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"Continental Inn Changes Ownership" Topic


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BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

This will affect anyone that has a room for Cold Wars and Historicon. The hotel is now closed.

link

Interesting to see all of the redevelopment near the Host.

Neal Smith30 Jan 2018 8:38 a.m. PST

Only stayed there once, but yeah… Interesting…

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 8:42 a.m. PST

Drat. They had a nice breakfast waffle, too, if I'm remembering properly. Might have more of an impact on The Weekend, though.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

It'll have a big impact on The Weekend, as it got moved up this year. I'm sure Otto is on the case.

ViscountEric30 Jan 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

Well that just adds another level of suck to Cold Wars.

Looks like a day trip on Friday, and some very disappointed kids this Summer (After years of going to Knoebels, the kids found Dutch Wonderland a dump, but loved the Continental.)

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

That whirling sound you hear is the sound of prices going up all along the Rt. 30 corridor!

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 1:11 p.m. PST

To Vagamer63's point, I read elsewhere the Red Roof Inn jacked their rate up to 124.00 a night.

Good Lord, that place is a dump, they should rent by the hour there and now they want 124.00 a night? I'll keep staying at my nice, clean, comfortable, off the beaten path hotel and see what happens…………..

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 1:13 p.m. PST

Where did I read that Historicon was going to New Jersey this year? Is that not til 2019? Or not at all?

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

Flashman, don't know about 2019….

It was originally supposed to be in NJ for 2018 but fell through when the facility was sold. So Historicon 2018 is at the Lancaster Host.

cleo liebl30 Jan 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

The Weekend will be moved. More info to come as soon as we know.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 6:33 p.m. PST

My usual place is about $30 USD more expensive .

Charlie 1230 Jan 2018 7:53 p.m. PST

Old saying in retail: If you don't like the prices now, just wait; you'll HATE them later….

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 6:40 a.m. PST

That whirling sound you hear is the sound of prices going up all along the Rt. 30 corridor!

I'll admit, it feels like the end of an era. The Continental was a nice hotel that harkened back to a different, simpler era. The rooms were dated, but nice and comfortable. Same with the pools. Most importantly the people that worked there were wonderful.

But… things change. Life goes forward. People want "bigger and faster". They want updated rooms. Updated amenities. Unfortunately, this comes at a price.

Heck – just look at Games Workshop to see price increases in action. They make a beautiful product – but it comes at a price.

Before we scream gloom and doom, let's wait and see how the pricing structure works out.

Life changes. Prices go up. Taxes get higher. Facts of life :)

zoneofcontrol31 Jan 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

The local government (East Lampeter Twp.) has long range plans for developing the area along the Rt. 30 corridor. Some are modernization, some are safety and some are cosmetic, all to attract additional tourism. A chunk of this will be paid by the new and existing businesses and their customers.
link

A few years ago the same people that own Hershey Park also owned Dutch Wonderland, next door to the Continental Inn. Hershey Park and their other entertainment entities pay a surcharge to their local government on every admission ticket sold. Also, hotel/motels pay a room tax for each night's rental.

So yes, the prices will be going up.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 7:57 a.m. PST

The Continental was a nice hotel that harkened back to a different, simpler era. The rooms were dated, but nice and comfortable.

I think the Continental will open up soon again with the upgrades…..kind of like the Host. It'll just impact Cold Wars, The Weekend and possibly Historicon.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 9:30 a.m. PST

I hope so. Time will tell.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

This is the problem when you have a convention in an area where tourists come; gamers want to game, they sleep and shower in the rooms, that's it, maybe use the pool or have breakfast in the morning, they don't want or need bells and whistles.

I get back to my room at 11:00pm each night, check my emails and go to bed, get up early in the AM, shower and have breakfast and head over to the dealer hall, I spend about 8 hours a day in the room, 7 of which I am sleeping.

The old expression KISS comes to mind (Keep It Simple Stupid).

The hotel I stay at in Lancaster has already informed me the rates for July are going to be pricey. Why; because it's in a area where tourists come to.

HMGS needs to find a home for these three conventions that is off the beaten path and will work for the majority of the attendees.

I'll deal with it this year, then we'll see where these conventions land in 2019.

Neal Smith31 Jan 2018 10:46 a.m. PST

Fredericksburg? That was nice…

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 10:52 a.m. PST

Doing a search a couple of weeks ago for room rates for all the Motels/Hotels along the Lincoln Hwy I took note of the fact that all rooms seem to be in the triple digit range. Even at places like Econo-Lodge and a few other typical low cost facilities the rooms are over $100.00 USD.

While Lancaster is a tourist location the middle of March is still considered the Off-Season for the area. So those prices appear to be above the norm from years past.

I then searched for room prices the week before and the week after Cold Wars, and most of them seemed far more reasonable and well below the triple digit range!

If triple digit prices are the new norm for both Cold Wars & Fall In I can see that affecting attendance. It certainly changed my plans this year.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

I travel a lot for work, and it is very rare to pay less than triple digits for a room (although my requirements/standards are likely higher than many folks due to having a lot of hotel clients).

It is not unusual to pay $150 USD-$170 before taxes in a lot of places.

TSD10131 Jan 2018 1:59 p.m. PST

It certainly changed my plans this year.

What plans vagamer63? You already said you were never attending another HMGS show since it left Fredericksburg.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 6:46 p.m. PST

"off the beaten path"

IMO,

doesn't work well for convention centers.

They apply to where the people are and will go.

And those people, coming to a convention do want to spend time doing other things, eating, shopping etc.

Ours is a rather uniquely & narrowly defined membership.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

While Lancaster is a tourist location the middle of March is still considered the Off-Season for the area. So those prices appear to be above the norm from years past.

I then searched for room prices the week before and the week after Cold Wars, and most of them seemed far more reasonable and well below the triple digit range!

yes. they know their market and their business. Since we have been coming since 1992…they know we are an additional slug of "tourists" on top of the regular shopping crowd that seems to run all year long to similar outlet malls.

like a plant that turns to the light, it's instinctual for maximizing the bottom line. When demand goes up prices rise until equilibrium, and beyond that, demand reduces at that price, so will prices eventually [lagging].

Keep staying away, they will get the message eventually.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 7:16 p.m. PST

What plans vagamer63? You already said you were never attending another HMGS show since it left Fredericksburg.

Lol! My thoughts too. He's clearly forgotten about his earlier rant.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 7:20 p.m. PST

This is the problem when you have a convention in an area where tourists come….

But surely, that is where one builds convention centers.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 8:13 p.m. PST

Would you consider the Host a convention center?

I wouldn't.

It wasn't built as one and it still isn't.

Fredericksburg is a convention center.

Big difference.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

What plans vagamer63? You already said you were never attending another HMGS show since it left Fredericksburg.

Now stop. He was getting ready to say he was sorry. Really. But then the stupid Continental sold and now…. well, him and his friends will never step back into another HMGS convention.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

Would you consider the Host a convention center?

I wouldn't.

Well that is their designation. Same with the Ike, which calls itself a conference center. This is what the older generation of convention center looks like. The FCC is just the modern "box-like" manifestation of the same thing.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the Host it has little to do with placing convention centers away from popular destinations. And, as an aside, Lancaster is not a "tourist destination" at all for me. But that hardly changes the argument.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

TheKing30

Lol.

Chris Palmer01 Feb 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

As a point of interest, the Host was actually considered a "Resort" when it was built, and it was kind of out in the middle of nowhere then in the Dark Ages, surrounded by Amish Farms; back when city folks would go spend a month or so at Resorts as their summer vacation. When the Resort culture declined, and Lancaster grew, it rebranded itself as a Convention Center.
This has kept it from going the way of the resort dinosaurs… link

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

For those that remember the first conventions at the Host, there was not much to the east on 30. A lot of development has occurred since the early 1990s.

I remember attending fire fighting shows/events next to Dutch Wonderland in the 80s and passing through here headed to Strasburg RR as a kid. Time marches on……

catavar01 Feb 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

I think having a location that is also a tourist destination isn't so bad when it gives the rest of the family something to do while on "vacation" (two birds with one stone some might say).

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 7:13 p.m. PST

And don't forget that Lancaster actually does have a convention center. It's in downtown Lancaster. As in modern convention centers, it's configuration is flexible (including the attached Marriott hotel) to be attractive to both "conferences" and "conventions".

lindrp01 Feb 2018 7:23 p.m. PST

Parking is a huge problem at Lancaster Convnetion Center

snurl1 Inactive Member01 Feb 2018 8:02 p.m. PST

Yes, parking is a big problem there.
And it's not free. And it's in a crime area. Stay at the Host and ride an Uber there? Forget it.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 9:13 p.m. PST

Rick, from what I know about the downtown convention center from following it over the years, is that there are not a lot of hotel rooms attached (they are expanding the Marriott, but it will take a while), and parking is a challenge. All parking is in parking garages and many lots are several blocks removed.

Might be a stretch for our demographic…..

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 9:27 p.m. PST

Agreed. Parking is a criteria. But what constitutes adequate? Complaints about the Host too. At least it is free to circle the Host, like a buzzard, looking for that prey=an empty spot.

BUT.

Where does it rank against the other criteria for our convention?

Does anyone think the evolving changes to the Host won't impact other, perhaps more important criteria?

As far as crime, I don't know the statistics (nor the types of crime)of downtown Lancaster. I do believe our lot doesn't leave the premises all that often if food and drink is available on site. But if you do, travel in groups! Safety in numbers. You never know when you might be accidentally trampled and your wallet lifted by shopping-crazed tour groups.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2018 6:47 a.m. PST

Rick I understand. I have watched the convention center progress for years. Here is the parking map: PDF link

Only one lot close, the rest will likely be a haul for our folks. Also limited rooms downtown (with most hotels a good 15 minute drive).

I also have concerns about trailers/trucks for us vendors. Those do not park well in parking garages (not totally sure about the logistics there though).

Sure I hope a lot of places will work our for us, but as a group we have become used to certain aspects of our shows.

Brian9802 Feb 2018 9:57 a.m. PST

Hi all,
Just a quick clarification on the parking near the Lancaster Convention Center. First, to BTC Terrainman, thank you for providing the pdf map. It shows the parking garages that are operated by the Lancaster Parking Authority. The attached garage known as Penn Square has 756 spaces. The King Street garage about two blocks away has 448 spaces.
What is not included on the map is the Central Garage located just to the left of the Lancaster Newspaper building, also about two blocks away. This garage also has 755 spaces. So that's slightly under 2,000 spaces either attached or within a 500 foot walk.
There is also another parking lot across the street from the convention center which is used for large vendor trucks. HMGS would have to rent that lot separately so our vendors would have complete and sole access.
We did a site visit while at Fall-In.
In comparison, the Host has about 891paved spaces, but there is also some grass parking. I guess we wil also have to see how the situation at the Continental develops, since there are about 200 spaces there. I myself had reservations at the Continental that I had to change.
Hope this information helps.
John Spiess
Treasurer
HMGS, Inc.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2018 11:08 a.m. PST

John thank you very much for clarifying! The website for the convention center is not very clear on that.

civildisobedience05 Feb 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

The problems with garage parking are the same one raised when Baltimore was first floated (and utterly ignored by the Next Level crowd).

1. GMs have to unload and reload significant amounts of materials for games, sometimes more than once a day. The dynamic of going to get a car, driving to some unloading area, then taking the car back to a garage, etc., is pretty unworkable.

2. Most garages charge in a way that makes it extremely expensive to keep coming in an out all day. I find it unlikely that HMGS would be able to negotiate some special arrangement with multiple garages.

Don Manser Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 7:01 a.m. PST

rmcaras wrote:

"But if you do, travel in groups! Safety in numbers. You never know when you might be accidentally trampled and your wallet lifted by shopping-crazed tour groups."


The Lancaster Convention Center is not located in a good area. It's nothing like the Tanger Outlets / Host / Dutch Wonderland / Horse & Buggy corridor. I wouldn't park my car there after dark let alone walk around.

Just my .02 from personal experience.

zoneofcontrol11 Feb 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

Don Manser:
" I wouldn't park my car there after dark let alone walk around."

In addition I would not leave valuables in the car either. (Think GM's gaming material, vendor hall and flea market purchases, luggage, etc.)

historygamer11 Feb 2018 11:21 a.m. PST

Honestly, that venue is a nonstarter.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 8:21 p.m. PST

Will be interesting to see what shakes out once the tennis barn is fully renovated as are all the rooms and function rooms at the Host, ie, what will the new owners then charge for the hotel rooms, the function rooms and the tennis barn for a weekend? Time/2019 will tell………….

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 4:46 a.m. PST

One thing's for sure… nothing stays the same. I'm sure prices will go up. Every year I get a raise… every year prices go up to negate my raise. Hahahaha

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 7:29 p.m. PST

No they don't and yes they will, renovations cost money and that investment has to be made back, it's made back by raising prices.

The HMGS conventions aren't growing, they are flat/declining, so if the location raises their prices, then you need to raise the prices for the attendees, which includes convention attendees, dealers and flea market sellers in order to pay the price increase from the location.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out; maybe the leverage HMGS can use is they'll commit to three conventions there, which means the hotel sells out, which means a lot of meals will be eaten and alcohol will be consumed, so the hotel makes money off of that as well.

Then the issue is three shows in the same location, which is not popular with the attendees near as I can tell.

Duskland Inactive Member13 Feb 2018 8:05 p.m. PST

Better to spread them out, so you're not completely at the mercy of one location. Owners can (massively) raise prices, the building could burn down or the site could be sold to turn into a server farm. No telling. The old parable about eggs and baskets applies.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 8:41 p.m. PST

Valley Forge, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg would be great, one in the south, one in PA towards the west, one in PA towards the east…………………

TSD10114 Feb 2018 4:28 a.m. PST

Fredericksburg

Did we not just learn after 5 years the FEC doesn't work?

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