The Rathskeller is like your favorite pair of old slippers. They are so comfortable that once you slip them on, you just want to sit back and relax. And that sums the Skeller up, once you get to it, you just want to sit back and relax.
It’s this comfortable old feeling that actually caused me to change the Crawl routing last year. Our original route called for us to start out on the east end of town (Hooters/Kildare’s) and finish on the west end (Cafe 210). As the crowds got bigger, however, they got more difficult to shepherd. When the Crawlers numbered around 50 or so, I could get everyone up and moving. As the crowd grew to the hundreds however, it took on a mind of its own and I could no longer get folk moving. The Skeller seem to be about where I would lose control. People would get there and comfortable settle into the nice old slipper mode. While that was fine for the Crawlers, it also meant the places on the west end of town were getting short-changed.
So, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
It occurred to me that I ought to take advantage of this old comfortable feeling. Rather than try to herd people out of the Skeller, let’s just herd them to it. So now we start on both ends of town and eventually congregate in the middle. That also helps with the problem that we were just getting too big, we were swamping the bars. So now, instead of trying to rush through the bars in 30 minutes or so, we can group the bars, allow people an hour with each group of bars, where they can relax in one bar or hit multiple, then move on to the next group after an hour. That approach puts both groups smack dab in the middle of town around the 11-12 hour. From then on, they are free to mingle anywhere. This approach will let us take over the entire central downtown bar scene and will continue to allow us to grow every year.
So if you make it to the Skeller and it starts to feel like that comfortable old pair of slippers, by all means, sit back on relax. On the other hand, if you still have the spirit of adventure in you, gather up your elves and move on to the other end of town and find out what’s going on at that end.