Rae Graham, who worked at the Mizpah and who we interviewed along with her wife Kayla while we were bidding Tonopah, had to take her family back to Oklahoma when she and Kayla were laid off during the pandemic, and she never got to see the completed Belvada. She asked us to pat Eros and Pothos for her. We were happy to oblige.
Up the front steps (the accessible entrance is on the side street, Brougher, that leads to the Convention Center) is the modern tiled entrance commemorating the October 2020 opening of the hotel.
Earlier, I went down to the Convention Center and took another picture that I hope makes it clear how close the hotels are. The Belvada is the red brick building on the right. The parking lot shared between the Convention Center and the Belvada is in front and to the right of that. The Mizpah is the other tall building with signs on the roof visible in line with the "Central" street sign. Across the street in line with the stop sign next to the Belvada is the Jim Butler Inn & Suites. Behind that is the ten-room Old Brewery Hostel (managed by the Mizpah), where a larger group might consider renting the whole building together and saving a lot of money. Those are the four closest properties. The Best Western Hi-Desert Inn is about 1000 feet / 300 m south along Main Street and the World Famous Clown Motel is about 2600 ft / 800 m north along Main Street. There are other hotels in town (the Tonopah Station, Comfort Inn, and National 9 leading the field) that are a bit farther way: at most 1.8 km / 1.1 mi. There certainly are going to be enough hotels to house our projected 200-400 attendees.
As I mentioned above, there is a shared parking area between the Convention Center and the Belvada. We recommend that anyone staying at the Mizpah, Old Brewery Hostel, or Jim Butler Inn & Suites leave their vehicles at their hotel and walk the two blocks to the Convention Center if possible.
On the west side of the Convention Center is an auxiliary parking lot shared with a local U-Haul dealer, which is rather ironic as our current plans call for us to rent a U-Haul to bring a lot of stuff in for the convention and then park it alongside the Convention Center to use as a mobile storage room, as there aren't a lot of storage spaces inside the building itself.
Here's another picture of the Belvada's accessible entrance. This might have been better situated if there had been a curb cut on both sides of the street corner, but it does work. The glass area to the right of the ramp is the window to the Nevada Club room, a function room on the ground floor of the Belvada that we expect to add to our function space collection. The entrance to that room is through the side door and then around a hallway behind the elevator lobby.
Here's one more picture from a window on the west side of the Belvada looking across the parking lot to the Convention Center. I want to go down these beautiful red stairs, but that's an emergency exit only.
In addition to these photos, I took a number of pictures of various rooms of different types while they were being changed. As usual, click through any of these photos here to browse the other photos that Lisa and I took.
This morning, Lisa and I were not in a hurry, and we used most of our available time to have a slow breakfast and eventually pack up the room and move everything back to the minivan. We checked out, told the desk clerk that we would be back in a few days and would be bringing some friends, then started for home.
Although I had enough fuel to get home if necessary, I thought it best to refuel first. There is a relatively minimal gas station off the main street: Rebel Oil, which is mostly a distributor, but also has pumps available to the public that can be accessed 24/7 with a credit/debit card. The price of their fuel was some 17 cents/gallon less that the stations on Main Street; however, if you go there to save money, be aware that there is nothing there but gas pumps. No convenience store or anything else.
We left Tonopah at 11:05 AM, and we made it home to Fernley at 3:10 PM. That included a 15-minute stop at the Luning Rest Area to eat a couple of snack boxes we had bought at Raley's earlier in the trip, two brief stops in Hawthorne, and a brief stop at the Fernley post office to collect our mail as we passed on by. That was pretty good time for the 206 miles / 332 km between the gas station in Tonopah and our home in Fernley via Fallon.
Something that we learned from visiting Tonopah on the 4th of July weekend over which we originally planned to hold Westercon 74 is that we will have to do local outreach to let local restaurants, particularly those in the core section around the middle of town, that our event will be there and to encourage them to stay open rather than to take the holiday off. This will be part of a broader campaign to make ourselves better known in Tonopah itself, something that we weren't planning on doing until we were less than one year out lest we confuse people into turning up on the wrong weekend.