeks ago, this was the situation that Cameron hinted that could occur.
As it turns out, the Vaccine Hub is the largest operation of its type in the world. Literally. Plus, it is being expanded with more lanes and increased operations hours as the vaccines become more plentiful and broader groups of people are added to the qualification list (the 1C group was added this week and shortly, opened to everyone). The operation has become so important because it is able to vaccinate such a large number of people per day. The hub is responsible for a notable percentage, all the people vaccinated in Texas each week. It has been deemed "critical" to stopping the COVID-19 pandemic in North Texas.
Actually, it is hard to argue with the Vaccine Hub's importance or its mission.
After the Board meeting, David Anderton went to the Speedway and worked closely with TMS to develop a plan wherein the operations of the Pate Swap Meet would minimize disruption of the Vaccine Hub by leaving the large structural tents to remain in place. This would have the time of taking down the tents and resetting them after the swap-meet was over. This plan was presented to a large meeting on March 5th among all of the stakeholders involved: City, County, State of Texas and Federal officials. Simply put, the plan was rejected and it was decided that the Pate Swap Meet could NOT interfere with the operations of the Vaccine Hub or its traffic in any way.
Also, under both State and local emergency orders, this decision over-rides our contract with TMS.
TMS notified David late on Friday and we convened an emergency meeting the next morning at the speedway. TMS offered two alternatives to us: (1) postpone the Pate Swap Meet yet again, or (2) temporarily move the swap-meet from the west side to the east side.
David rejected out of hand the postponement option and we immediately began planning the required move to determine if was possible in the short time that was left.
We left the meeting and did a walk-through of the proposed area. By Saturday evening, Bill Anderton had completed the fieldwork and made a Google Earth Project with the areas generally marked. Starting Sunday, Bill and his technical development team started making detailed drawings in the PateWorld GIS system to place every Vendor Space in the new area.
Bill established guidelines to keep the spaces and their relationships to their adjoining spaces intact (corner spaces would remain corner spaces and back-to-back spaces would remain back-to-back). As much as possible, he tried to move entire zones as a unit. It was not an easy objective to execute. As you will see on the map, although plenty of space is available, the east-side area consists of a patchwork quilt area rather than one contiguous space. Also, our traditional space on the west side of the Speedway is an arc and the west-side spaces are straight rectangles. All of these things contributed to the complexity of the relocation project.
Now the good news, we accomplished our objective as much as possible. We made the switch to the east side of TMS to be as least disruptive as possible.
And, for further good news, concurrent with this work, we were able to add more than 1,000 new expansion Vendor Spaces. We had to close online sales last weekend because we had sold all but ~400 space. With the move, we have been able to add these additional expansion spaces and pre-stage even more if needed.
The re-configure map is available to you in preview now. See https://pateswapmeet.com/spaces-preview
Please note that this is a private confidential preview. Please keep it secret until we announce everything in several hours. Currently, it is our intention to go live with the new layout and the additional spaces about (or before) midnight as soon as the supporting content can be finished. We'll go sooner if we can finish the announcements and their supporting information pages sooner.
A couple of things to note:
First, we're sure you have plenty of questions that are not addressed here, yet. Please stay tuned. New information will be added throughout the day tomorrow including a new video explaining the action. We have developed a set of "Talking Points" for various people at TMS and ourselves to provide guidance about how to talk about the move with the public. Please feel free to use these Talking Points as you see fit. Click here to download the PDF file.
Second, this decision was out of the hands of the Texas Motor Speedway and the Pate Swap Meet. We had no other options. TMS has been incredibly supportive throughout the whole process. They have also agreed to pick up the cost of this move. Plus, as early next week after we finish making our announcements, TMS is going to put out a national press release about our cooperation in this important move. By actively working together we have solidified and even enhanced our already-strong joint relationship.
Thirdly, we only had two options: (1) postpone until the Fall, or (2) move temporarily and keep our current dates and waiver. While less than ideal on this short notice, it beats the heck out of another postponement.
Fourthly, the new layout works very well. Purposely, on the Space Selector map, in addition to the Vendor Spaces, we are also showing all of the support areas in their relationship to the body of the swap-meet.
Finally, we have done a massive amount of work in the last week. The technical development team literally has worked 24x7 for the last week to make this happen. Yes, there is more work to do and more information will be made available tomorrow and throughout the coming week. We will be making the public announcement this evening so it is in people's inboxes when they wake up in the morning. Additional information will be released tomorrow and in the coming week.