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Rod run faces accommodation challenge

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The shortage of lodging options in Narrandera has presented a challenge for the Earlies Rod Run committee, with attendees facing difficulties in securing lodging.

With only one hotel, a handful of motels, and a few powered campsites, the lack of accommodation is not a new issue for Narrandera.

According to Rod Run organiser, Steven Alldrick, having booked out accommodation is bittersweet as it means people are set to attend the event but, on the other hand, it will mean others are going to miss out.

“Every single [accommodation] is booked out, I have phone calls daily asking us for help around somewhere to stay but there’s nowhere to stay which is a really good indication,” he said.

“However, that’s the killer, we’re at capacity at the moment… Unfortunately, some places are also starting to price gouge which is disappointing… their theory is if you don’t take it, then the next person will for $200 more.”

With limited options, Mr. Alldrick hopes the community can help in some way by either renting out their homes or granny flats if unoccupied or listing it on websites such as Airbnb.

“If people want to rent their homes out or list it with a real estate agent or Airbnb, it would be appreciated because we get phone calls every day and it’s frustrating to us because we want these people to come… and we have to disappoint them,” he said.

The Murrumbidgee Hotel is also set to open its doors again in April; however, it is unsure whether the rooms will be ready for stay in time for the Rod Run.

Outside of the accommodation conundrum, the committee is travelling well with all other preparations. They have been working closely with the local community and council to guarantee an equally fantastic weekend for both entrants and spectators.

This year is also another huge year with 400 entrants and 500 for the show and shine, which is around about the same as last year’s numbers.

Although the official program will be released closer to the date, it is certain the public part of the event will remain the vehicles to cruise the main street on Saturday from 4 to 9 and the show and shine happening from 10 till 3 on Sunday.

This year, entrants will be remaining in Narrandera on the Saturday rather than driving to surrounding areas and will be taken to view Narrandera sites such as the skywalk.

There will, however, be a public Show and Shine at the Whitton Malthouse where local car clubs will also gather to show off their vehicles.

It is already gearing up to be another spectacular Easter with more activities to be announced in the official program.

Local businesses have also shown up to support either in sponsorships or raffles or their presence on the actual day.

This year’s major sponsors include Narrandera Auto Wreckers, Capital Chemist Narrandera, Narrandera Ex Serviceman’s Club, Lake Talbot Tourist Park, Narrandera Bakery, Vinnies Fruitz, Shannon’s Insurance, Deluxe Rod Shop, TCR Carponents, and Narrandera Vintage and Collectors Club.

Other sponsors include Narrandera Signs, Narrandera Locksmith, Galvins Discount Variety Store, Sew Fab, Moses and Sons, The Italian Barber, Betta Home, Trims Collective, Country Flair, and the Lake Talbot Swimming Pool.

Mr Alldrick noted that their sponsors recognize the significance of the event to the community and its potential to benefit local businesses.

“We don’t need money from the businesses; it’s more just the support in the form of raffle prizes or donating things that can help them or different business hours or advertising their business hours… our entrants can’t go spend money with them if they’re shut,” he said.

“When people see the bigger picture it does really help and work… we’ve got longtime support from a lot of people and all these people, they have open arms and they get what [the Rod Run] means to Narrandera.” 

Narrandera Argus 15 February 2024

This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 15 February 2024.

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