Coin collectors as a group are remarkably frugal.
In most instances, that is a compliment. It is a positive.
However, when it comes to the American Numismatic Association trying to find a site for a summer convention, it is a big fat negative.
Potential host cities want people who will stay at hotels, hold banquets and splash money around.
That is why they build convention centers in the first place.
Unfortunately, that is not the ANA member profile.
The ANA says its board of governors heard a presentation by Peter Wann of ConferenceDirect recently.
He laid out the facts for the board.
He explained the rooms-to-space ratio.
What’s that, you might wonder?
Organizations such as the ANA that fill 600-700 hotel rooms for an event typically need 30,000 to 50,000 square feet of space.
The ANA requires 250,000 square feet.
So we collectors are not only cheap, we want five times the space most other coventioneers want.
Wann explained that many cities are not willing to commit their convention facilities for a week to 10 days without a commitment from the ANA to fill more room nights and purchase additional food and beverages.
Can you blame them?
Local taxpayers want their tax money to bring more money and jobs into town.
The upshot is ANA goes to the Chicago suburb of Rosemont a lot.
The World’s Fair of Money, which is held every summer, is scheduled to go to Philadelphia in 2018, Rosemont in 2019, Pittsburgh in 2020 and Rosemont again in 2021.
Of course, there are other factors at work to limit convention choices.
ANA says states that impose a state sales tax on numismatic items are not considered, leaving 31 states as possible choices.
Thirteen of these states do not have venues large enough.
The remaining 18 states have viable sized convention centers.
You would think 18 states would offer a long enough list of possibilities.
But go back to consider our less than free-spending ways.
Who would have thought that an organization once headed by Grover Criswell would have in subsequent years run into this problem?
Apparently we need to party like it's 1977 to be welcome.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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