Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Tonopah in 2021 for Westercon -- This Time For Real

Yesterday, Westercon 72 (SpikeCon) in Layton Utah accepted the bid filed by me on behalf of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. to host the 2021 West Coast Science Fantasy Conference (Westercon 74) in Tonopah, Nevada. That makes us an official bid, and as of earlier today, the only bid that has filed. (The deadline for filing is April 15.)

The bid's web site is hosted on the SFSFC web site. Please go have a look at it before you start asking questions. There's a fair chance that your question has already been answered there.

This is a real bid. No, it's not a "blind" for Reno or Las Vegas or somewhere else. No, it's not a hoax. Indeed, the previous Tonopah bid, although we didn't actually file it, wasn't really a hoax; it was more of a tongue-in-cheek bid. We really are going to try and bring Westercon to a town in central Nevada with a population of about 2500 people. We anticipate attendance would be in the 100-500 person range. Tonopah has a small convention center and between 400 and 500 hotel rooms, so we do not see any difficulty in housing our anticipated membership.

The election will be at SpikeCon in Layton this summer, and any member of the convention can vote on the site selection. In keeping with our desire to keep our costs down, we're not planning on doing any bid parties except one on the opening night of SpikeCon, and we're also not soliciting pre-supporting memberships, although if you'd like to simply donate money to help fund our bid, we have a page for making donations on our web site. Our goal is to keep our membership costs down, given the low cost of our facilities.

I like what Andy Trembley said about us after we launched our Facebook page earlier today:

Kevin, Lisa and Kuma... brought us the worst idea for a Westercon ever. Except, upon examination, it's the best idea for a Westercon ever.

Don't believe me? "Like" the page, and, over time, learn the things I already know about Tonopah, Nevada, and why it would be a somewhat inconvenient location for a really amazing Westercon.


A little over a week ago, Lisa and I presented SFSFC with a prospectus for the bid (much of which is now incorporated into the web site), and countered the Board's initial skepticism to the point where they voted unanimously to charter us as a standing committee to bid for and if selected operate the 2021 Westercon.

This is not a single-person (or even two-people-plus-a-bear) operation. Former Westercon chair Bruce Farr is our Treasurer, and former Westercon chair and Worldcon Vice Chair Mike Willmoth is on board with Facilities. We have other people joining us, and we're interested in talking with anyone who would like to volunteer to help us bring Westercon to a fascinating small town where we would all but own the place for the weekend.

This is, I admit, a rather frightening thing to set out to do. I've chaired a Worldcon bid, yes, but it's still very challenging. I'll need the help of my friends who might want to participate in what I expect to be a great time in Nevada in 2021.
Tags: tonopah, westercon
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