Unfortunately I could only be there today since I have other less fun things to do tomorrow (moving) but it was great to meet some of you (Dwight) and seeing the regulars at Del Oro. I'm already looking forward to next year.
The attendance was clearly composed of 45 years plus -- maybe 35 years in some instances.
The children's layout did have three kids - with adults operating the controls also.
1- If attending at the opening bell, be sure to ask if the parking lot is full. Parking, $6, was being sold for the lot directly fronting the convention center when clearly the lot was full. After driving aimlessly among some twenty other cars, people were asked to park across the street. Time: 9:45 AM. Parking is assured across the street from the center.
2- On Saturday the 10 Freeway (San Bernardino), when driving east, was being worked on directly at the Vineyard Exit. The exit was not available. IF that is the case on Sunday, use the next exit (Archibald), exit south and take a right on Holt back towards Vineland. The convention center will be on your right.
There was definately an older crowd there today. We also had to go past Vineyard as it was closed for repair. If you are coming eastbound on Interstate 10, get off at Archibald. Turn right to Quasti. Proceed to Holt and turn left. Go about half a block to the patking entrance. We arrived about 10 am and parked in the lot away from the Convention Center. Plenty of parking at that time. We spoke with quite a few friends at MLS booth, Jonathan Bliese at Electric Model Works, Phil Dippel at Phil's Narrow Gauge and Cliff was a big help at Accucraft. Great layouts with Sundance Central, Del Oro Pacific and the Door Hollow guys. It was a good show.
Thanks for the great photos, Stan! Looks like a fun time was had by all.
I see what appears to be a small operating "layout" in the right back corner of the MLS booth. Any closer photos of that, or details on what it is and how it was constructed? I wouldn't mind building something like that for my home or office.
Blackburn and Wendell,
Not quite sure what you are meaning by no participants under 45 but I can assure you that is not true! I am 37 and I think I was very involved. Dave and Brenda Rhoton(Ozark Miniatures) had 2 of their children with them and helping with the booth. I saw 2 young girls promoting the sales of figures and dogs in the Upland Trains booth. Not to mention Grace Mejia(Tommy's daughter) and Travis Kelly(Mark's son) who I am sure had plenty of track time on the live steam layout.
This is just a sample of the many younger folks I saw at the show who were involved.
I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of "under 45" folks at the conventions or shows. It's not that we're not involved in the hobby, we just lack the finances and vacation time to make many trips over the course of the year. The Phoenix convention was very much predominantly the retired crowd. (Or was that Phoenix in general? ) If it weren't for the fact that I have family down in Tucson who had yet to meet Allison or Suzi--and this was a good excuse to get down there--we probably wouldn't have gone. Had my parents not been going down too, I know we wouldn't have bothered. There are too many other vacation destinations we'd like to check out to make attending a convention a primary travel consideration.
Truth is, I'm not sure I'll take my family to a convention for a few years. I spent so much time just keeping my eye on Suzi in the dealer hall that I never got a chance to go through like I really wanted to in order to ask questions and really see what was being offered. When I learn more about what the dealers had by reading the posts here than I did by physically walking through the halls, you know something's off-kilter.
Kevin, you got that right.. i never got a chance to speak with you in Arizona, though you cruised by at least twice. never got a chance to meet your Dad in person either, after so many emails over the years. i find this happening a lot where in I see faces and never get to talk to the people i recognize. A disconcerting trand , certainly. As for younger folks, i feel the number is fairly steady and some of the young ones knowledge is outstanding. I had a lad of about 11 or 12 purchase an AMS flat car. He was just jumping up and down saying" my FIRST AMS car". Made my day.
The age thing is not a new phenomena guys. I can remember way back when I used to dream about what Linn Wescott was running and the shows that he was attending. I could never see the day when I would be attending the BTS on the Queen Mary, or a NGRC in Phoenix. But, I do now................ And you know what? It was well worth the wait.