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Author Topic: Why is Dayton in Dayton?  (Read 20661 times)
WA8KIW
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 09:48:20 AM »

It would be interesting to see where the center of ham population in the United States is.  Chances are that Dayton is within a few hundred miles of it.  Would I travel annually to NYC, WDC, Vegas, LA, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle or St. Louis for a like show-No.  Chicago-??

Yes the facilities are showing maintenance neglect from when I first attended the show over 30 years ago. And the Interstate roadwork the past couple years hasn't helped things.  A friend ended up with one of the crappy flea market spaces this year.  HARA ended up putting the yellow tape on his car and he couldn't move it.  I hope DARA does something to make it right.   WA8KIW
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AB8ZX
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2011, 10:15:26 AM »

I'm a Dayton native and I've been going to The Greatest Show On Earth since I was first licensed in 1985.

we had great weather this weekend and it seemed like once again, we had a great turn out.

the sewage situation on Saturday afternoon was unfortunate.

wow, you guys really don't like Hara. maybe it's because I'm a local (and have come to Hara for numerous concerts, sporting events, my high school prom, and other functions over the years) - but I LOVE Hara. I personally don't think a hamfest should be held at a pristine, state of the art facility.

I'd really hate to see this hamfest move elsewhere, Hara and Hamvention are one in the same to me.

This town also greatly benefits from the revenue Hamvention brings.

Dayton doesn't have a whole lot going on anymore, we need everything we can get here.
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2011, 10:42:10 AM »

Quote
I personally don't think a hamfest should be held at a pristine, state of the art facility.
Maybe not "prisine", but the bathroom facilities should at least be functional! 
I've been in restrooms in 100k fan Third World soccer stadiums that didn't smell
near as bad as those at Dayton.

Hara is a sewer that needed to be demolished long ago.
No thanks!
Ken   AD6KA
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W4OEQ
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Posts: 137




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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 04:49:03 PM »

Two of us drove from Tennessee to the Hara Arena and enjoyed being there.  Great exhibits and outside market.  Nice people.  Well organized.  We were in the outside area when the sewer went bad.  The resulting mess flowed across the wide lot in several places.  At first, people thought it was just water but then other stuff started floating under the tables, into boxes set on the pavement, etc.  Four major restrooms were closed until Sunday morning.  Oh, well, stuff happens.  More generally, the Hara Arena has passed its prime, and I wish a better site could be found.  This one is just too cramped inside, is difficult to navigate, and has inadequate facilities.  The Huntsville (AL), Dalton (GA), and Orlando hamfests don't seem to have these difficulties.  Tom, W4OEQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2011, 06:04:35 PM »

Two of us drove from Tennessee to the Hara Arena and enjoyed being there.  Great exhibits and outside market.  Nice people.  Well organized.  We were in the outside area when the sewer went bad.  The resulting mess flowed across the wide lot in several places.  At first, people thought it was just water but then other stuff started floating under the tables, into boxes set on the pavement, etc.  Four major restrooms were closed until Sunday morning.  Oh, well, stuff happens.  More generally, the Hara Arena has passed its prime, and I wish a better site could be found.  This one is just too cramped inside, is difficult to navigate, and has inadequate facilities.  The Huntsville (AL), Dalton (GA), and Orlando hamfests don't seem to have these difficulties.  Tom, W4OEQ

Hara has seen better days. Owners spent there investment money on a golf course next to it rather then upgrade complex many years ago. While I live north of Dayton area I think they should move it to Columbus fair grounds. Lot of room to grow there and indoors too.
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W8VZM
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2011, 05:48:05 AM »

I worked for the Hamvention in its' prime and it is a massive undertaking. Getting enough volunteers is nearly impossible. Moving it out of metro Dayton would not be logistically feasible for the club to keep it  That being said, IT NEEDS TO BE MOVED. If they don't move it somewhere else then somebody else will have the opportunity to grow their show each time Dayton has another "blowout" like this weekend.

What really has me thinking is DARA is posting glowing reviews of participation. The flea market was probably the worst I have seen in the last 10 years at least. The number of shoppers on Saturday was pitiful! Sunday the flea market should have never opened. Inside the crowd seemed smaller as I had no trouble navigating the exhibits, even around the high traffic exhibits! Speaking of which, where was Ramsey Electronics and Trylon Towers? Some of the other smaller vendors were missing also. They could move the show to another venue much easier if the eliminated the dust cloths, pet hair removers, etc from the inside areas. If I want one of those I will watch an infomercial!

In the end all I can say to DARA is MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!
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KR4BD
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Posts: 213




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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2011, 07:58:33 AM »

My first Hamvention was in 1975.  I lived in the Dayton area until early 1983 and am a former DARA member.  HARA Arena was a "wreck" back then.  I know the club has considered moving it from HARA, but the fact is there is no place in the Dayton area that could have it all located in ONE PLACE (New exhibits, flea market, forums, etc.).  I know they talked about a split site at one time where the indoor dealers would be at the Convention Center Downtown and the flea market a couple of miles away at the U.D. Arena parking lot.  But this solution presents even more problems.  There would need to be MUCH MORE BUSSING back and forth: PARKING downtown is limited, so where would everyone park???  ...Certainly NOT The Salem Mall? (many miles away from downtown meaning more tranportation issues)!! 

Even though HARA Arena is a real dump, it does offer most of what is needed to conduct a show as large as the Hamvention.  The backed-up sewer problem last weekend was unfortunate, but you really have to look at that event as an "Act of God".  HARA Arena could not have predicted such a problem.  That could have happened in a brand new convention facility!  And from what I heard, the HARA people quickly addressed and repaired the problem. 

As a former resident of the Dayton area, I can tell you that Hara Arena is a popular place for concerts, hockey games, and many other (smaller) trade shows.  Over the years, I've attended many outstanding model train shows, photography shows, etc. at HARA.  But of all these activities, the HAMvention is, by far, the biggest event held there each year.  It truly does stretch the limits of the facility.  It's been rumored for years that the place would be torn down, but it still exists because it does serve a purpose in the area.  I'm not defending the HARA Arena people.  They certainly could have invested more in upkeep over the years. 

Also keep in mind that the entire Dayton area has suffered, economically, in the last few years much more than many areas of the country.  This, of course, has not helped the situation. 

Even with all the problems, I look forward to attending HAMvention next year.  Remember, too, that all of the organization of HAMvention is done by UNPAID volunteers.  That's one reason why it still continues.  If you had a professional group run it in an adequate, more modern facility (which does not exist in the Dayton area), it would probably cost $50 per ticket, or more, for admission.  I am sure other groups would like to put on a MAJOR hamfest.  Many have tried and many have failed.  The amount of work and expenses involved are truly mind-boggling. 

Tom, KR4BD
Lexington, KY
(formerly WB8VMI, Englewood, OH)
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K3GM
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Posts: 1754




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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2011, 08:57:20 AM »

Tom, you bring up some very good, very valid points.  But I would gladly fork over $30-$50 for an admission ticket if it included modern facilities with parking, some "breathing room" in the exhibition areas, a decent place to refresh and eat, along with an ample number of clean restrooms.  Discounting the facility, twenty bucks is a bargain for what Hamvention offers.  We pay fifteen bucks to attend the biennial New England ARRL Convention which is tiny by comparison.

So what you're saying basically is the future of Hamvention is predicated on the future of the Hara, and that the day they take a wrecking ball to that dump, will be the end of the Dayton Hamvention?  I can't believe that DARA isn't working on a plan "B" considering the current state of the host facilities.

Dayton Convention Center? A college campus? Any Wright-Patt facilities available? Dayton Airport Expo Center?

« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 08:59:25 AM by K3GM » Logged
W8VZM
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2011, 09:31:26 AM »

I agree totally!

I will pay a bit more for a Premier event at a better location! Hara's survival is more likely predicated on the Hamvention. But I am sure that Hara can't afford the needed major upgrades just for Hamvention. I applaud the effort that DARA has made to keep the prices down but a little bit more for a better location is not out of the question. And yes other groups have tried but the attendees were not ready for a move. After this weekend I bet vendors and attendees both are "ripening" on the idea.

It will be a combination of many factors that will drive the change of venue or the demise of the Hamvention, not the least of which is Hara's condition (economy, gas prices, vendor viability, population shift, qty of hams, interest of non-hams, etc). For me continuing Hamvention attendance is not in question, I just wish it was in a nicer place. I also have many fond memories of Hara from my youth and young adulthood (both ham and non-ham).

Hara now is like the FM to AM converter that my girlfriend bought in the flea market this weekend. It is great to remember, It might even function, but as far as performance it is way below what is needed!

Ron W8VZM
Back in Springfield, OH
(Formerly KA8DRS, New Carlisle)
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KF7CG
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Posts: 796




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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2011, 10:54:11 AM »

I used to live near Dayton and visited the Dayton Hamvention yearly back about 10 years ago. Hara was not great then nor was it all that great 15 years earlier than that. I don't know about the lodging 10 years ago as the Hamvention was only a 30 minute drive.

I don't know about now, but at the time I was in the area Columbus was Ham hostile. Oh, the liked the volunteer help in some areas, others wanted CBers. The Salem Mall was going down hill too, even then. That still didn't cause some problems with getting bus service and parking permission for the Hamvention one year.

Another reason for Dayton at Dayton is the historical availability of surplussed military electronics that use to be the norm in Dayton.

Dayton was moderately Ham friendly. Columbus: Here is a sample of a "normal" deed restriction of 12 years ago. "No amateur radio antennas for either receiving or transmitting shall be maintained on the property; including disguised antenna." This was common boilerplate in most subdivision deed restrictions and was encouraged by local zoning boards. So DARA might have building problems.

Wish I could have made the Hamvention this year.

KF7CG now near Nashville, formerly of Mechanicsburg (outside of town). Worked in Columbus.

KF7CG
David
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KD4EBL
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Posts: 71




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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2011, 11:50:21 AM »

As a first time attendee, I echo what others have already said previously. I will say as a 20 year HAM, HARA is not a good reflection as the premier event of our hobby. I expected more then lipstick on a pig. That being said, I will come back next year, I will not be selling in the flea market, I will bring some of my own food to HARA and will be looking forward to it.

Hey Dayton and OHIO WAKE UP! This is a major event for the local businesses, support this fest by helping DARA out. Think of 10-20K visitors NOT coming to your area.

4 nights in a hotel   $450 after tax (my hotel was sold out)
Meals and drinks     $300 after tax
Other purchases with local business $400 (inc State Tax)
Airport fees, rental car fees, etc etc....
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W8JX
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Posts: 5319




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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2011, 04:12:47 PM »

Hara kinda doomed future growth of Hara when they built golf course around it (Like they really needed it.) On sewage line collapsing, complex is over 50 years old and the old clay tile pipes used back then have a nasty habit of failing when they get that old so it is kinda foreseen that you need to do upgrades to stay viable. Also when buses roll in and out you can watch the old parking lot flex like a sponge under wheels. I remember hearing about DARA getting stuck with a bill to repair Hara parking lot from bus traffic to the tune of a few hundred grand many years ago. And while on the subject of DARA, I have long taken exception with the way they conduct their drawings for main prizes. While I could not actually see them do it this year from where I was at (but I am sure they did still) they have for many year just grabbed a big handful of tickets for drum one time and use those for all the picks.  There is no "everyone gets same chance" to get picked because once handful is out, the ticket barrel is DOA for rest of drawing. If you are lucky enough to be in that handful then you get picked otherwise you are SOL on chances for main prizes. They should pick one ticket at a time for drawing and do it right and give all a even chance. Sure it is a big undertaking to put show on but it is their old ways of doing things along with using old and out dated facility that together is killing show. Unless they change their way and move it too it is just a question of time before some other city over takes it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 07:52:33 AM by W8JX » Logged

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W9RKK
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2011, 10:14:28 AM »

Dayton hamvention was great. Well attended and put together.

The facilities were another matter.  Hara Arena upkeep has been lacking for years and it shows. Besides gushing raw sewage incident, I noticed exposed ceiling insulation hanging over the presenter’s head in Room 1. There was roof water damage evident in many places. The bathrooms were terrible. What’s up with the 1950’s sinks with separate hot and cold faucets? They need to fire the food services vendors and get new ones. The food was that bad.
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K3GM
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« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2011, 10:45:56 AM »

Bob, I have to take some exception to your comment regarding the food. ;-)  I don't know about the inside vendors, but Hamvention wouldn't be Hamvention without consuming several of those pale grey bratwurst sandwiches that are grilled on the charcoal cookers outside. Is it actually meat...? By 1PM on Friday, I'm so hungry, my culinary standards are at a yearly low! .....and doncha love the smell of smoldering charcoal wafting across the parking lot at dawn.  I don't care much for the odor of the candied almonds that are sold inside.  After a few hours inside, that smell is pushed so far up my nostrils that I'm home and back to work before it goes away.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 01:39:14 PM by K3GM » Logged
KR4BD
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Posts: 213




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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2011, 11:13:10 AM »

Most, if not all, of the food service at Hamvention is provided by non-profit groups like church groups, private schools, and fraternal groups.  Some of it is quite good while some of it isn't.  I have found that the grilled items in the flea market are usually quite good.  When it comes to food, we all have our own standards, I guess.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 12:30:21 PM by KR4BD » Logged
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