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Davis Journal

Champions and newcomers alike enjoy SaltCon Spring

Mar 07, 2024 04:45PM ● By Braden Nelsen

LAYTON—Many events may claim that they have a little something for everyone, but few can make that claim more accurately than SaltCon: the board game convention held three times throughout the year at the Davis Conference Center. 

The term “board game” may conjure up images of things like “Monopoly” or “Sorry,” and while those may be on the shelves of the game exchange at SaltCon, there’s so much more to it than that. Started by passionate tabletop gamers in 2009, SaltCon has grown to be one of the biggest conventions of its kind in the area, with thousands of people attending regularly, and tickets selling out for each event.

But what exactly is SaltCon? It’s a celebration of all things to do with tabletop gaming. Wandering around the convention, newcomers will see thousands of enthusiastic individuals buying, selling, trading, and playing games of all kinds. In one room, for example, tables lined the hall, with players of all levels, and that’s not just hyperbole: Within that same room, there were national and internationally ranked players, as well as people who were just getting into the hobby.

That may be what sets SaltCon apart as well. New players who want to get into the hobby and community are able to grab a “Teacher Wanted” sign from the desk, sit down at a table with a game, and learn the rules with an experienced hand. Those with experience who just want to play a game can grab a “Players wanted” sign, and wait for people to come to them. It really is an event for all levels. Where do all the games come from though?

Some attendees bring their own, some buy or trade for new games, but for the rest, there’s the SaltCon library. Boasting a catalog of over 2,000 different games, all well organized, attendees can go in as soon as the library opens, and rent a game for the entire day. It makes trying out new games, or old favorites much more accessible, and, should the game prove to be one that the player wants to add to their personal collection, there are some amazing options.

Take the “Math Trade” for instance. Using a complex, behind-the-scenes system, “Math Trade” allows for the thousands of participants in attendance to bring and submit their unwanted games in order to exchange them with other participants’ unwanted games. It’s a system that satisfies everyone and isn’t based on market value, but rather supply – what each person is looking for. Of course, for those looking for a more traditional market, the Game Swap room satisfies that niche.

There are role-playing games ranging from Dungeons and Dragons to “Star Wars,” an escape room, and even an immersive “Star Trek”-esque experience where participants can take on the role of a crew member of a starship with monitors, lights, and sounds. There’s even a quiet gaming room for those who may be overstimulated or just want a reprieve from the action of the convention. 

Dale Gifford, one of the original organizers of SaltCon said, “Our whole goal is a family-friendly environment,” and an experience that “You can’t get at your local game night.” SaltCon definitely checks both those boxes. The environment is welcoming to anyone and everyone, and whether attendees go with a group or by themselves, they’re bound to make new friends, and have a blast trying out new games of all kinds.

The next convention will be June 7-9, 2024 at the Davis Conference Center, and will feature much of what was offered this spring. However, for those looking for the full experience, their biggest event is traditionally the Spring SaltCon, and will be returning next year. A full list of experiences and offerings can be found at