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Rocky Mountain Audio Vacation Impressions - RMAF 2019

So many posts to get caught up on but first I wanted to start with quick impressions on Rocky Mountain Audiofest. Why? Since I’ve been back from the show I’ve had multiple phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages asking the same question…

...was it worth it?

The Good:

“Rocky Mountain Audio Fest” is no longer the most appropriate name for the show. This was the Rocky Mountain Audio Vacation! This is the first Audio show I brought my family to and actually had activities for them. In the morning I was able to join them for a quick swim and dip in the hot-tub. In the afternoon I was able to work the different rooms and spin records while my wife Jane was gently spinning around the “Lazy River” with our daughter Shyla.

I’m fortunate to have a family that loves music and listening together, but it can be a little much bouncing from room to room especially for the little ones. The Gaylord Hotel is a resort with all the amenities including waterfalls, landscapes, mini golf, water slides, outdoor bar/restaurant, fire pit, and more! Oh yeah... and there is an audio show going on!

I have no idea from a business stand point if this show did anything for VPI. I’m sure it did, but I have no figures supporting RMAF was a good/bad business move. I also have no idea if the attendance for the show was good and if RMAF was proud of the numbers or not. However, I could careless about the numbers! My whole family had a great time! We had fun! I had a great time meeting VPI customers and having a mini party in one of the rooms with Alta Audio, Krell, and Zensati.

One of the nights had a massive industry party arranged by Eric Shook for everyone who is under 40. Great way for up-and-coming members of the industry to meet and network with each other.

Next year we will be back and bring the rest of the family to have an Audio Vacation experience. It also helps to be 10 minutes from the airport. Shout out to Bill Poteet from Audio Technica for renting a car seat and being my daughter's personal Uber!

Exhibitors are always quick to blame bad sound on the room. “I brought my best but what can you expect with this horrible room… the hotel won’t let us move the credenza!” I’m sure that sentence sounds familiar. Anyone who blamed their room this year did something wrong on their own. The rooms sounded great! Taking away bias, I listened to rooms that did not have a VPI turntable I thought sounded great.

RMAF(V) was also in no short supply of iconic industry legends such as Paul McGowen from PS Audio... but more on those guys later!

It was also nice to be at a show where you had multiple choices for food without having to leave the hotel. They had an Asian, Italian, and Steak House restaurant available as well as a sports bar. The inside calm bar was relaxing and open until 12. For those hanging out with anyone from Nordost or Raidho, the Sports bar stayed open until 2 in the morning.

I was personally appreciative of their “Market Place” store that seemed to be open 24/7 and had a staff that was very accommodating with heating up my daughter’s milk!

The Bad:

Yes, it was a bit more pricey than former RMAF experiences, but when you start considering it as the RMAV (vacation) it lessens the blow of the expenses a bit. There was a badge situation initially and a computer was down but that can happen in any show situation. A bit more signage would have been helpful for direction, and the larger rooms were a bit for, but that was only an issue because of signage. However, what I didn’t know is the Gaylord Hotel as an app with the map of their hotel on it!

Even though I didn’t personally experience the driving, it was a bit of a hike for anyone coming from Denver. Everyone knows that Denver is one hour away from Denver. I also heard how expensive the parking was which can be frustrating. However, that is frustrating because of past show expectations of free parking. If you want to talk about expensive parking lets talk about any event in New York City. At every NY show I was paying at lease $50 a day for parking. Relative to other parts of the country, parking isn't too bad. Relative to last year's parking price of free... yeah that makes it pretty bad.

Overall the issues I had (or noticed) were not anything that ruined the show.


The problems of this year were the learning curve for the RMAF(V) team for their new venue. It was also the learning curve for the visitors since we were not ready for this kind of experience. If both exhibitors and attendees go with the attitude and mentally of embracing the resort experience the show can take on a whole other meaning.

Marjorie has pulled off a different and successful show that has potential to continue evolving. Bring the family bring your children! Experience the Rocky Mountain Audio Vacation!

The music industry isn’t about “getting more girls” or “getting more young people” it is about getting more families and sharing the experience together. I’m appreciate Joe Parvey of House and Stereo and Wolf Audio grabbed this picture below. This looks like a carefully planned marketing picture. This was actually the three of us doing what we do on a normal family weekend. Listening to music together as a family.

Hope to see you all next year at the Rocky Mountain Audio Vacation!

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