State fire union chooses Hamilton for biennial conference

Event at Spooky Nook expected to have economic impact of more than $380K to region.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters will conduct its biennial four-day conference in Hamilton this spring.

And due to the development of Hamilton’s urban core, as well as the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill complex, this is a big deal to host a conference that hasn’t been outside one of the four most populous cities since 2008.

IAFF Local President Tony Harris said the city of Hamilton, Travel Butler County and the fire union have been pitching to land this conference for a little more than a year, but “we started planting the seeds for this before Spooky Nook was even open.”

“We knew once it came, that would give us the ability to land this conference,” he said.

The 54th biennial OAPFF will run from May 20 to May 23 at Spooky Nook, 601 N. B St.

Since 2008, the conference has rotated among Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, and the 2022 conference was hosted in Cleveland. Hamilton had hosted the conference twice, the last time being in 2002, but the time prior was a century ago in the 1920s when the OAPFF was new. Hamilton was one of the first local unions in Ohio.

Travel Butler County reports this conference is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $380,000 to the region. Travel Butler County President and CEO Tracy Kocher said the region is looking forward to welcoming the firefighters from across the state.

“Being selected as the host site is a reflection of the incredible amenities and attractions in Butler County and strong local partnerships,” she said. “Travel Butler County was excited to work with the Hamilton Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 20 and the city of Hamilton to bring this incredible event to the region. We look forward to welcoming firefighters from across the state to Hamilton, and hosting an exceptional conference this spring.”

The four-day conference, which includes a golf outing at Twin Run on the opening day, will see hundreds of hotel nights mid-week as more than 400 people are expected to attend. Harris said it was a unanimous decision for the OAPFF to choose Hamilton, beating out the city of Dayton.

“It’s a point of pride for us,” Harris said of the OAPFF decision, “but financially, it’s going to be big.” Over the three evenings of the conference and each of the day’s lunches, firefighters will be out in the area spending money.

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