2009 Nationwide Dome Tour Recap

A busy weekend: October 23-24

David B. South, President of Monolithic, said, “Everyone here truly appreciates the dedication and hard work of the owners and administrators of the Monolithic Domes who participated in this year’s tour. We know that preparing for the tour involves much time and energy.”

The tour included both residential and commercial domes – some large and some small.

Anne Sutherland, Events Coordinator, said, “We provided many of the tour participants with an informative DVD their visitors could view, give-away brochures and suggestions for publicizing the event. And Carol Cirulli Lanham, our publicist, sent hundreds of media releases announcing the tour. But that still left the participants with many things only they could do. We sure do thank them.”

Based on the reports we received, tour results ranged from modest to overwhelming.

Julian, California

At their 32-foot diameter dome home, Michael Otto and Vicki Hutchison had only eight visitors. But one, a dome enthusiast who plans to build in two years, stayed for two hours thoroughly inspecting the dome and asking questions. A visiting couple told Mike that South Industries had just started their dome in Orange County California. Mike said, “They were surprised by how much usable space was in our relatively small dome of 800 square feet.” Five others came just to see what a Monolithic Dome was, and a ninth person asked for a future appointment.

Fairplay, Colorado

Keith Wortman had about 100 people visit his home: three interconnected Monolithic Domes that resemble a Mickey Mouse hat from above. Keith credits press releases sent to and printed by newspapers in his area for the tour’s success. He said, “On Saturday morning, when we arrived at the property, cars followed us up to the dome. Surprisingly, most drove from about 90 miles away. We even had an architect. And all of the brochures were taken.”

Palatka, Florida

Robert Melosh is Facility Project Coordinator at the Children’s Reading Center, a charter school whose campus includes five Monolithic Domes. Robert reported, “We had two visitors who came down from Georgia from a church with a church school. They learned of the open house through the Monolithic website. They are seriously considering dome construction and were thrilled to be able to actually get inside a completed dome.”

Shipman, Illinois

Joe Downer, owner of a cozy Monolithic Dome home with 1256 square feet, said, “We had over 150 people walk through our dome on Saturday. About 25% of the visitors were already familiar with Monolithic Domes. The remaining visitors found us thanks to articles in The Telegraph and the Bunker Hill Gazette. Our furthest traveling couple came four hours. They had already done a feasibility study and hope to break ground next summer. A family member will be doing a feasibility study next month and will hire me to start that home in March 2010.”

Lowell, Indiana

Thyme for Bed is an attractive, comfortable, Monolithic Dome bed and breakfast, owned by Sherryl and Don Bainbridge. Sherryl described the tour as “extremely more successful than I thought it was going to be. I had almost 500 people!” Media releases stimulated both newspaper and radio interest. Sherryl said, “One local paper did an awesome article that it ran with pictures on the front page of their Sunday Home Section and a radio station interviewed me and continued running announcements about the tour.” Many visitors came long distances. Besides locals, they included people from Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Alaska and a group of five professors from China. The tour raised $550 for St. Jude’s Home for Battered Women and Children.

Las Vegas, Nevada

FenixDome is a two-story half-sphere with a 50-foot diameter and 3800 square feet, owned by Su-Z and David Allen. Seventy-three visitors signed its guest book on Saturday and another 52 on Sunday. Su-Z said, “Most came as a result of the article in the View and a TV news blurb. The day of the open house, Andy Taylor of the View stopped by, took pictures and even talked with guests. And Fox TV News came by and interviewed me.”

Yachats, Oregon

Verlene and John Cooper’s home is a spectacular, four-level Monolithic Dome with a living area of 5600 square feet. John described their tour experience as “a success but a lot of work.” They averaged about 10 visitors an hour from 10 am to 3 pm. John said, “We showed the DVD Monolithic sent in our family room and the one we made, with 168 pictures, in our great room.” The Coopers posted directional signs to help find their dome and placed flyers at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, as well as local restaurants and resorts.

Henderson, Texas

Kathy and Jerry Standley enjoy life in a cozy, split-level Monolithic Dome with a 36-foot diameter. Jerry said, “We really enjoyed visiting with all the people that came by – about 25. About four were about to build a new home and not sure what kind. Two families had been on Monolithic’s site and were very interested in the dome concept. We handed out pamphlets and ran the DVD all day. I think we will participate again next year. Good way to get my dome all cleaned up!”

Italy, Texas

At the Monolithic Dome Institute an all-day-long, steady stream of about 75 visitors toured the facility and gathered information. One couple flew in from New Hampshire specifically to see Charca Casa and other dome-homes. Others traveled from Oklahoma, Louisiana and various parts of Texas. Several discussed serious building plans with David South, Larry Byrne and Linda Ware. Some purchased books and DVDs.

Galax, Virginia

Maddy and Chris Ecker’s Monolithic Dome home is a work-in-progress that about 22 people came to see, after one local paper ran the media release sent to it. Chris said, “One couple overnighted in Galax, stopped at our place early, then headed off to Mineral, Virginia to see another dome! Our dome-in-progress helped a lot of future domers see a little further into the construction and design efforts that go into a residential dome.” David Marshall, the Ecker’s general contractor, helped with his presence at the tour and his ability to answer technical questions.