The Blue Knight wrote:There is a myth that the geographic "middle of the country" is the best place because it's closest to everyone. The reality of our society is that the geographic center isn't the center in any other way. Lincoln Nebraska doesn't have a convention center, or cheap near by hotel rooms, or the allure of an interesting city. Neither do any of the "center of the country" locales.
In terms of travel, lodging and cost, Las Vegas is the "center." The rates for air travel and hotels are unmatched in Vegas. There are dozens and dozens of places to stage conventions, hotel rooms are a dime a dozen (unless you want a fancy pants place), and a buffet line at your hotel make food pretty cheap too (each hotel has at least one. Sometimes they are free with your rent).
The reality is that for each con there are going to be some of us who are inconvenienced by the location. Oh well, wait a few months and there will be one closer for you. The other option is to stage your own. That is a much more difficult row to hoe. I would recommend that anyone wanting to go just pick a con and plan for it.
I will go to 2 cons this year, and I am taxed for building time. For NWBC this year I have very little new, and I'm going as Caitlin said for the chance to catch up with friends.
I laugh at your assumption that Vegas is the middle of anywhere. When you remove air travel, Los Vegas is in the middle of nowhere, and you would be surprised at just how many people drive to these events, simply because flying is not an option to transport their gigantic creations intact.
I also laugh at your assumption that geographically centrally located cities lack "a convention center, or cheap near by hotel rooms, or the allure of an interesting city." I would imagine the citizens of Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas, and the hundreds of cities in the geographical center of the US would have serious issues with that. Brickfest in Arlington was held at George Mason University, not a convention center, and it was very successful, and most large hotels (of which most metropolitan cities have three or more) have large meeting halls that would be sufficiant. And to say any of those cities lack the 'allure of an interesting city' displays your lack of imagination and cultural awareness.