Hamvention 2017 announced - Greene County Ohio Fair and Exposition Center

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New location announced....about 22 miles east of Hara.   Maybe some from the Dayton area can provide comments about the new venue and how it compares.

More information here:

http://hamvention.org/hamvention-announces-venue-for-2017/



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Al / NN4ZZ

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Posted 2 years ago

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Al / NN4ZZ

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And a link to the Greene County web page here:

http://www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com/index

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Perfect Place for Hams.. with the Pigs, Cows, Chickens and Rabbits

Albeit from the pictures it really does not look like much of an upgrade from Hara Arena..

Looks like more pathetic Rust Belt Blight and it really does not look particularly large enough

http://www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com/rental-facilities 


Really wish they had moved it to a real city with an International Airport


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K5FM

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Why would  DARA want to have a event that brings $17-20 million in revenue  to the Dayton area anywhere but Dayton?
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Bill W2PKY

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a quote from a ham close by "Mud City....I can't imagine Hamvention here....bring your boots!
"
(Edited)
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Lewis Cheek

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All most any place is improvement over Hara, however this location may well be last nail driven into
a dying Hamvention.

Lew
N4CO
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Bill W2PKY

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YES!!!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Sort of looks like the Yuma Hamfest Location without A/C.

Even more likely we will now go to Hamcation instead
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Agree, it doesn't sound like a top notch venue but maybe someone familiar with it can comment further.  I went ahead a reserved a room (refundable rate) in the area before they fill up and/or rates go up.  

This is the closest Marriott chain hotel about 10 miles from the grounds.  



Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Bill W2PKY

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Mud City....I can't imagine Hamvention here....
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Michael Coslo

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Ach, well the upside is I'll have more time to save up money for Orlando. I would spend at least a few thou at Dayton for transportation, Room and food, before I even bought anything. 
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Lewis Cheek

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I did a Google Earth view, lots of open space, but dirt, not pavement. Don't know how well that will
be with 3 days of 25,000 people. I remember those days, when tractors were needed to get cars out.

Lew
N4CO
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Here is a summary of comments from my CA friends

 "  - More than 30 miles from the airport. 

I like their quote: "the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention® 2017 should not be affected".


  " - I also like the description of each building includes the word "pens".

http://www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com/rental-facilities 

Indoor Space looks much smaller than Hara.. NO A/C and animal excrement soaked floors"


- "No pavement for parking which will be a nightmare"


- "I can now understand why they stalled leaving Hazmat Hara so long as the alternative looks to be even worse."


"Can Someone please put the Premier Ham Radio show into a real city with a real convention center

I can only hope the new Dayton Fails quickly and something like Hamcation replaces it..."



Bottom Line:  As much as we cheered the demise of Hara the new Dayton venue does not look to be much better and on the surface seems worse...

I continue the saying "ANYWHERE BUT DAYTON"


Too Bad Friedrichshafen is in July 2017...

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Thought I would post this comment from K6BK


"Howard, Is this a late QST April Fools joke?  The Greene County Fairgrounds is made for displaying livestock midwest farmer style, not a modern world-class convention center suitable for the international range of amateur radio... it’s not even a Podunk Town convention center!  

 The ARRL seems to be permanently locked into the Dayton ham club’s boondoggle of “free” event support. And apparently those locals won’t mind the whole place smelling like cow, pig, and chicken poop from the previous Agricultural Society farm animal show! But I guess it's the best the area has to offer for a provincial club like that, but it will simply continue the Dayton tradition of embarrassment for hams all over the USA and the world.

I really had hoped for much better... as you said, in a real city with an international airport. I have been to Dayton 6 or 8 times (?) with you and Rob... actually on my first trip it was only the 3 of us and Jackson. The years are just a blur now, of all the same ham radio stuff, but with the facility deteriorating more each time. So I’m just counting up all the Begali keys and other gear I bought each year.

 We thought Dayton couldn’t get any worse after the sewer burst into the flea market... that amazing brown artesian fountain, but now it seems there is no limit to Hamvention mediocrity. I would have gone again if the venue was moved to a real convention center. But sorry, I will not go to this.  73 Mitch K6BK   "


Mitch says it so much better than I do...

Time to "Make Hamvention's Great Again by Ditching Dayton"

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Quick math says the new facility has about half of the square feet (~80,000) of indoor space compared to Hara (~160,000 per wiki) and Hara was full of vendors.

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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A couple of people asked off line why I am so bothered about the new venue

I am a true Hamfest Junkie... I first went to Dayton in 1961 and have been there more than 35+ times... In the 60's and 70's I went to a Hamfest almost every weekend..

Why.. I love to meet other hams I have worked on the air and swap stories face to face.

As my business interests expanded worldwide, I started to go to Friedrichshafen and Tokyo regularly as well as a myriad of other very small shows in various countries... really fun way to meet new drinking buddies... I have made a huge number of DX friends this way...many of who have stayed with us when they visited the USA and vice versa.

For the last 10 years or so, I have organized a group trip to Dayton from San Diego.. this year we had 15 in our group.

Dayton was the premier world class fair.. I can remember in the mid 1970's attendances around 50,000 ... but now it has deteriorated so much .. the facility had become a nightmare and the city a prime example of American Rust Belt Blight.  The organizers had little motivation to move as the venue was cheap and they made a very nice profit each year.  It was a cash cow that enabled members of DARA to have free Junkets around the world to "Advertise Dayton"   You would be amazed at the number of DARA executives you find in bars at Hamfests around the world..


So I was really thrilled to hear that they were abandoning Hara

I had visions of them actually moving it to a real convention center in a real city with a real airport.


But.. unfortunately they thought small.. or maybe greed still prevailed.... moving it to a stockyard...

I can only hope it dies soon so that someplace that "Americans can be Proud of" takes the mantle of the premier Hamvention..

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@SteveJ

At Drinks at Friedrichshafen over the past few years, the DARA Executives confessed that they netted about $750,000 annually from Dayton which funded their various junkets around the world... amazing how much people talk after a 1/2 dozen beers..

Pretty Obvious you have never been to Hamfests outside of the USA ... most of them are held in MODERN CONVENTION CENTERS not in converted stockyards..

Even International DX Convention in tiny Visalia CA is in a real convention center.

In some Third World Countries I have had the privilege of attending Hamfests, the Facilities are always better than Dayton... they may be much smaller but the Ham have pride in their countries and how they look to the outside world...

As an American I am ashamed that Dayton is our Premier Event.

Friedrichshafen - which has spectacular convention facilities and an equally gorgeous city - had more than 18,000 attendees and Tokyo Hamfest has more than 37,000...

Ever wonder why the "Big 3" now announce their new offerings at Tokyo... because Dayton is so second rate...

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SteveJ

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Just like many hams I have never been to hamfests outside of the USA.  Some of us just do not have the funds to do that so we have to stay stateside. If you are ashamed of Dayton then maybe with all your knowledge of other hamfests you can take over Dayton or start a replacement to Dayton somewhere else.

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Thanks for the offer... 10 years ago it might have been tempting..

Been retired for almost 5 years now.. no great desire to start yet another career and XYL expects that we continue to travel as long as we still physically can...

I still have 73 more countries to remote FROM to make the first Remoting DXCC

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Doug Hall

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I can remember in the mid 1970's attendances around 50,000 ...
At the Dayton Hamvention? According to the ARRL Hamvention attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669, before the 1996 change in date from April to May.

-Doug K4DSP
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Actually there are no published statistics prior to about 1991 so the ARRL peak of 33,679 in 1993 is a best guess of the numbers they had. But I and several of my friends who attended with me in the 1970's clearly recall crowds in excess of 40,000 and peaking about 50,000 in 1975

http://hamgallery.com/gallery/D/hamve...
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Mike W9OJ

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Coastal elites vs flyover folk.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Cincinnati has a real convention center

So does Indianapolis

Both have real airports, hotels. etc.


Last I heard they were part of the Flyover Zone

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Bill W2PKY

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I heard it takes over 500 volunteers to run that event; Seems hard to believe it s going far from Dayton!
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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The Indiana United Methodist Conference holds their three or four-day gathering at the Indianapolis Convention Center- in a small part of it. There are about 2000-2500 delegates It is a wonderful venue downtown, next to Lucas Stadium (Colts football... The House That Manning Built).

Lots of hotels in the area within walking distance. Many give block discounts for convention attendees. This year I stayed at the Hilton for $129/nite plus taxes and fees. It was about 5 blocks away. But free parking. Some other hotels charged $14-$24 per night for parking. There is a large lot at Lucas Oil Stadium for less money for daytime only use.

One problem is that it is heavily scheduled and tough to carve out a new slot in all or part of the venue. They had at least four events at the same time when we were there June 8-10.

The fairgrounds for the 2017 Hamvention MAY be a temporary solution until another option opens up. Unfortunately I doubt it will be Indy. But I would love it!
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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This site selection is in so many ways the start of the Hamvention death throws.

Non-climate controlled agricultural expo buildings? And half as much space?

Mud city for parking/logistics?

Moving from a third tier local to rural nowhere?

This just isn't going to make it.

This is implementing an emergency fallback plan if the Hara had become unusable in the run up to Hamvention, and is not a viable replacement venue.

73

Steve
K9ZW
(Edited)
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Rick - N4RZ

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The Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville can easily handle the entire Hamvention including the flea market inside eliminating weather issues.   The location is less than a mile from the airport and is has multiple expressway exits which can access the facility.  There is plenty of paved parking, so no walking through fields of mud on days when it rains to get to your car or waiting in long lines to catch a bus back to the Salem Mall. The ARRL National Convention was held here back in the 80's in the West Wing only and had well over 5,000 attendees and the entire hamfest did not even fill half of that wing. The South Wing is much nicer and contains 425,000 square feet which should be all the Hamvention would need even at its peak of a little over 30,000 attendees.  If more space were ever needed, they could add the East Hall and North Wing for over 250,000 additional square feet.  In May, we have the Kentucky Derby a few weeks before the Hamvention with over 150,000 attendees, so there are plenty of hotel rooms for Hamvention attendees, several within easy walking distance to the facility.   As an added attraction Churchill Downs is open during the whole month of May for attendees who like to gamble in other ways than just on purchasing items in the flea market.  Indianapolis and Columbus also have major exposition centers used for their respective state fairs which might be acceptable as well, but I don't think they have as much space available under one roof.  Scheduling may be an issue in Louisville, the same as with the facilities in the other larger cities in this part of the country.  

So there are facilities available in this part of the country, but I believe DARA's decision is being based on the desire to keep the convention close to home and that may end up sealing the fate of this wonderful hamfest.
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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There is always HAM-COM
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K5FM

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I attended Ham-Com every year it was in Arlington, it is now a mere shadow of what  once was, it seems like if a hamfest is moved to a new location it dies!
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James Whiteway

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It's in Irving now and in a good location. In fact it's better than the location in Plano. But, you are right, not like it was in Arlington.
The outdoor area is not great at the new location. Just a grass field. Vendors outside got rained out early on.
Inside was fine, I think tailgating in general is fading away. Ebay etc is killing that to a degree.
James
WD5GWY
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Chris DL5NAM

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Larry - WA7LZO

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I heard Seattle is high on the list for 2018.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Well, it's the *Dayton* Hamvention (registered trademark). DARA's self-interest is to propagate their event... Not to find a new city to host the major hamfest in the US. That means finding space in or around Dayton... I'm not sure why the Dayton Convnetion Center wouldn't be a candidate (it looks very nice)... Though they'd have to allocate outdoor space at another location, I suppose.

It's sad. I've never been to Hamvemtion... I was hoping we'd see a nice, new, venue. So much for that idea. I like an agricultural fair as much as the next guy, but...

Peter
K1PGV
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hamvention Webmaster Committee member Jeff Davis, KE9V gives  a tour of Hamvention's new home:

https://ke9v.net/2016/08/03/hamvention-the-fairgrounds/


Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  

al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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"Challenge" is the word it seems.

One wonders what the attendance will be after hams (and vendors) do a cost/benefit analysis with the inclusion of risk?

If a Vendor will you put the same sort of resources into an Agro-Expo rurally sited (not to mention the very different facilities)? 

As an attendee is this a good bet on taking a couple days off, spending the day each way on the road driving, and the costs? 

Actually what will be the cost in time & money?  Would one end up staying near the new countryside fairground location somehow or have an hour - give or take - in the morning and evening to commute in from somewhere with viable hotel/restaurant availability?

Typical events at an Agro-Expo grounds tend to have a lot of attendees to who live close enough to be home each night.  And as Jeff KE9V mentions as a result of typical crowd demographics the entry fees are modest. 

Hey, in the end it is DARA's decision what they want to do and offer the Ham Community.  They are the ones who have to balance dozens of major issues and thousands of details.  It is their call what the event offering is.

As Attendees (and Vendors) our vote and input comes later - we decide if we will spend the money, commit the time and make the efforts to attend or not.

Personally I can envision myself attending an alternate to DARA's Hamvention for each of the reasons mentioned above.  The XYL and I dropped in at Hamcation this year which left a very positive impression and most likely will do Hamcon for 2017. 

YMMV of course but I would say if I were a Vendor I'd be thinking about whether a footprint presence at County Fair Hamvention 2017 would be an adequate investment or if I would put a convention center grade display and staff booth in a cow shed? 

73

Steve K9ZW



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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I guess I am just spoilt by Friedrichshafen, Tokyo Ham Fair and Visalia DX Convention which are held in modern Convention Centrrs. Not in stockyards

Frierdichaahafen has its flea market in its own veryLARGE room in the Center. More than adequate forum rooms. And loads of space for ham clubs.

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Ham Nation video 259 was recorded yesterday and has about 30 minutes on the new venue with two of the hams in charge.    Some of the plans are discussed as well as feedback from one of the large vendors that visited the site. .  Some examples:  The swapmeet is going to be in the infield of the track.   Another mention was they will have room for about 180 RV hookups, etc.  

Hamvention discussion starts at about 4:00 and continues to about 35:00

https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation/episodes/259?autostart=false

Sounds like there is still much left to decide.  And although the weather wasn't discussed, getting between buildings, the swapmeet area,  and parking could be an issue if it rains.  Which seems to happen often during Hamvention.  

Anyway if you are interested, this is worth watching to learn a little more about what to expect.  
 
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I spoke to the Orlando HamCation chairman last night he says he wishes them good luck with their new venue. From Central Florida bring the wife and kids let them go to the attractions why you to to HamCation.  
http://www.hamcation.com/
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km9r.mike

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New site does not seem elderly mobility friendly as well. Well it was a good run for them.
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K5FM

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It has become easy to see why DARA waited until the last possible moment to abandon the rapidly decaying Hara, there doesn't seem to be any facility in the Dayton area that offers the same features and capacity. Some have the vendor space, but inadequate flea market and vis-versa, then there is parking, ease of access to main roads, and as you have added mobility for those physically challenged. 50 years as the greatest hamfest in the world is probably a lot more than anyone sould have expected.

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