The worst-kept 'secret' in the OVMS has burst forth, and rumors are flying about the MAX Show. Some are TRUE, others not so much. Rather than let it swirl, Bill wants to catch up with the runaway wagon and keep it headed in the right direction. Why keep it a secret in the first place? Because from past experience, we know that some (or many) will hear that the MAX is moving and show up in the new location this year.
MAX 2019 IS STILL IN MONROEVILLE. As planned, as advertised. No need to change your plans, unless you planned not to attend, in which case please get that sorted out.
It was no secret that the OVMS was seriously considering moving the show even before they acquired it from MAX Promotions. The people running the Monroeville Convention Center are absolutely awesome! Couldn't find a nicer, more professional and helpful bunch of folks. The facility, though, has some serious limitations. Having the show spread across three different rooms is never ideal. There was not enough parking available, and load-in was a problem. Many alternative venues were considered, and several very serious attempts were made to gain admittance into other locations, but without success - blocked by gun show promoters who view the MAX as competition. That's not reality, in my opinion, but it doesn't matter - they successfully blocked the club from moving the show on more than one occasion.
A few weeks before 2018 MAX, we received word that an opportunity might open up at the UTZ Arena in York, PA. A delegation from the OVMS went over there on Monday following the show to check it out, and we were frankly blown away. The biggest building there is one large, well-lit, spacious facility with EASY load-in on level ground, great security, a special parking area for the dealers, and parking for all the customers in six counties. Facility management is awesome. There is no hotel attached to the property, but they are plentiful, and just a short (5-6 minute) drive away. Same for restaurants. Airport access with direct flights will be much better for our long-distance members as well - Harrisburg is about a half hour, and it is an hour's drive to BWI (Baltimore) - slightly more for Dulles.
There was one tense moment in these meetings that may have killed the whole thing - the premier BBQ restaurant in the area dispenses Pepsi instead of Coke (seriously, who willingly drinks that swill?!?), but fortunately their iced tea was excellent, and thus the whole deal was saved.
So why keep it secret? Primarily, the OVMS wanted to keep a lid on this until MAX 2019 to prevent people from hearing the news of the move, and showing up at York this year instead of Monroeville. (seriously - this happens)
Bill will have an official statement ready by the end of the week, and I will post it here for you all.