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"Adios Fredericksburg.......thanks for the memories" Topic


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Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 5:25 p.m. PST

I bid a fond farewell to the Fredericksburg Expo Center last Sunday as I left there for what might be the last time as I left Historicon.

Truth be told, I will miss the hotel, the venue itself, the area restaurants, the battlefields and last but not least, the customer contacts I made there from the area as I am not sure how many of them will follow the show to it's new location at the Host in PA in 2018.

What I won't miss is that Chinese Water Torture/Bataan Death March of a ride down on Tuesday and more specifically, back on Sunday, 10 hours down, 11.5 back.

Good Christ.

HMGS gave it a shot, it just did not work out, ironic that after moving twice, the show lands were it began, at the Host.

And WOW was it hot down there, Africa hot, mile from the sun hot, setting up on Wednesday with no AC gave me no joy.

Overall the show was very good for me, almost double my sales from last year, thanks in large part to the massive 28mm collection I was selling off at the show.

Thanks everyone for supporting me during the time I attended, I did not boycott the move, I supported it and went to every convention in VA.

We'll see how things shake out at the Host. I hope HMGS does not consider moving Cold Wars or Fall In to Fredericksburg, imagine humping down there in March during a snowstorm, no thanks to that.

If it were up to me, I'd have Cold Wars and Historicon at the Host and Fall In back in Gettysburg, that would be sweet, I'd be all over that.

Regardless, thanks again everyone, I appreciate every penny spent with me at Fredericksburg……………….

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 3:11 a.m. PST

I too will miss the location (although not the drive). The place has a lot to recommend it, but there was no arguing with the declining attendance and sales. My sales this year were barely half of what they were the first year, even though my range of products has expanded significantly. By comparison, sales at the Host for Cold Wars and Fall In have remained pretty steady over the years. So, while I'm sad to say good bye to Fredericksburg, I'm hoping a return to Lancaster will be good for business.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 3:49 a.m. PST

Given the Host's current ownership AND expenses in
repairs and improvements, is there/has there been any
word on costs to HMGS to use the venue in 2018 et seq ?

Lancaster was/has been a prime vacation spot for
people for years ('regular' vacationers) and I am thinking
the Host's new ownership will try to entice vacationing
families.

Of course, H'con will only take up about one week of
the summer tourist season, so perhaps not an issue.

Bad Painter20 Jul 2017 6:34 a.m. PST

I agree with George, the only drawback for me was the distance. Several years I've taken Amtrak, so although it might not have saved me any time, it reduced the travel aggravation factor and limited additions to my lead mountain to what I could fit in a suitcase.

WaltOHara20 Jul 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

To quote myself,

Historicon leaving Fredericksburg to go back to the Lancaster Host is roughly like dumping your successful second marriage to move back in with your crazy ex-wife– you know, the one that half your friends loathe and half just tolerate. AND you move back into that fourth floor walk-up she's been living in since getting out of school, only now the plumbing and electricity are shot and the elevator hasn't worked for years. You find yourselves reminiscing about the old romantic days together, but you're both nervously laughing.. That twinge you feel? That's a reminder of that time she stabbed you when she went off her anti-psychotics. It's only a matter of time…

Walt

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 6:48 a.m. PST

This was the first Historicon I attended while in Fredericksburg. I have to say, if the convention stayed there, it would have been my last.

The distance was too much for me personally (6.5 hours) and I wasn't crazy about the facilities – it was too loud. One of the games I played in I could barely hear the GM.

The surrounding area was really nice. I did enjoy that part of the trip.

Either way, the convention was shrinking at Fredericksburg and something needed to be done. I applaud the current BoD for their ability to make a tough decision.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 6:51 a.m. PST

Historicon leaving Fredericksburg to go back to the Lancaster Host is roughly like dumping your successful second marriage to move back in with your crazy ex-wife

Walt – I've always found your posts to be bright and informative. But comparing Fredericksburg to a successful marriage? Looking at the numbers that FB has put up over the past five years I can't seem to draw the same conclusion.

Time will tell all…

WaltOHara20 Jul 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Indeed it will, but maybe not the way you think.

W.

fredavner Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Will miss F-berg….when u fly from the west coast, since '89,all trips are the same( except Valley Forge)
Going to Host is like The Giants getting the Panda back…sell some more tickets, and get nothing much back…except maybe some mold infection and crappy parking.,.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

Indeed it will, but maybe not the way you think.

I've been wrong in the past and I may very well be wrong again – but none of the metrics (attendance and dealer sales) are pointing in that direction.

Sometimes, though, these things can be a dice roll. Out of nowhere you roll that "6" for a saving roll.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

Even if the attendance at Historicon '18 drops further (which I suspect may happen) it wont cost us FCC prices.

And Walt, your calling Historicon at the FCC a "successful marriage" is quite the stretch. But it was a funny image.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:26 a.m. PST

Well, Walt, perhaps the new psychotherapist and his ECT treatments and a well-tailored straitjacket will improve the old girl's disposition.
And we only get these conjugal visits every 6 months or so.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

And Walt, your calling Historicon at the FCC a "successful marriage" is quite the stretch. But it was a funny image.

That was so funny I had to wonder if it was based on someone's (not Walt's!) past experiences.

WaltOHara20 Jul 2017 8:50 a.m. PST

That was so funny I had to wonder if it was based on someone's (not Walt's!) past experiences.

I've only been married once, and happily I might add!

To put it in context, I was riffing off an offhand remark made by someone on the first night. He made the "This is like moving back in with the crazy ex again", I just expanded on the original comparison.

W.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

I've only been married once, and happily I might add!

I'm glad to hear that. I never like to hear about divorces and bad marriages.

RudyNelson20 Jul 2017 11:32 a.m. PST

More complaints about short drives. Lancaster and Camp Hill PA were both 840 mile drives for me and even more for my co-worker. Fredericksburg was a mere 12 hours. A little shorter but an easier drive than the PA roads.

Every location will have its issues but as a national show, distance should not be one of them.
Just be glad we have a show and enjoy it if you can go. I have been to 21 Historicons. That is a lot of miles. LOL.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Every location will have its issues but as a national show, distance should not be one of them.

Curious – how do you justify that statement? Historicon has been in Fredericksburg for six years now and clearly distance is a factor to many.

Ogdenlulimus20 Jul 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

Distance, and traversing two major metropolitan cluster Bleeped texts; NYC and DC!

WaltOHara20 Jul 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

BTW, the show did not "begin" at the Host. The show began at the Holiday Inn on Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA. I was there for that one, too!

IronMarshal20 Jul 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

I have been to all 6 Fredericksburg Historicons. I am glad it is the last for personal reasons. While I enjoyed the proximity to the three battlefields, and visited the Fburg field for the first time last year, I go to the Con to game and shop, not tour the battlefields. I did enjoy the hotel accommodations as their were ample opportunities to use Marriott points for free stays. The food opportunities off site were plentiful. On site they were terrible.
This year was easily my worst drive, although some in the past have been awful as well. I live outside of Philly, north of the city, and have to traverse Philly, Baltimore, and DC. This year I left after work at noon in Princeton, NJ. It took me 6 hours where it normally takes about 4 to 4.5 with the traffic. I also cannot believe the traffic on 95 in the Fredericksburg area. The last hour of the drive I was almost in spitting distance of the con. My hotel was one exit south of the con on 95. It was jammed throughout the day. Just a very unpleasant experience despite playing an audible book in the car.
I don't hate the site. Yes the place is noisy, the bathrooms inadequate, food terrible and temperature is hot. But, I have fun there every year. I will be glad to get back to the comfortable beat-up, run down host and its familiar rooms, one fairly clean bathroom, the others not so much, mostly because of I-95.
I am sorry for anyone who has to travel north through NoVA.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 1:22 p.m. PST

First let me say I wish Historicon all the best at whatever location it ends up at and I will try to make it when ever i can . As to the cost of the show at the Host vs FCC that remains to be seen . My guess the two won't be that far apart by the time the Host gets renovated . I do believe however the turnout will go up a bit based on the local population centers . I also believe ,but don't hope that the "glory days of 3,000- to 4,000 participants are over as well for very different reasons .Its just a matter of " that things change " ! I believe the big three will always be the the biggest Cons and will turnout 2,000 plus on a regular bases . More then likely folks will start supporting more local Cons and thats not a bad thing either .

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 1:31 p.m. PST

BTW, the show did not "begin" at the Host. The show began at the Holiday Inn on Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA. I was there for that one, too!

Your point is?

Major B20 Jul 2017 3:06 p.m. PST

Well I will be getting back in my car and driving a whole lot further next year. I have enjoyed having the show in my backyard (about a 45 minute drive). I liked the site. The Host had gotten pretty run down, and I can say there were some super hot summers in PA too.

The proximity also allowed me to bring my daughter and as she moved on to college and boys, my nephew for day trips. Not sure he is ready for a long weekend with the wargamin bretherin'

RudyNelson20 Jul 2017 4:20 p.m. PST

Easy to justify the king 30. For companies and guests from Texas to Florida, the distance change is significant because it can mean another night on the road traveling. Any time the location changes, the distance travelled shifts.
We can debate different issues but our individual situations will produce different needs.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 4:29 p.m. PST

Easy to justify the king 30. For companies and guests from Texas to Florida, the distance change is significant because it can mean another night on the road traveling. Any time the location changes, the distance travelled shifts

That's exactly my point. Once Historicon was moved from the Host, it never regained the attendance it lost. In this case, distance made a big difference.

We can debate different issues but our individual situations will produce different needs.

I agree with you on that point. Regarding Historicon, the demographic makeup of the attendees wasn't well understood. Hence, the loss of attendance.

Oh well, at least I got to pick up some cool toys to paint :-)

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 4:56 p.m. PST

It will be interesting to learn what the attendance was for this one.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

And it makes me wonder that "Now that it's going back to The Host", will all of those folks that boycotted the F-burg shows come running back?

I doubt it…

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

And it makes me wonder that "Now that it's going back to The Host", will all of those folks that boycotted the F-burg shows come running back?

I doubt it…

Based on?

civildisobedience20 Jul 2017 6:07 p.m. PST

I wonder if people will come back. After six years, they may not. But I still think it is disingenuous for people to suggest that many factors are responsible for the drop in attendance. It's one amazing coincidence that the drops happened on a dime, from almost record attendance at the last Lancaster show, and then again when it left PA entirely.

Is it so hard to say the location change was damaging, that it was a mistake? Is the human race going to go extinct before anybody can just say they were wrong? Peoples' ability to continue to argue in the face of overwhelming mathematical evidence is truly astonishing.

I say this as someone who attended all six events in Fredericksburg, and who didn't really mind the ride once a year. But I'm also not blind to all the people we suddenly and almost instantly lost with the move. Is it too late to repair the damage? Very possibly. But that doesn't change what caused it. Maybe once, just so we can say we did it one time, let's try to learn from a stupid mistake.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:55 p.m. PST

Civil , Why would they not come back ? If its not the graying of the hobby or the economic effects of the last ten years , or some folks have passed or have gotten to old to travel or etc…but just the move and the move alone . Why would they not come back in spades once back at the Host or anywhere in the general area ?

Note :Please don't rant about the economy etc.. just tell me why they wouldn't come back .

PS. This is a serious question . Im not trying to start a thing . I just don't know why they wouldn't come back ? PSS. BTW I do agree the move had an effect on numbers !

Dynaman878921 Jul 2017 4:49 a.m. PST

It is a well known business rule that it is FAR better to keep the customers you have than to get back ones you have lost. Once you lose one you often don't get them back.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 5:19 a.m. PST

Dynaman8789 , That can be very true . Its generally because they have somewhere else to go or another product . But I would think if they are still gamers they would come back !

Regulars21 Jul 2017 5:21 a.m. PST

I live South of DC and the drive to Landcaster is to long. It might be good to remember that many old HMGS stalwarts are retiring and moving south like I have. Good luck with the new venue hope it is a better experience than the last.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 5:43 a.m. PST

I live South of DC and the drive to Landcaster is to long. It might be good to remember that many old HMGS stalwarts are retiring and moving south like I have. Good luck with the new venue hope it is a better experience than the last.

I think what people are failing to remember is that, during the last five years, the attendance kept dropping in Fredericksburg. You can't continue to pay a premium price for a venue while losing attendees. It simply doesn't work.

The move to Lancaster does brings us back to where the convention experienced it's greatest attendance and it's less expensive than the FCC.

Civildisobedience is correct – it's time to stand up and say the BoD that got us into this mess was wrong. I'm glad that we have a BoD that is willing to make changes that will push Historicon in a positive direction.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

t is a well known business rule that it is FAR better to keep the customers you have than to get back ones you have lost. Once you lose one you often don't get them back.

Before you do anything you need to understand why you lost these customers. There is another business rule that applies here… Location…. Location… Location.

civildisobedience21 Jul 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

Coolyork,

I don't know how many will come back. If it had been a year or two, I'd say many might, but there was a lot of bad feeling, and whatever people have been doing for six years has become habit. My guess is we'll get some people back, but we'll have to wait and see.

TSD10121 Jul 2017 3:08 p.m. PST

but as a national show

See, that's the thing. Historicon has never and will never be a "national" show despite what some people want to try and promote. Its always been a VA, MD, DC, PA thing and caters to that area.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

Its always been a VA, MD, DC, PA thing and caters to that area.

Don't forget about New York, New Jersey and the New England area.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 8:26 p.m. PST

Civil , I totally agree . I feel its now up to the regulars and the guys up in that area to do there best to build it back up if possible . Im afraid Im still of the mind that all these type of hobbies ( Models,trains ,Hist. Miniature Gaming etc..) are on the decline nationally . Things just change !

P.S. Hope Im wrong !

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

While some are very happy with the decisions of the current BOD others are not so inclined.

The whole distance, traffic, and location arguments have been beat to death with each side entrenched in their own set of perceived facts.

The real 800 pound gorilla in the conversation is the on-going renovation schedule of the Host with work on the Tennis Barn scheduled to start this Fall. What impact is incurred to future HMGS shows we'll just have to wait and see once this year's Fall In comes and goes. Hopefully the BOD will be forth coming with information rather then retreat beneath their cone of silence. Only time will tell.

I know I've attended my last HMGS show, and just about everyone in this corner of VA. feels the same unless a favorable change occurs. So best to you all in 2018!

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 4:46 p.m. PST

The whole distance, traffic, and location arguments have been beat to death with each side entrenched in their own set of perceived facts.

What about the "perceived facts" as declining attendance and rising costs?

What impact is incurred to future HMGS shows we'll just have to wait and see once this year's Fall In comes and goes.

What do you care? Your not attending anymore.

TSD10122 Jul 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

Im afraid Im still of the mind that all these type of hobbies ( Models,trains ,Hist. Miniature Gaming etc..) are on the decline nationally

And yet there's been a huge resurgence in board gaming.

War Scorpio22 Jul 2017 7:10 p.m. PST

Double G and IronMarshal have it right, along with TheKing30. I live in NJ and went to Fredericksburg for the first time with my wife and met my brother who's from the Roanoke area. We had a fantastic time.

Enjoyed visiting Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania battlefields, eating German food, and visiting the brew pubs. My wife enjoyed shopping at the multitude of stores.

It was the first time my brother wargamed. The convention center was adequate but the bathroom facilities were lacking. Time flew as the games were so much fun. Seems like there is no perfect convention center as they all have their positive and negative attributes.

The killer for me was the travel as I95 is just too torturous. Going down we hit a parking lot just 10 miles from the destination. On the way back they diverted 5 lanes onto a single lane exit due to construction. Added about 4 hours round-trip overall of a road-game I didn't want to play. Although we had a great time, I would not go back to FCC.

Don't worry about Murphy, he's probably an nice guy. Went to Clemson U in SC with Bill Gray and met a few like him.
Historicon was solid in Lancaster Pa. and will be so in the future. There is a rationale but the post is getting long. I like George's assessment for Con locations.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 7:41 p.m. PST

I'm confused by the post a few up from this one in the thread; so Historicon is moving from VA to PA so you and your wargaming buddies are boycotting all of them?

Why deprive yourself of three conventions? If you are pissed off over Historicon, what do the other two have to do with that?

The move to VA did not work, the convention bled attendees; if it hadn't, it would have stayed there, I don't get why people are upset with the board for moving it, they are trying to make it work, not kill it.

As a vendor, if my sales went up, up, up, I'd deal with the drive once a year and continue to go, I go to where the money is, end of story, end of discussion.

We'll see what the future holds for the show, time will tell………………..

Blue Devil 8822 Jul 2017 10:00 p.m. PST

I would think as a vendor, you would not want to have the convention at the same spot three times a year. Different place fresher clientele which could possibly mean more sales.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

And yet there's been a huge resurgence in board gaming.

The amount of work involved in playing board games is miniscule compared to miniature war gaming and running model trains. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Ease of use.

War Scorpio23 Jul 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

Historicon 2018 was set for Raritan NJ until the Convention Center was sold and turned into a data center. I don't believe anyone, including the BoD, is advocating having all three conventions in one place. The Host accommodated a quick recovery from a bad situation in 2018.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jul 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

Blue Devil 88; you are correct, I don't want all three in the same spot, which is why I suggested going back to Gettysburg for Fall In……………three in the same spot is overkill.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2017 6:08 a.m. PST

I know I've attended my last HMGS show, and just about everyone in this corner of VA. feels the same unless a favorable change occurs. So best to you all in 2018!

I'm sorry you feel like this. Let me leave you with something to think about….

The previous BoD did everything they could to make FCC work. They kept it there for six years. In those six years they saw declining numbers and dealers with declining sales. You can't keep losing attendees and sales and pay the premium price the FCC requires.. It doesn't work. If this was your business would you allow this to happen?

At the end of the day, something needed to be done. I'm sure that the current BoD is looking for alternate locations as we type away. They may move Fall In or Cold Wars to a location that is more centralized. We can only wait and see.

I hope you do come to the shows. However, if you choose to skip them, then I hope you enjoy yourself where ever you go.

May you always roll sixes – unless you're playing against me.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2017 6:12 a.m. PST

( Models,trains ,Hist. Miniature Gaming etc..) are on the decline nationally

How can we explain the growth of GenCon and Adepticon? How about all the people we see playing Flames of War and Bolt Action? There's gotta be a better explanation.

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