Saturday, May 14, 2016

The AWFULNESS of the Dallas Convention Center....

"Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established."
Proverbs 16:3

We don't have much to say about this year's RPT convention, but one conclusion is inescapable: The Dallas Convention center is a terrible venue and no future convention should ever be held here again.

The biggest problem is it's massive size combined with a moronic layout.  Add to that the fact that there's no easy way to get around.  Case in point: Our SD caucus yesterday morning was nearly a mile from the exhibition hall.  There was no way to get there except walking.  They don't even have moving sidewalks.  Just the sheer amount of walking around the venue left us physically exhausted on a level we rarely experience.  If we're saying this as a mid-30's male in reasonably decent physical shape, we can only imagine what it must have been like for delegates who are senior citizens.

Next: The food selection SUCKS.  The only places to eat near the convention center are lousy and horrifically overpriced.  You shouldn't have to travel 6 or 7 blocks from the venue to find an affordable meal.

Then there's the internet situation.  The free wi-fi is painfully slow but $13/day for good wi-fi is likewise absurd.  Based on reports, it appears the paid wi-fi isn't much better than the free.

About six months ago, we started privately advocating to hold the next convention in Austin.  At the time, our primary motivation was personal laziness and a desire to not travel.  Having been though this year's convention, however, we can now testify from experience that the Austin Convention Center is a dramatically superior venue.  The entire facility is contained within one square block.  There are a plethora of affordable places to eat nearby and, if folks are interested, we can bring in food trucks to cover the lunch rush.  There's free, good, wi-fi throughout.  If the Austin Convention Center can handle SxSW, it can handle the RPT.

That being said, we are sensitive to the fact that most of the delegates live in the DFW area.  If that's a major consideration, we would suggest holding the event permanently in Ft. Worth.  At least they have food and wi-fi.

Whatever decisions are ultimately made, the Dallas Convention Center should be permanently off limits to future RPT conventions.


  1. Appreciate your comments. Many venues in Texas are too big to walk around in!

  2. I completely agree. The Convention Hall was horrible. Walking for miles to get from one place to another. My SD caucused on the bottom floor in the C section and my CD caucused on the third floor near the General Assembly room. The room used for the food court was centered in a room the size of a high school football stadium and there was only 4 small kiosks. The General Assembly and Exhibit Hall rooms was at the far end of the Convention Hall. It could be a two mile walk and escalator ride to get from caucus rooms to the main locations. Finding a cup of coffee after 1:00 pm was nearly impossible. The General Assembly room was set up so that Districts seated to the far left or right of the stage couldn't see the speaker unless we watched on the screens. I usually don't complain but this year's Convention was so poorly layed out and impractical it almost seemed like it was planned that way.

  3. I think it would be nice to have the Convention in different locations each time. Houston, Waco, Austin, Galveston, etc. Just because the RPT Chairman and others in top positions live in Dallas area doesn't mean the rest of the state delegates should have to drive for hours and spend hundreds of dollars to attend the Convention.

  4. My musings: 1) Not all convention centers can handle the largest gathering of Republicans on the planet. I do not think that Austin would be viable 2. The caucus rooms this time were very much better than the setup at the convention center we used in Ft. Worth. The setup in Ft. Worth made it next to impossible to hear the speakers over the bleed over from the neighboring caucus, separated merely by curtains draped over PVC piping. And it was cold. Very cold. Meat-hanging cold. (3) The last time we used this convention center was in 2010, which was my first state convention. If my memory is correct, there was an additional entrance from Exhibit Hall E into Hall F. This was partitioned off this convention. My guess is that this is because of increased security. Additionally, it is my recollection that the Exhibit Hall E and Exhibit Hall D (concessions) were opened up to allow free movement directly between those areas. So, in 2010, you could walk from the convention floor to an exhibit booth, decide to get a snack, and come back through; all without going into the lobby.

  5. This was the 3rd State Convention I have attended. Houston, Ft Worth and Dallas. I would say that the Ft Worth convention center is the best by far, but only because I actually liked the stadium over the convention hall of both Dallas and Houston.

    I did not try the on site food because I knew it would be expensive crap.

    On Thursday I walked across the street to a little deli and had a burger fries and drink for under $8. On Friday I walked down to the West End and ate at Gators About the same distance I usually walk from events at the Ft Worth Convention center. A little more pricey at $18 (including tip) but was a really good burger, fries and bottomless soda. On Saturday, I had zero time and did not eat all day.

    I guess I got lucky, I never walked much in the convention center. Our SD room was the floor above the main stage and the CD room was the floor below the main stage. The walk from the parking lot to the doors of the convention center was longer for me than between all the rooms I had to go into.

  6. Truly a very pleasant post! I am also going to be a part of popular corporate magazine event at a Seattle convention center near to my house. Planning to take my family members and cousins along with me and hoping to have a great time over there.