Hamvention Sunday -The Long Road Home – Dayton 2009 post 8

Finishing packing up and reading for the trip home.

Spent some time on Google Map and the wide swing around Chicago idea looks to add more miles than we can possibly make up on just trading better roads for shorter miles. Thinking we will do it anyway, as hours of looking at 10 ft high roadside soundwalls lacks a lot of traveler’s appeal.

Staying at the Crown Plaza where our three functions were (Contest University, SWODXA DX Dinner and Contest Dinner) certainly has improved my experience, but at a cost.

The Hara Arena is a disaster. I saw one ham down in a serious trip & fall due, and during a forum say a ham drop from the lack of ventilation. Ceiling tiles so stained that they have turned shades of blackish-green with the mold that has taken hold abound. The remote Salem Mall parking lot will need a forester to clear the trees overgrowing parts of the lot if it is to be kept in use.

Sorry Ohio, but if the Hara was in my home state it is doubtful it could open to the public without being brought up to code. One wonders how they are able to insure it fir public use as it is, or maybe one should wonder what sort of insurance they do have?

Having basically completed my Contest University cycle of getting educated enough to get up to speed, I will be reflecting on if Dayton 2010 is in my personal cards, or if I will do something else. It may be time to do a Winter Escape to a warm weather show or perhaps catch one of the overseas shows.

In the Internet World an investment of 1/4 the time I’ve spent traveling for Dayton 2009 alone could get me up to speed on new products and offers. Most of the major vendors extend their “Dayton Special Offers” to their Internet sales for the duration of the show.

Perhaps if I was an avid Flea-Market person, or had a presentation to make, or had a product to promote.

Of course if any of my son’s want to experience a future Dayton I’ll be on it, as what father wouldn’t be!

Maybe it is the melancholy of hitting the road knowing that with the next morning I will be back in a busy work schedule is hitting me, but I can’t keep from wondering if my eldest son Tom KC9JGD wasn’t along if I would have pulled out after Friday touring the show floor?

More Dayton thoughts – more thoughts….



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5 thoughts on “Hamvention Sunday -The Long Road Home – Dayton 2009 post 8

  1. Jeff, KE9V says:

    Glad you survived the ordeal and wishing you safe travels for the journey home.

    Hara Arena is certainly showing her age, but then, what public building that old isn’t?

    I first attended Hamvention at Hara Arena in 1977, and took Brenda as a date since we only attended on Saturday. Can you imagine bringing a “date” to the Hamvention? Since that time, Brenda and I have been married almost thirty-one years – so the building is indeed an old one.

    It has done more than double duty as a hockey arena and rock and roll venue and the family that owns it would have loved to have sold it years ago when real estate was still a good investment and that was a hot-growing part of town. But they didn’t and now real estate has hit the skids.

    While everyone clamors for the convention to be moved to a more suitable venue, the reality is that the show is probably no longer large enough to afford three days in a major indoor convention center. And it probably never will be again.

    The days of the large amateur radio hamfest are waning for many of the reasons that you have pointed out – it just makes no economic sense to travel to a three-day show to purchase what could easily be bought online.

    Dayton Hamvention is rapidly disappearing and one day all we will have left are the memories of a grander time. I’m glad that you got a chance to experience it with your Son as we never know when that fateful announcement will come that the Dayton Hamvention is no more.

    And all hams should be able to say that they did it at least one time!

    73 es thanks for the reports and updates from Hamvention 2009.

    Jeff, KE9V

  2. AD7MI says:

    Steve – I really enjoyed your Hamvention posts… I think you had the best blog coverage out there. Although I am not an avid contester, Contest U sounds really interesting. Does Scott, NE1RD, have any 100 lbs DXpeditions planned in the near future? I will be very curious to get your impressions of the CW Machine. Glad to hear you had a great Hamvention and a safe trip.

    73 Scott AD7MI

  3. Fred, N8DV says:

    Hi Steve, I too attended yet another Hamvention. I have been going since 1983. I think the end is in sight for Hara Arena as the venue for the Hamvention. There are other exhibition sites in better shape than Hara. In 2007, the attendance was just over 17,000 I will be surprised if it breaks that number. Aww, the 30,000 plus days are gone. I would like to have seen more vendors but I image the tanking economy has hit hard. With the exception of the big three, Icom, Kenwood and Yaseu, not many more vendors. Oh well, there is always next year.

  4. Paul says:

    Contrary to the nay-sayers attendance this year was good.

    Paul who posted this, you need to leave your call sign before your comment will post.

    As a reminder the discussions in comments need to be attributed by at least call sign. However good your thoughts this isn’t the place for anonymous postings.

    BTW I don’t think I’ve mentioned attendance levels, only quality levels. Attendance (volume) in the lack of alternatives other than not attending a show is difficult to interpret, specially with opportunity costs, fuel costs and other factors.

    Email me or add another comment Paul with your call sign & I will get your thought out comment posted.



  5. Kuby N6JSX says:

    Steve nice to see you enslaved your son into carrying your load…. Your Contesting skills paid off well at W1AW/8. Next year drop by the QTH before migrating back toooo da frozen tundra…. Or better bring the XYL so our XYL’s can do whatever – I’m sure they will not HAM it up!.

    Even though Dayton 2008 had the best WX I’d ever seen the overall attendance was down in 2008. 2009 was much better attended both in the swap area and vendors, but still not as good as I’ve seen in the 2000’s. Saturday’s rain didn’t help as many flew the coup quickly making Sunday a dud.

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