Dayton Hamvention – R.I.P. ?

I recently posted in a discussion at the FlexRadio System community my thoughts, which I will share here. Reports are that attendance is off and importantly those hams who spend significant dollars are doing other events rather than Dayton.

The DARA or the HARA appear to have posted a sketch of what the updated HARA Center might someday look like, but that doesn’t correct the rest of the city.

Here is what I posted:


The “laws of the market place” are taking care of the Dayton as a hell-hole problem.

I planned Dayton 2015 as a favor to a dear friend and to visit relatives near Dayton, but had to cancel for “Eldercare” reasons a few days before – and couldn’t be happier!

For 2016 I’m planning one of the other events – debating between Hamcation and Ham-Com.

I have no intention of paying over the odds to stay in one of Dayton’s flea-bitten hotels.

I have no intention in dining out in Dayton where armed guards often are needed as bouncers.

I have no intention parking 20 minutes away in Dayton’s otherwise abandoned parking lot.

I have no intention spending the days in Dayton’s so-call exhibition center that isn’t fit for showing livestock.

Maybe People will change my mind, but Dayton as a destination is not someplace I’d regularly go unless I was being paid to do so.

Just a couple hours west to Indy would be an awesome move – the trade shows I’ve attended there were matched with enough quality to be a consideration.

A person has only so much time, so much money, and so much luck – Dayton doesn’t seem to be a decent return on the time, the money and the risks of hanging out in a dying example of urban decay simply are not worth it.

A recent article in the Economist talked about the issues of dying/shrinking cities, and to paraphrase said there is no reason to give CPR to road kill.  Tear it down and return it to nature.  The Hara and Dayton are doomed.



6 thoughts on “Dayton Hamvention – R.I.P. ?

  1. Dave K8DH says:

    Indy? Seriously? In May? You may be aware of another motel-grabbing activity in Indy in May, right?

    And I have a great time at Hamvention – I look at the electronics, not the venue. Don’t go to the damned bars if you don’t want to have to deal with armed guards. Got our motel for next year already in Troy, a Comfort, 2 rooms, senior process of $101 / nite (a single) and $107 / nite (2 of us.) Looking forward to it.

    • k9zw says:

      Hi Dave

      Nothing is sacred about May is we jettison the Dumpy Dayton destination.

      Wish it were only the bars with the armed guards. Actually I am amused in Dayton how many “less than discrete” concealed carry folk are about.

      You’re very smart running 25 miles north to bunk, as the in Dumpy Dayton pricing is obscene. Have a few years before I’ll qualify for the senior discount though…

      Curious if your XYL comes along? We like to travel together, which is one of the reasons Dayton doesn’t fly.

      And as I think you meant to point out – for each person YMMV.

      All best and 73


    • LEE SMITH KD2DRS says:

      I went there for the first time in 2015, planned a business trip around it to be there. I drove up the day before it started and couldn’t believe the 3rd world look to this supposed convention center. I’ve been to conventions in India—they look much, much better! Hey, I’m all about the electronics also but why oh why have it in a hell hole? I attended FDIM which was quite a few miles away at a hotel–no hell hole. What amazed me were some Hams that actually brought there wives there–OMG! Where do they take them when they go out to dinner? McDonalds? Wait, I don’t mean to put down McDonalds. The word is that D.A.R.A. has the most amazing gifts at their monthly meetings—does that sound like graft? Hmmh, yeah, maybe it does. How else could anyone say they would plan a seminal event for a hobby at the Hara s—hole!

  2. N8OHU says:

    DARA most likely won’t be the management of any show outside the Dayton area, so if someone wants to try to do a better show, for the same overall cost as Hamvention, they’re welcome to try. I’d rather see no show at all in May than one that’s even farther away and will likely cost two to three times what Hamvention does just to get in the door.

    • k9zw says:

      The non adaptiveness of the DARA group is both a virtue and reason enough they can go.

      Methinks if they were required to each host their XYLs with the same experience the average punter has – from the crap hotels charging double, park at the Salem Mall Ruins, no VIP rooms, toilets or by the door parking, that they might have never let things get so horrid.

      As for costs the ticket price is peanuts compared to my cost of travel, time away from my work and other expenses. I’ll gladly pay 4 times – maybe 10 times as much for a truly worthwhile experience.

      I hate to say it but the flea market and Chinese-HT budget crowd aren’t enough to float an event.

      I am also completely unwilling to spend four-five days (two in travel), foot hotel bill, fuel, food and vehicle costs to go shop for penny ante trinkets.

      When you spend time in seminars, watching folk fall over because of failed AC, with the gentle wafting of the backup up latrines floating down the hall, sitting on soiled carpet because not enough seats were planned… well we’re in eh realm where the on-line experience is so much better than the live version.

      Dumpy Dayton deserves to disappear. If that means DARA is out, so be it. If that means paying more for hygiene, fire safety, bathrooms that work and parking nearby, so be it.

      I guess I am looking for something more than spending a couple grand to spend a long weekend living like trailer trash. As mentioned YMMV, but I already see the $$$ migrating to other Ham Events like Hamcation, Ham-Con and the German show.

      Please be clear I am not advocating a Dayton boycott, rather I am sharing that I intend to spend my money & time where I can get the best ROI (Return On Investment) and easily the other whoop Hamvention hands down.



  3. John Torgan says:

    de KL0QD,

    Fully agree! 2015 will be my last Dayton – Hara and DARA are to blame. Their only interest
    seems to be max return for minimum investment. BTW, ask any vendor about their cost
    for a booth, less AC power!

    73 to all

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