August 17th, 2008

Manga Kevin

Walking Reno's Hotels

Lisa and I went over to the Atlantis and Peppermill Hotels in Reno, to walk around the properties and form our own personal assessment of them as potential sites for a Worldcon.

Before I continue with my opinion, here are some disclaimers:

1. I'm a Friend of the Bid for both bids.

2.Seattle's bid asks me for advice on WSFS issues. Reno's bid has so many experts on the subject that they don't need my assistance. But any group of fans can always ask me for WSFS advice, which I'll freely give until they are sick of hearing from me.

3. I'm chairman of next year's WSFS business meeting. Although it's highly unlikely, there is a very small chance that I could get involved in adjudicating any dispute over the election. Therefore, don't expect me to come out with an absolute endorsement of either site.

There is no perfect Worldcon site, no "Tucker Hotel." Every site is good and bad in different ways. How you should make your decision depends on what things are important to you. I know about some of the things I consider important, and about some of the things people have told me are important to them. You might well be surprised at what other people consider vitally important, and indeed, you might consider their choices trivial or even silly.

This report consists of both my and my wife Lisa's observations. She and I have been known to differ considerably on what we consider critical elements of what makes a good Worldcon site. Although I'm the one with the keyboard, I'm going to try and be fair about expressing Lisa's views, and she has read this before I posted it.

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Will this space support a Worldcon? I think so. It is perfect? No. The secondary hotel is a lot further away from the primary hotel than, say, the Anaheim Marriott is from the Anaheim Hilton. And being a casino/resort property, we'll be sharing it with a lot of non-convention attendees. But it does seem to me that we could be pretty comfortable here, especially for those who end up staying in the Atlantis, who will have the opportunity to stay indoors for the entire five days, if that's what they want to do. Those who want to drive their RVs to the con will be able to do so without being told "Park at the airport and take a shuttle" (something someone once told Lisa). People who fly or take the train will have convenient access to the site. It won't be part of an interesting downtown area with lots of things to do within easy walking distance, but I see no fatal flaws in the site, either, especially if there is no other event in the portion of the convention center we aren't using.

Finally, I want to reiterate that I am not speaking officially for anyone or any group. I represent neither the bids nor the administering convention. These are merely my personal observations about the site through the eyes of an experienced Worldcon runner and his wife, who isn't so much a conrunner as a canary in the coal mine who is good at spotting flaws that those of us who run too many conventions may miss.
Kevin and Lisa

Time to Go

The check-out time at Circus Circus is 11 AM, and it will take us at least two trips to get our stuff out of the room, so as soon as I get my computer shut down, we're packing out of a hotel room for the final time on this summer vacation. We're going to go back to the Atlantis and try their brunch (unless the queue is too long), then head over the mountains, first to Sutter, where Lisa will retrieve her van and head north to Oregon, and then back to Fremont. Because I let us sleep in this morning, I probably won't be back home until late, which is unfortunate because I had hoped to do some work on recovering my computer's files tonight when I got home, Still, one of the things I want to try is apt to be time-consuming, so maybe I can set it up to run before going to bed. I have a lot of work piled up that must get done in the next few days.
Kevin and Lisa

Nearly 3,000 Miles Later...

I am home, finally, about twenty minutes ago. Lisa and I got to my grandfather's house a little after 5 PM, and after spending a while trying to extricate all of her stuff from my van into hers, she headed off sometime after 7 PM. I left maybe twenty minutes later. While heading out to the highway, I saw her coming back. She'd stopped at the gas station out on the highway to refuel and decided to come back because she hadn't seen me leaving. Nothing was wrong, and she and I finally went separate directions around 7:30.

The backlog of e-mail is immense. Before I can really tackle it, I must get my primary computer running again. It may be many days before I can say I'm really caught up. I have my one working computer pulling files off the doesn't-want-to-boot drive and feeding it into one of the backup devices. The drive is readable, but won't boot. Maybe I can get it working tomorrow morning, but in the meantime I want to save the files somewhere.