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"Cold Wars 2019: Valley Forge or The Host?" Topic


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1,129 hits since 2 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

47Ronin02 Apr 2018 4:33 p.m. PST

FYI, the last question asked at the HMGS membership meeting at Cold Wars 2018 was whether a decision had been made on a location for Cold Wars 2019. The response from the BOD was, in essence, "not yet." (See the related CW '19 topic for additional details.)

If you had to pick between moving Cold Wars to Valley Forge for 2019 or having a fourth HMGS convention in a row at The Host (all the 2018 cons plus CW '19), which would you prefer?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 4:41 p.m. PST

I thought the new site is the Lancaster Marriott, or is that just H'Con. I would prefer Valley Forge -King of Prussia over any place in Lancaster.

47Ronin02 Apr 2018 4:48 p.m. PST

FYI, The Lancaster Convention Center is the location for Historicon 2019. See the related discussion and Col. Bill's article on the move.

H'con 2018 will be at The Host. The deadline to submit games for the PEL is April 11.

Hope to see you there.

Garand02 Apr 2018 5:14 p.m. PST

Personally anything in KoP is a LOT more convenient for me, considering its less than an hour from my house…

Damon.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 5:22 p.m. PST

From the sign I saw, CW 2019 was being held at the Host. Cold Wars 2020 they were trying for Hershey.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 5:24 p.m. PST

Won't do KoP. Will probably do Lancaster.

historygamer02 Apr 2018 5:45 p.m. PST

It would depend on the shape the Host is in at that time and the costs for both. I was not a fan of the Tora Bora like tunnels/rooms, many of which were pretty dark, at the VFCC and hotel meeting rooms.

TSD10102 Apr 2018 5:52 p.m. PST

VF, purely for selfish reasons.

Ember52 Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 6:36 p.m. PST

Likely would take a pass on VF. The Host would be a probable, depending on status of renovation (facility completion, removal of construction debris and materials, etc.).

civildisobedience02 Apr 2018 7:46 p.m. PST

Host. Stopping messing around with things for five minutes

zoneofcontrol02 Apr 2018 9:29 p.m. PST

LOL !!!

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 9:37 p.m. PST

Isn't this the BOD you all voted for? If you're not happy with their constant changing of things maybe you should consider replacing them!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 3:00 a.m. PST

Oh, of the two, the Host. But it's the dithering that's getting to me. This is April, and that's a decision which should have been made one way or the other in February.

And there's not even a hint of a Fall In location. I need to make reservations. To make reservations I need to know which conventions I'll be attending, and to make that decision, I need to know where they'll be. Not that complicated.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 3:36 a.m. PST

And there's not even a hint of a Fall In location.

Like this?

https://www.hmgs.org/?page=FIHome

Puddinhead Johnson03 Apr 2018 4:35 a.m. PST

The Valley Forge Convention Center isn't there anymore. It's a casino now.

No way that cheap wargamers would pay the rates that would demansd.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

The Valley Forge Convention Center isn't there anymore. It's a casino now.

To be fair, they still call themselves a convention center. From their website:

- 100,000 total square feet of flexible meeting & exhibit space
- 54,000 square foot Valley Forge Event Center
- 39 individual meeting rooms

Looks like they could still hold one of our shows.

No way that cheap wargamers would pay the rates that would demand.

I'm not disagreeing, but let's let the BOD deal with that.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:40 a.m. PST

No way that cheap wargamers would pay the rates that [the VFCC] would demand.

OTOH, if most of the facility's fixed costs are covered by local [ie, not renting hotel rooms] dime droppers and they have an unused convention area not bringing in revenue, they could actually price for conventions cheaper than places without a casino revenue stream. They get the added revenue from hotel rooms and renting convention space/services.

Given the Host sold out of rooms that in the past were very substandard and they were getting $110 USD-120 or more per night…some wargamers were able to pay the price.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 7:20 a.m. PST

Casinos often make the facility very affordable on the theory that they make it back with conventioneers gambling heavily, thus they essentially subsidize the event. Kind of like how they give you free drinks while you are playing blackjack. Or with wargamers, likely craps giving their penchant for rolling dice :)

47Ronin03 Apr 2018 8:31 a.m. PST

It's not a criticism of the current HMGS (East) BOD to discuss options and/or offer suggestions on the only practical forum left available to concerned members and attendees.

In the opinion of many, the two biggest debacles in HMGS history--Baltimore and Fredericksburg-- were caused in no small part by lack of membership oversight of decisions made by those on the Board at the time. Fortunately for HMGS, those days are gone.

As far as comparing the two venues in question is concerned, Valley Forge underwent extensive renovations years ago. By comparison, The Host had 15 construction permits and one stop work order posted in its front window at Cold Wars.

Like I said, we'll see.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

I prefer the host.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

In the opinion of many, the two biggest debacles in HMGS history--Baltimore and Fredericksburg-- were caused in no small part by lack of membership oversight of decisions made by those on the Board at the time.

I don't want to seem argumentative, but I don't think the years spent in F'burg as a debacle. I was a critic of the site for various reasons, but I think the choice to go there was a calculated risk. I'm sure the BOD at the time understood that this move was away from the biggest density of HMGS members and wargamers. The idea was that the perceived drop of attendees would be offset by the a larger increase in wargamers coming from the south. Alas, that was not to be. If Historicon attendance remained the same or grew, it would have remained there. I think it was worth the effort in spreading the conventions around, and debacle seems kind of harsh.

I don't miss the drive, though.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 10:24 a.m. PST

AFAIK, the typical date for CW was already taken at VF.

Dynaman878903 Apr 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

VF is an hour closer to me so that wins. Don't really care either way however, either facility is good – as long as the Host reno is more or less done by then.

14Bore03 Apr 2018 1:22 p.m. PST

KoP would be very enticing as its very close, only one I went to was there.
Don't know hiw these things get decided but there is a convention center in Oaks Pa in the KoP area.

47Ronin03 Apr 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

Not argumentative at all, Bowman.

Many of us look forward to your comments.

Much of what is posted here is intended to stimulate a healthy debate on the gaming issues of the day.

Accordingly, from Merriam-Webster.com:

Debacle:
1A: a great disaster;
1B: a complete failure: FIASCO;

2: a tumultuous breaking of ice in a river; [didn't know about that one];

3: a violent disruption (as of an army): ROUT [this one sounds like they had HMGS in mind].

If the definition fits, wear it. If not, don't. Members can decide for themselves based on their own experiences with F'burg and Baltimore.

But the point about lack of adequate oversight remains.

civildisobedience03 Apr 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

I wonder what one of these threads would be like without seven hundred "it's closer to me" posts? Stipulated…everyone would prefer someplace closer to them. But, I can't think of anything less useful to a meaningful discussion.

Even, "it's closer to a higher concentration of gamers" would be reasonable.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:35 p.m. PST

Bowman, we were discussing 2019. I have reservations for all the 2018 conventions at Lancaster--and SYWA at South Bend--but it's past time for me to start making 2019 reservations, and I've got insufficient information. The date and place of one convention out of three is not enough. And if this is a ploy to get me to sign on for Historicon before I know the other two, it's not going to work.

Personal logo snurl1 Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 6:33 a.m. PST

I vote for the Host.

TSD10104 Apr 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

I wonder what one of these threads would be like without seven hundred "it's closer to me" posts? Stipulated…everyone would prefer someplace closer to them. But, I can't think of anything less useful to a meaningful discussion.

Well, Valley Forge is certainly closer to an international airport than Lancaster is. Gotta cater to all those international friends so they can show up and boost the con numbers ya know…

95th Division Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

The Host.

kayjay04 Apr 2018 1:45 p.m. PST

"In the opinion of many, the two biggest debacles in HMGS history--Baltimore and Fredericksburg-- were caused in no small part by lack of membership oversight of decisions made by those on the Board at the time."

I dont think its fair to equate the two – The BCC and 'ramp up" cost HMGS close to $150 USDK. During the 6 years HCON was at Fburg every HCON made money and HMGS as a whole added 200K to our balance sheet. Attendance at HCoN flat-lined. We will see this summer if HCON goes back to 3600 or sits at 2400 or some middle ground.

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 4:22 a.m. PST

It is probably unreasonable to expect attendance to jump from 2400 to 3600 in one year.

historygamer05 Apr 2018 6:12 a.m. PST

"The BCC and 'ramp up" cost HMGS close to $150 USD…"

How much of that $150 USDK was paid to the lawyers representing HMGS? I seem to recall a retainer put down for $20 USDk and I bet they got more than that before it was all over.

How much went to settle with the BCC?

What would have been the final costs to have gone ahead with the convention for one year at the BCC? At least there would have been some income.

I'm not looking for a debate, but the final costs incurred were a BoD decision, not loss of income from a convention.

Making money is a good thing for any organization, but then the questions are:

1. Why is the organization compiling so much money?
2. How will that money be spent?
3. Why isn't the money being put back into the conventions in some way?

I think if HMGS really wants Hcon to be a success, no matter where it is held, it needs to once again make it a "can't miss" convention instead of "it's being held here now."

Here is hoping for success no matter where it is held. :-)

Al Swearengen05 Apr 2018 7:57 a.m. PST

When WBC moved from the Host to Seven Springs, the board used some of the organizations surplus funds to subsidize the room costs to keep them in line with the prior prices, since 7S room rates were slightly higher. The idea was a sort of "try before you buy" – remove the cost difference from the equation so attendees could see why they were being asked to pay more in the long term . This was only done for the attached hotel, not all nearby rooms. This was done for a weeklong convention mind you. Seeing as how the hotel there has roughly 400 rooms, times say 6 nights, call it 2400 room nights times the price difference, which was around $20 USD per night higher than the dismal Host. So for $48,000 USD, the WBC board was able to help convince people to see what a little more could get them. This subsidy was only for the first two years IIRC and it seems to have worked, as pre regs for the upcoming year are higher than they've been in a number of years .This also gave the board the confidence to sign a ten year contract just before last years con; as a result they've locked in room prices for the next decade with only a $5 USD per night room bump every third or fourth year.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 10:16 a.m. PST

"Well, Valley Forge is certainly closer to an international airport than Lancaster is. Gotta cater to all those international friends so they can show up and boost the con numbers ya know…"
Sorry, while not as extensive a facility as Philly, Harrisburg International Airport is 35 miles away. It serves as the home of a PA Air National Guard 193rd Special Operations Wing, and off-duty VC-25A's (aka Air Force One when Prez is aboard) can be seen occasionally doing "touch-and-go" landing practice over Middletown, PA. If it's good enough for the Commander in Chief to land there, it should be good enough for our sorry butts to fly into.

doug redshirt05 Apr 2018 10:36 a.m. PST

Lol, Capncarp by that logic shouldn't we be trying to hold the con in Mars-Largo? If it's good enough for the Prez it's good enough for a bunch of gamers.

Al Swearengen05 Apr 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

Presidential jokes aside, Harrisburg has a fraction of the flight options available that Philly does.

jdpintex05 Apr 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

As someone who flies to Historicon, the airport in Harrisburg is a non-starter due to lack of flights and the costs for those limited flights. It's easier to fly into one of the bigger airports (Philly, Baltimore, DC) and getting a rental car.

What Air Force assets use the airport has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 8:56 p.m. PST

Host – my experience as a GM with the VF location was the worst of any con of the last 30 years and VF is at least 45 minutes further away

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

Personally I'm with Jlundberg on this. The drive for me to VF is about an hour or so more than Lancaster. Plus, I'm more familiar with the hotels, restaurants and facilities of Lancaster and the Host. Kind of like, "The Devil you know……..".

But if it relocates to the VFCC, I'm OK with that too.

47Ronin07 Apr 2018 1:55 p.m. PST

My experience as a GM with Valley Forge was the best of any con in the 18 years I've been a GM and the 30+ years I've been attending as a player. That includes The Host, Harrisburg, F'burg, G'burg and Turf Valley (or whatever it was called).

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