Copyright 2018 by Andrew Reid - BendTrack    All Rights reserved    E-Mail: andrew@bendtrack.com
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Temporary Layout Space
          Joe Muskin sends this tip our way as an idea for modular groups to get some free or cheap layout display space. His message is below, then we've added a few points of our own further down the page.
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          An interesting idea to get some free temporary layout space is to contact the management of a mall with some vacant store space. The Lincoln N-Scalers did this with East Park Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska ...the following describes some of the details of the arrangement and some tips on getting the mall management to go for it.

          Christmas and model trains just seem to go together. Therefore, the best time of year to try to set this up is in the fall for the Christmas season. The time commitment was pretty heavy, but this was required to get the mall to agree to give up free space. The club was responsible for having the layout available to the public Tuesday and Thursday night, as well as the weekends while the mall was open. Although the mall didn't lose any rent (the place was vacant anyway), they did have to pay for lights, heat, and so on. They wanted to get some extensive use of their "investment"
          One very important selling point of the whole idea was that the club could and would vacate the store on very short notice if a paying tenant was suddenly found. The portability and quick tear down of a modular system was very important to the mall, and needs to be stressed as to how this differs from a traditional permanent layout.

          The mall allowed the club to be in the space any other time, including late nights. The store had a separate back entrance and the club was given a key. They did ask that if there was obvious activity on the layout while the mall was open even if the club wasn't scheduled to be open, to please let the public in as a courtesy. However, the club wasn't required to do this.
          The club was responsible for keeping the store clean, as any tenant would be. The club was also responsible for shutting off the lights, locking the store doors, and keeping everything in order. This was reasonable as it was expected of all tenants.

          The mall did let the club stay around after the Christmas season with a much reduced schedule of open times; a few hours on the weekend. This was an arrangement that benefited all, the club, the mall, and the public. It might be worth a little effort. Give it a try!
          Since this tip was originally published, the number of modular groups setting up in "non-train locations" has been increasing. We've seen a couple of N-scale BendTrack Groups become almost permanent fixtures in their temporary mall locations, and around the holidays, we've found modular layouts (both HO & N-scale) everywhere from Malls to Museums and Community Centers to Car Dealerships! Clearly, we're not the only ones who think Trains and Christmas go well together!

          If this is something your group is considering doing, we encourage it. As with any public event, make sure you are aware of what you're getting involved with. It's wise to check and see if the mall has security, insurance, etc...also, make sure both parities are happy with the commitment. We've heard some stories from groups who lost members because of "unreasonable" expectations of either the group or the host venue.
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Temporary Layout Space
          An interesting idea to get some free temporary layout space is to contact the management of a mall with some vacant store space. The Lincoln N-Scalers did this with East Park Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska ...the following describes some of the details of the arrangement and some tips on getting the mall management to go for it.

          Christmas and model trains just seem to go together. Therefore, the best time of year to try to set this up is in the fall for the Christmas season. The time commitment was pretty heavy, but this was required to get the mall to agree to give up free space. The club was responsible for having the layout available to the public Tuesday and Thursday night, as well as the weekends while the mall was open. Although the mall didn't lose any rent (the place was vacant anyway), they did have to pay for lights, heat, and so on. They wanted to get some extensive use of their "investment"
          One very important selling point of the whole idea was that the club could and would vacate the store on very short notice if a paying tenant was suddenly found. The portability and quick tear down of a modular system was very important to the mall, and needs to be stressed as to how this differs from a traditional permanent layout.

          The mall allowed the club to be in the space any other time, including late nights. The store had a separate back entrance and the club was given a key. They did ask that if there was obvious activity on the layout while the mall was open even if the club wasn't scheduled to be open, to please let the public in as a courtesy. However, the club wasn't required to do this.
          The club was responsible for keeping the store clean, as any tenant would be. The club was also responsible for shutting off the lights, locking the store doors, and keeping everything in order. This was reasonable as it was expected of all tenants.

          The mall did let the club stay around after the Christmas season with a much reduced schedule of open times; a few hours on the weekend. This was an arrangement that benefited all, the club, the mall, and the public. It might be worth a little effort. Give it a try!
Copyright 2018 by Andrew Reid - BendTrack
All Rights reserved
E-Mail: andrew@bendtrack.com
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