Recently the local convention was purchased by two new guys with a love of gaming. They promise good and useful changes for the convention's future.
In the first 6 months of 2006, four game stores shut down with 30 miles of my house, with no replacements offered.
Everyone plays board games at the local convention now.
Gaming has dried up to almost nothing in many areas. Unless you live in one of three areas of SoCal, there is no place to find gamers.
As Erik Yaple once said, "There aren't many indoor days" in California, which is what prohibits gaming in the area and probably encourages it in places like Wisconsin and Ohio. Something to think about.
If you or someone you love is considering this hobby, please, do the right thing and talk to him or her about the pros and cons of this industry.