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Author Topic: Williams Hamfest  (Read 4457 times)

Posts: 62

« on: July 04, 2004, 07:23:17 PM »

Did anyone else make it to the Williams(AZ) Hamfest? If so, what did you think of it? This was only the third hamfest I have been to but I was rather dissapointed. I was there Saturday and I think they had less than 25% of the venders spaces occupied. Most of it was set up in a dirt parking area so dust was a problem as well. I hope next year is better.

Posts: 414


« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2004, 05:21:16 PM »

When I went to the ARRL convention in Scottsdale in 2000, I kept hearing phrases like, "You should have seen what it was like at Fort Tuthill!"  Being that the Fort Tuthill event had only been some 2 months before this one.

So I went to last years' Fort Tuthill hamfest. Little did I know it might be the last one there.

Depending on how well this one in Williams went over (ie, farther from Phoenix, it's on the 4th of July weekend so the family might want to do something else, and it's an unknown venue), I wonder if everyone went away saying, "This was nothing like Fort Tuthill."

I wonder if this will echo around the upcoming ARRL convention that's coming up soon in the Phoenix area.

Please tell us - how was it? A deserted dustbowl?

Posts: 4

« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2004, 12:59:20 AM »

I liked the new location and see that it has a lot of potential to get even better.

Here is what I liked about Williams.
1) Because the owners/operators of the fair grounds did not charge ARCA an arm and a leg to use the area, more money will be left over to pump back into local ham clubs and other Arizona ham activities.

2) Very warm small town attitude. The town and business really appreciated us being there. Very different attitude than from Tuthill.  

3) Cheaper than Flag for visitors to attend and to stay at.

4) Lots of great places to eat at just 5 minutes from the hamfest. My family ate at 3 different places and each was great.

5) Still up in the cool pines.  Still near a major interstate. Still has fun other things to do nearby.

6) Room to grow the hamfest.

What I did not like.

1) The dust. But that is solvable.

2) Insufficient number of multipurpose rooms for demos and talks.

2) Ham tailgaters packing up to leave by 1200 noon on Saturday. Come on outside sellers; stay around till Sunday at noon before leaving. Hang out, talk, go to forums. Help create a fun environment.  

Mark in Oro Valley


Posts: 1


« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2004, 09:59:26 AM »

With any new hamfest location there will be some pro's and con's. So here are mine.

Con's; Dusty, our group camp was 4 miles away so we rode bikes and took the dog. The dog didn't handle the walk well due to the (ash) used on the road surface making it sharp on the dogs pads. The big guns (HRO,Icom) weren't there due to the 4th of July holiday but we knew this up front.

Pro's; Nice campground, better than Tuthill. Friendly small town. Lots of activities. Cool nite air, Cleaner than Tuthill, hamming at the campground. Just a nice small town attitude.

Tuthill was a dying location. The county didn't give a hoot about the facilities, ripped out the showers because they weren't ADA compliant and started charging an arm and a leg, even for electrical outlets. Now as we complain about the dust at Williams I seem to recall the back lot at Tuthill as being dusty also. So with time it will be improved.
I talked to an elderly ham at Williams and he said he had been doing the hamfests for 37 years. When it moved from a previous location to Tuthill it took several years for it to catch on. In his opinion it would take several years and Williams will also catch on. So the way I look at the hamfest is this. At Tuthill people complained, about everything from entrance fee's to the bathrooms. At Williams people complained, no big guns, dust. So do we just like to complain?
73 Dave

Posts: 25

« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2004, 03:11:39 PM »

I attended Tuthill last year and I was impressed. So this year I drove ~ 860 miles one way to attend. In general I was disappointed. Will I be back. No the new dates is my XYLs birthday.

The pros: Some bargains. The Nice “little” town of Williams. The excitement of the gawkers crash right out of the grounds. The line of emergency vehicles at a sellers table.
The “good” food at the concession stand. The unhurried pace. The real cowboys. Seeing friends from other swap meets. Being outside and not smelling those with bad bathing habits. No crowd control buying/selling started at dawn.

The Cons: The dust and dirt (road apples) .  The seller that slept in till late. The lack of new  buyers and sellers on Saturday. The date. The $300 Hallicrafters S-38 that was scratched and rusty. The older lady who broke her leg. The more than E-Bay / pawn shop price sellers. The sellers who resented bargaining. The smell of the stables. No crowd control, The “Christian” buyer who was crawling inside sellers vehicles before they were set up and trying to buy the radios the seller was using in their car as well as everything else they had. The poor attendance of both buyers and sellers. Not enough junk / stuff sellers.

I attend a fair number of hamfests as well a large number of garage sales. I see three types of sellers. Those who are out to make a lot of money, those who want to get rid of stuff and those that don't have a clue. Those who are out to make a lot of money generally wind up the day with almost as much stuff as they started with. Those who want to get rid of their stuff generally sell most of it and can make a fair amount of money. Those with out a clue either wind up selling very little or get taken for a ride.

Williams seemed to have a lot of folks who were out to make a lot of money. Those that wanted to sell stuff did so and then left. Late Saturday was mostly those who were out to make a lot of money.

A comment about stuff/junk. If you a need a widget for the rare framis you have swap meets can be a good place to find them. Finding a buyer for the box of  thingies that you have may take a couple of swap meets but when buyer meets seller of stuff many a boatanchor winds up back on the air so bring your stuff and even that bunch of gas masks.
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