Boating LOTO a couple times a season, hate to say, I saw this thread rant coming. (not that I have special powers or crystal ball )
Sad LF sold out thier riders and fans to the commercial interests of Captain Ron's. Ron's does a great job with the Shootout and is a decent host location. But even with the protective "no wake" zone, too many wakes can roll in from boats coming down off plane, general boat traffic into Ron's and of course wind.
This all lead to unfavorable and unsafe riding conditions for the riders that make their living landing airal tricks every week. hurt = no ride = no money
The good/bad thing of LOTO is almost everything is developed which leads to everyone WANTING big events but the NIMBY syndrome sets in.
An early map and description had the event happening in a cove about a mile North of Captain Rons, I dont know what changed but a good bet would be either resident complaints or Ron's wanting high visibility.
State Park would be a great location but then they are far enough away from name sponsor locations that most would not fork over the $$$.
As for those bitching about BUI's. Welcome to LOTO, where you come on Vacation and leave on Probation
Actually it is not that hard to avoid BUI and much cheaper and easier to probate than other big time water bodies like Havasu. The guys back deck riding might as well have blood chum in the water. Same with making wake in "no wake" zones. Keep your nose clean of that and the chances of getting stopped go down dramtically.
The raft ups are definately not a case of LOTO boats inexperience or equipment. Check out the 1+mile double line that forms for Shootout, these boats know how to raft. Ever been to THE Party Cove? again decent raft lines even with the number visiting of amatures mixed in.
My experience, wake boats are one of the worst at having proper fenders and lines to raft or carry proper anchor/rode. Many wake boats do not have good or even any cleats to tie off. Add inexperienced operators that borrowed the family boat or are more concerned with the Party than tight lines. Top it off with the difficulity of mixing low free board sport boats with high free board cruisers. All this will lead to less than ideal raft lines.
As much as I love visiting LOTO, I hope Bro does not return in front of Ron's. There are many positives LOTO delivers including central location, plenty of houseboat, lodging, food and entertainment options and predictible water level.
Liquid Force needs to put water surface quality first when choosing a locaiton. Participating riders (including those that represent a long term investment in the LF brand) deserve a quality surface to showcase their talents and claim as elite professionals as well as perserve their long term health and ability to earn a living. Attendees expect quality performances and safety of their boats.
In LF's desire to take Bro commercial, sponsorship is important both from name sponsors as well as secondary displaying vendors and does make location more difficult than the days of Powell.
I hope there can be an acceptable compromise.