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"HMGS Report on the host for Fallin" Topic

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1,522 hits since 26 Oct 2018
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Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

Fall In! is just two weeks away!!

We're looking forward to seeing you at Fall In! 2018. We have our usual grand assortment of games, tournaments and vendors scheduled for your enjoyment, and you can still register online.
We realize that many of you are concerned about the state of the Host, so we recently did an on-site visit to see things for ourselves. Here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!!

The Good
Guest Rooms: While a small number of guest rooms are still being worked on, they are all (except for the Presidential Suite and a few other special rooms) expected to be complete before Fall In! And, no, before someone asks, we didn't check each one of the almost 300 rooms!!
Parking: There is still a significant amount of construction equipment and material in the parking spaces around the hotel, but less than previously. The area around the front entrance is still fenced off. So, the parking situation should be the same as at Historicon or, maybe, slightly better. "Overflow parking" will again be available across the street.
Main Entry: As at Historicon, due to the construction of the new main entry, access into the front of the hotel will be through Lampeter's new entrance (where Registration will be again), or up the handicap ramp.
Refurbished Event Rooms: Wheatland, Marietta, Strasburg, Limerock, New Holland, Kinderhook, Cornwall and Hopewell have all been refurbished new wall coverings, ceilings, carpets, etc. and will all be complete by Fall In! As of 10/21, most of the rooms just needed trim work and clean-up, a few needed carpet and furniture installed.
Expo Hall: The old parking area that is being turned into a patio garden is fenced off, so access to the Expo Hall will be down the right-side of the building (looking from the hotel). The door on that side that opens on to the balcony area will be in use, so if you don't mind using the stairs down from the balcony you will not have to walk down to the bottom of the hill.
The Bad
Untouched Event Rooms: Lampeter, Heritage, Paradise, Distelfink and Showroom will be in the same state as they were at Historicon. Access to the Showroom for Wally's Basement sellers with carts will again be through the freight elevator accessible through the Wheatland room (where Hobby U. will be). The lighting in the Showroom will still be a challenge, so bring your miner's helmets!! Some of these areas do have construction-related issues.
Ballroom Lobby areas: The old "business center" area is still dry-walled off, and the corridor to the lower-level rooms (The Host rooms) is inaccessible due to ongoing work on "the spa". Refurbishment hasn't started in these areas, but they do show signs of having construction in adjoining areas.
Hotel Lobby areas: The area for the new Starbucks is stilled walled off. The bar area (and therefore the restaurant) are also walled off (bar, kitchen and restaurant were "shells" during our visit). A temporary bar/lounge area will be set up in Vistas (where renovations haven't started yet), along with food & drink concessions.
The Ugly
Main elevator: The elevator (ballroom lobby/hotel lobby/600 level rooms) is being refurbished and will NOT be operational for Fall In! Hotel guests with mobility issues (i.e., can't navigate stairs) should ask to be put in a 300 level room (where there is a chair lift from the back of the lobby). To get between the hotel lobby level and the ballroom level while avoiding stairs, it will be necessary to use the front handicapped ramp and Distelfink's loading dock entrance. There will be a "tour cart" driving around to assist guests with mobility issues.
Food: With the main kitchen still under construction, the Host will be preparing food in the Expo kitchen and bringing it up to the main building. Expect the choice and quality of the offerings to be the same as at Historicon.

As you can see, we expect a "Host experience" similar to what we had at Historicon. As always, the convention volunteers will work hard to make your visit as enjoyable as possible, given the challenges of the facility.

Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse26 Oct 2018 3:30 p.m. PST


Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse26 Oct 2018 3:30 p.m. PST


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 4:29 p.m. PST

You know, "discouraged" isn't quite strong enough.


Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 4:32 p.m. PST

Oh come on, let's see the rant…………….;)…..

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 5:17 p.m. PST

see the other thread too.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 8:53 p.m. PST

Well, I have always loved an adventure. I was last here at Fall In 2017. I am staying off campus and hope I can at least get a parking spot to unload for flea market. Across the street won't cut it. Hope to see you guys there.

Dukewilliam26 Oct 2018 10:34 p.m. PST

Hopefully the toilets will work, unlike the last time I was there. And here's also hoping the $14 USD burgers are heated to at least room temperature.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Oct 2018 3:18 a.m. PST

Doesn't sound like it will be any worse than at Historicon, and that was okay.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2018 3:44 a.m. PST

Scott---agree. Prob not much better. It's the Host---the convention site that never dies. But sometimes smells like it did!

Dynaman878927 Oct 2018 4:32 a.m. PST

Is that smell due to the Host or the ones it is currently hosting though?

Elevator situation is really bad for those with mobility issues but otherwise bearable.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

This year was my first Historicon at the Host (I had previously been to Valley Forge and Fredericksburg). Calling the Host a dump is being unfair to dumps. I had a good time, but it was in spite of the venue, not because of it.

I've been to many game shows in the US and Europe and the Host took the prize for worst by a fair margin. A church basement would have been preferable.

I just don't get the nostalgia for that place, especially if you want to recruit new gaming blood who is used to at least a small measure of standards in their venues.

It was the people who made Historicon, not the venue.

PJ ONeill27 Oct 2018 8:00 a.m. PST

My room-mate can't do stairs and we have been getting the 600 series of rooms for that reason. The Host has had us over a barrel and spanking our ass for almost 3 years now. I hope that is remembered when it comes time to pay for the "service" we have been getting.
This is horrible news and I hate that we are getting it less than 2 weeks before the con.

TSD10127 Oct 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

The Host has had us over a barrel and spanking our ass for almost 3 years now. I hope that is remembered when it comes time to pay for the "service" we have been getting.

I have a feeling the Host is going to be a thing of the past after Cold Wars, especially if Historicon at downtown Lancaster turns out better than expected.

Prince Alberts Revenge27 Oct 2018 8:21 a.m. PST

Always have a blast at the HMGS conventions and don't let the facilities' poor state to bother me. The food looks terrible but I haven't eaten the food in years so no issue there. My rooms have been pretty shoddy but so long as I have some warm water to shower and no bed bugs it's all good. Look forward to this convention!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2018 9:55 a.m. PST

I think that the accidental cross posting to the HORROR Message Board wasn't an accident at all. grin


47Ronin27 Oct 2018 10:14 a.m. PST

Thanks to HMGS for the timely and comprehensive report.

Given that renovations are ongoing, we can expect to see more improvements before the convention.

After Fall In, the Host will have until March 2019 to complete its repairs before HMGS returns. Even if renovations are still in progress then (which I expect), HMGS will move on to better venues after Cold Wars 2019.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

47Ronin, I think Host improvements are an urban legend of some sort. I have attended every Host HMGS convention of this century. Not only have I never slept in an updated room, I have now been told for four conventions running that NEXT convention, the restaurant will be functioning. They obviously worked on the vendor's hall, but given the access, even that can't be regarded as a net improvement. Nothing has actually gotten better. The stack of promises is impressive, but for that we have politicians, not innkeepers. It is past time for the Host to underpromise and overperform instead of the reverse, but I think it's too late.

TGerritson, are you sure you understand what nostalgia is? In contrast to a recent efficiency report, it has to do with what something was--and, sometimes, what we ourselves were. Find yourself a stack of "Night Gallery" CDs and look up "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar." Furious as I am with the Host and the renovation team, in my memory of the building it's always 1992. Everything is fresh and new and a dozen people now dead are still alive. THAT's nostalgia.

It's also, bluntly, ignoring the present sorry state of the place and the stack of broken promises, the best convention location HMGS has ever tried. I have attended every site since we left the Penn-Harris, and none matched the on-site and nearby sleeping accommodations, reasonably priced food in the building, well-lit spacious rooms of varying capacities and far and away the best lecture hall. It was well worth taking some chances to keep the relationship with the place, and it's a crying shame the new Host management has made no effort to work with us.

Really not looking forward to my venue choices for 2019 and 2020.

oldnorthstate28 Oct 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

"A temporary bar"…they couldn't get the permanent bar right most of the time so I have very little expectations about the temporary bar. To me that is the biggest difference between Historicon and Fall In with regard to the facility.

TSD10128 Oct 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

I wonder if the "No cooler" signs will be up in force again. Talk about disrespectful considering the sorry state of their own food/beverage service.

47Ronin28 Oct 2018 1:40 p.m. PST


FYI, I also go back to the days of the Penn Harris.

When it comes to HMGS and the Host, we can either attend the conventions or not. I choose to attend and make the best of the situation.

For the record, my advice to HMGS was to NOT have Cold Wars 2019 at the Host on the theory that repairs would still not be complete. The powers that be went in another direction. Given what we know now, many of us would be happy if the last HMGS convention at the Host was Fall In 2018. As far as Cold Wars is concerned, we'll just have to wait and see.

Finally, I've been in a renovated room and I never eat at the Host, so those issues don't impact me. Plenty of other gamers attend the conventions, but sleep and eat elsewhere.

Hope to see you there.

PJ ONeill28 Oct 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

" many of us would be happy if the last HMGS convention at the Host was Fall In 2018."

I for one would be happy.

Many fond memories, over the years, at the Host, but the way we have been treated these last few cons has been abysmal.

Can't see how they can be open for business without that elevator.

Sir Walter Rlyeh29 Oct 2018 11:52 a.m. PST

I am skipping Fall In just like I skipped Historicon 2018 and am skipping Historicon in 2019. I guess HMGS felt they needed all their eggs in one basket. Good thing they say their attendance numbers are up.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2018 6:01 p.m. PST

Sir Walter, the only reason all 3 eggs are in one basket this year is because a venue fell through. All three conventions haven't been at the Host since after the Eisenhower imploded and before Valley Forge.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2018 9:37 p.m. PST

Sounds like the Host will make a dumpster fire look like a Disney timeshare. Nonetheless, I'm still going to try to get down for it.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

BTW the Penn Harris was great in my opinion. It just became too small for us. I liked the IKE, but not as much. Things are changing and we are all getting older. Just realize the fond memories are not today's reality. And that's life.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

Hey everyone, just a heads up since we just received final confirmation. A group of vendors are sponsoring a customer appreciation event at Fall In. As a result, free beer will be on tap in the Vendor area on Saturday from 2pm-6pm (or until it runs out). Come have a beer or two on us and stop by our booths and say hello. ( a list of sponsoring vendors will be provided later and also at the event).

47Ronin06 Nov 2018 3:14 p.m. PST


The perfect solution to all the issues at the Host.

Many thanks to all the Vendors behind this project, which is fast becoming the highlight of every HMGS convention.

Free beer + chili dogs at the Vendor Hall = best meal available at the Host for Fall In 2018.

Hope to see you there.

shthar06 Nov 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

Free beer and chili dogs may not be the best thing for a location with less than 100% plumbing…

shthar06 Nov 2018 6:52 p.m. PST

oh, posted to the HORRROR message board, funny.

capncarp11 Nov 2018 8:57 p.m. PST

"Free beer and chili dogs may not be the best thing for a location with less than 100% plumbing…"

But think of the boost there'll be in the hothouse gases produced!

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