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Great opportunity for exercise at Anthrocon!

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(How's that for trying to put a positive spin on bad news?)

According to an article posted to alt.fan.furry on Wednesday by Uncle Kage, the good news is that out of the bank of four elevators at the Adam's Mark Hotel, the one elevator that was supposed to be revamped and made much faster by Anthrocon will in fact be operational by that time, but because it won't be inspected until the following week it will not be available for use during the convention. See below for Kage's post, where he also mentions a bit of good news and makes a request of con attendees.

(Man, I hope my room is on the second or third floor...)From: Dr. Samuel Conway
Newsgroups: alt.fan.furry
Subject: Well, heck. >:6
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2002 18:09:04 -0400
Message-ID:

I just heard from the Adams Mark regarding the elevator project. They pushed the contractor hard to get the work done by Anthrocon.

The work WILL be done by Anthrocon...

...but the elevator can not be *inspected* until the week of July 15. Until it has an inspection certificate, it can't be put into service.

Poop.

At least the hotel fired the contractor who was keeping the elevators running (rather, failing to keep them running) last year. At least there should not be as much downtime on the remaining cars as there was last year.

A small personal favor that I wish to ask: if you should happen to see someone playfully jumping up and down in an elevator because it is "cool" to make it bounce as it tries to line itself up at its floor, beat the living **** out of them for me. And for the rest of us.

-- Uncle Kage

Comments

Your rating: None

This by all accounts is the best hotel in the area for us. Kagemushi has been doing his best, and so has the hotel, to get these elevators up and running. With that in mind. heres some things we can do to make things work:

-Don't take the elevator if your on floors 1-5 (or more if you are feeling macho like me, I plan to only use them if I'm going above 10)

-Let the Fursuiters have the elevators first! It's hard to move in those things, climbing stairs is RIGHT OUT!

-Take the stairs!

-Think a bit! Load in quickly, go to the back and make room! If someone has an emergency, give way graciously.

-Take the stairs!

-Common sense.. its common because you all have it, I hope.

Your rating: None

Mach wrote:
-Let the Fursuiters have the elevators first! It's hard to move in those things, climbing stairs is RIGHT OUT!

Agreed.

Last year, there was a considerable amount of problems in people not letting people in fursuits go first. It's not just that it's hard to move, it's also that it's often really hot for the person wearing it too. Add to that, many who costume do not want to take their heads off, as it will destroy the illusion of the character, the best thing that people can do is to let them get back to their rooms as soon as possible.

On the Friday, I managed to convince some people in con-ops to put up a sign by the elevators that urged people to let fursuiters go first. It was removed by Friday evening.

If anyone from AC staff reads this, I urge that sign be put back and left up until Sunday evening!

Frysco!

Your rating: None

I'm sorry, but this is just another prime example of the piss poor service that the Adam's Mark Hotel provides. That company KNEW there was a problem with the elevators last year, they KNEW that a fully booked convention had a problem last year, and they KNEW there was a fully booked convention this year.

Find the hotel manager and tell him to get the building and elevator inspector a big fat bribe or something. Inspect the damned elevators. Pay the fine for running without an inspection certificate. ANYTHING.

Last year, I had the pleasure of bringing a handicapped person to the Adam's Mark Hotel and staying up on the top floors. Between the hotel staff pushing her out of the way to use the elevator, the medical emergencies (Mr. DeCarlo's medication), the rudeness of everyone from pool attendant down to the assistant manager*, Anthrocon should abandon this hotel immediately, even if it means moving to another city.

(*After the con last year, and given the horrible condition of the rooms, lack of towels, broken elevators, etc, I wrote a letter to the hotel's manager and CEO of Adam's Mark. They refused to budge on the price of the room, and the manager refused to even talk to me. I was yelled at on the phone by the assistant manager. Adam's Mark corporate never responded to any comments other than to send me a "Frequent Flyer" card two weeks ago. Into the shredder that went.)

My crew will be staying at the Holiday Inn.

Your rating: None

Say, Anon, you mean I wasn't the only one who noticed that the Adam's Mark folks seemed, ahem, less than thrilled by the furry crowd? Geeze, and it usually takes at least one convention before the hotels decide they don't want the fanboys back.

And am I ever sorry to hear about the way they treated Mr. DeCarlo.

Your rating: None

A friend of mine commented on how the con seemed far less friendly and intimate than he was used to in a furry con.
His comment was directed at the people attending- and I noticed a LOT of people I have never seen before- who appear to have all been first timers.
I find myself wondering if many of the problems with rude/hostile fans were because of attendees who had just found out about furries, and were curious and went to basically "stare at the freaks", as opposed to being genuinely interested in furry fandom?
I did not really notice the situation myself until he mentioned it- But I do remember some incidents of rude behavior that did not seem like what I would expect from furries.
Anyone else notice this problem?
(There have been cases of things like this in the past- at isolated furry cons that took place just after furries had been in a media spotlight.)

That said, I did enjoy anthrocon myself- and I wish I could afford to go this year!

Iron Badger

Your rating: None

Now that you mention it, I seem to recall some folks last year displayign severely bad manners. Kind of unexpected for a furry con -- maybe they were the AFF trolls in disguise?

Your rating: None

You know this, Badger, but I thought I'd add my 2.5 cents in as well... the con was very distant and cold compared to the cons - even plain ol' SF cons - that I'm used to. That combined with other issues, some of which point to the con itself (atmosphere, size, distance from Los Angeles), and some of which were my own fault (overworked myself last year), are the reasons why I'm not going this year.

Maybe next year. IF I can afford it.

Your rating: None

Unlikely. Your typical Usenet troll doesn't have the cojones to actually leave his house and meet people face-to-face.

Your rating: None

What about it did you find to be "cold and distant"? The staff? The fans? The hotel? I sure wasn't any more cold and distant than I normally am.

Your rating: None

There's no real way to pin it down... just less smiling strangers, less spontaneous conversations. Less willingness to make friends and strike up camadrie with people you don't know, simply on the basis that they are furry. Being furry seemed to mean less... the atmosphere of the day seemed to be not "We're all furry here, let's all be friends and relax!" as I'm used to with other cons, and more "OK, so you're furry, but that doesn't mean you're OK in my book." Even at cons where I don't know many furs, those I don't know are usually very friendly and outgoing.

No specific incidences, just seemed to be an atmosphere. Maybe I was just in all the wrong places at the wrong times.

Your rating: None

You are quite right about that. Last year was my first AC, and well, I felt it was a cold atmosphere compared to my other con's also.
It just felt that it wasn't about hanging out with your fellow furries and making new friends, but more about making money. Sell sell sell!
So your not the only one that felt it was a cold atmosphere.
*an anon skunk*

Your rating: None

For those planning expeditions outside the con, three quick warnings.

Stay out of Philly's south side; it's practically a free-fire zone.

Stay out of Chester; the whole city is a war zone (you want an example? A few years back Chester City Council planted trees at the intersections. They had to cut them down when too many people got carjacked or killed by guys hiding out in the trees & attacking them when they stopped).

Stay off of the Schuykill Expressway. It's locally referred to as the 'Sure-Kill', and with good reason. It hasn't been worked on since the 50's and the interstate truckers treat it like a racetrack.

That said, enjoy your stay in Philly.

Your rating: None

Well, um, it would be helpful for those of us out-of-towners to know where these things are in order to avoid them also. :)

South side: Is that where the airport and stadium are? Didn't seem awful last year on a Sunday, and we went to the Mutter Museum in the middle of the run-down warehouse district without incident.

Chester: Mapquest shows this as being about 15 miles from the Adam's Mark; is there something there to go to?

Schuylkill Expressway: Is this I-76? I drove it to Valley Forge 3 & 2 years ago and to the Adam's Mark 1 year ago and it didn't seem like an unusual freeway, but I'm from Oregon where the interchanges and on-ramps go every which way anyway.

Your rating: None

>Stay off of the Schuykill Expressway. It's
>locally referred to as the 'Sure-Kill', and with
>good reason. It hasn't been worked on since
>the 50's and the interstate truckers treat it
>like a racetrack.

Bull. I drive on it to/from my job in Center City Philly every day. Truckers CANNOT speed, simply because the highway is too darn backed up during rush hour.

During other times, it's no different than any other major highway I've driven on in a major city.

Your rating: None

In answer to one of your questions, I-76 is indeed the Schuylkill Expressway. In checking this out, I found a great page about the history of the Schuylkill Expressway (road geeks, unite!). Looks like it's no too bad (compared to, say, Chicago's Kennedy Expressway), though I note part of its design includes shortened acceleration/deceleration lanes, which could make life exciting for those driving it.

Your rating: None

Um, sorry if I seemed a bit vague about danger zones in Philly. And no, I'm not too clear on the layout of the city -- if you don't live in it or have to commute for work, most people in SE PA avoid Philly like the plague.

With Chester -- I included that in case some furries felt like 'exploring' (like in Camden a few years back, when CF East was in town; I understand some furs tried to go exploring the subways at 3 in the morning and got a far more exciting time than they wanted!). It's the Philly ports, and has nothing to see unless you like block after block of slums with shot-out windows.

The part of Philly (call it south side or whatever) I'm thinking of as 'to be avoided' is the part with the burned-out buildings, bullet holes in the walls, and hostile crowds.

But I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, BB. I hope you enjoy it again this year -- and if anyone knows anything about the Philly Zoo, please let me know if they've finally cleaned up after the fire.

Have fun all -- Ardashir

Your rating: None

I've never been to a Con myself (sorry, yes, I'm a poor con newbie with college to worry about) what I'd like to know is what are one of these cons like in general and are some places really that risky...

Huh, just noticed something Blackberry, you're a fellow Oregonian... that's pretty cool, good to know somebody else is on here other than me.

Tlaren }:=8}

Your rating: None

Hi there.

Well, I don't know how to describe it "in general": it's a place where you can get together with several thousand people who don't immediately label you a freak just because you're alive.

There are huge gatherings and small special interest panel discussions; loud dances and quiet sketching sessions; long lines for registration and for elevators; fursuits everywhere...

What do you want to know specifically?

If you're asking whether some areas of some cities are risky, of course. There are some neighborhoods in Portland where you can set your clock by the sound of gunfire.

If you're asking whether some areas of the convention or hotel are risky, I'd say no. Some room parties may not let anonymous strangers in, but that's about it.

Your rating: None

wow... if it's that cool, count me in as soon as I build up a cash flow! Escpecially on the sketch sessions...

And as for Portland, yeah, I know, I've got relatives in Gresham.

Tlaren }:=8}

Your rating: None

1,400 combined furs, fans, and assorted people on 23 floors and two operating elevators. I do not envy anyone on the Con staff. Last year was just a preview of what will probably happen again this year. And no amount of "I told you so's" or rudeness is going to improve anything.

My fursonal advice is that everyone who comes to the con, record every issue that happens regarding the operation of the hotel- in writing, and then present them to both Kage and the Hotel Management Staff as they happen... otherwise we should just try to make the best out of a bad situation. The hotel management knew this was an issue, and Kage knew this could be an issue - and no amount of explaining will ever satisfy everyone. Even if the con was perfectly run, someone would still have an issue. The only way I see to resolve the current issues will be if Kage makes it one with the hotel management staff, and we help support him as our "con voice." The hall is already rented, so we might as well individually decide if we want to dance or not. The only thing that whinning will help now is making those who would put up with the inconvience of things in order to have some fun - to also be made tired and miserable as well.

This isn't the first time a furry con has had troubles, and it probably won't be the last.

From a fursonal point of view, my wife is handicapped (aka wheel chair bound), so I will not be be bringing her to Anthrocon this year. The lack of understanding on the hotel's reservation staff last year landed us on an floor that made the elevator situation even more difficult. There is also the fact that there were just too many who were rude to her in the elevators last year (at least two cases of someone not bathing on a crowded elevator) and the stairs are just not an option for her. She's very disappointed of course, but wants me to go anyway. Last year's elevator issues compounded a "handicap unfriendly" hotel environment to the point where we realized this is just not a good hotel for her to stay in -until things change. Unfortunately, that may mean that she may not be able to attend a furry con at all this year. But we'd rather she be a safe unhappy wife, and have get the rest/vacation I need... so we can both be happier afterwards. Sure we're disappointed, but that probably only means something to us... and we'll cope with it like we have other disappointments.

Grace and Peace - Camstone Fox

Your rating: None

My husband is handicapped as well, and this was the last nail in the coffin of doing a quick stop in trip to the con. I'm not going without him and we certainly can't handle going up X amounts of stairs.

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

Your rating: None

Maybe make a Elevators only go up rule?

Your rating: None

People in wheelchairs might not like that too much. And while I can walk in my fursuit fairly well, and wearing a fursuit is considered a luxury, it's a big part of a furry con for a good number of people. I don't think Anthrocon would last too long once a few fursuiters broke their necks tripping down the stairs.

Your rating: None

Speaking as an organizer of a furry convention (www.conifur.org), I can completely sympathize with Mr. Conway with his battles with the hotel to get basic services operational. Unfortunately, it truely is beyond his control, and for the most part, beyond the local branch of the Adams Mark Hotel chain. This chain was bought up last year and the changes are still settling down through the ranks. Such changes do bring chaos to an otherwise organized system and it leaves those in the meantime in somewhat of a lurch.

The hotel is under no obligation to work with Anthrocon, nor even inform them of the problems with the elevators. The fact that they are working with AC to make the most of a bad situation shows that they are aware of the problem and are trying to rectify it.

Changing hotels is a very costly and difficult process. Just finding *any* hotel that is willing to deal with conventions is a trying process. Fans have a history of being poor guests at a hotel, regardless of genre. One bad experience for a hotel can poison that entire chain for all conventions. Add to that costumed characters running about the halls and you have ingredients for disaster. It's not fair to get a bad reputation caused by others, but it happens. Even between the time you sign a contract with a hotel and the time the event comes to pass, changes may occur in the chain that makes everything a toss-up. Changes in staff, ownership, and management really messes things up. The only constant is change.

The elevators don't work as advertised. It's a fact of life so we may as well make the best of it. It gives AC a good bargaining chip for negotiations next year.

Your rating: None

Regarding your last sentence...
"It gives AC a good bargaining chip for negotiations next year. "
So far, it seems to have done little at least as currently visible - as a real barganing tool for this year from last year's situation at all. Last year the con filled the hotel, didn't cause any sizeable fusses from any of the post con reports I read, and we were told this wouldn't be a problem next year. This year, we are paying the going con rate in the area (for the size of the con, yes, I checked at http://www.pcvb.org/ ), we have little chance that anything will cause a real fuss this year, and we've just been told that there is nothing that can be done.
Sometimes the only real barganing chip is considering the competition - who provides a better service at a competitive price... then management will normally take notice. Still, this is one of the best cons, regardless of the elevators... I just hope the con staff has minimized the other issues that are likely to occur again from last year's round up... and the result is a con with only one issue to deal with. Now if we can only set up an oxygen bar every 6 flights of steps...

Grace and Peace - Camstone Fox

Your rating: None

Could be worse. Recently a group of us furries here in Houston went to ConSortium, an SF convention here... and the hotel was under construction! A wide swath of the parking lot was torn up, forcing everyone to go all the way around the hotel, and the atrium inside the hotel was torn up as well, forcing congoers to squeeze past plywood walls and curtains to get to the con events. You think Kage's upset? Just ask the ConSortium staff what they think of the Radisson on the Gulf Freeway! (Although the place is apparently a Marriott now, which is why all the construction, as I understand it.)

Your rating: None

Hm.
I can't count the number of times I have been to a con and found the hotel under construction....
A lot of people don't realise this, but most cons are scheduled at what are normally considered "dead" times of the year- off-tourist season periods- and that is when maintanance is normally scheduled at hotels...
A factor the people responsible for maintanance do not usually think to tell the people responsible for booking events...

....And SF and other cons are considered very low priority for informing of the fact, (Or for getting good service at a lot of places,) since the SF crowd has a reputation in the hotel business of being unwilling to stand up for their rights, and can be safely walked all over.

Iron Badger.

Your rating: None

I just returned from Convergence, up in Minneapolis. It was an 1800 person SF con, in a tower hotel, with three elevators. There were no major elevator difficulties. One elevator was malfunctioning Saturday morning, but it was quickly repaired.

As far as hotels being freaked out by all the 'furry weirdos'...Convergence had taken over this hotel. There were signs advertising parties plastered on every vertical surface in the hotel. There were loud, raucous parties on the two party floors (which happened to be poolside cabana rooms...the best party setup I have ever seen) until 4 or 5 am both Friday and Saturday night. There were Klingons. There were scantily-clad people. There were fanboys of the extreme type. There were really bizzare-looking people, doing really odd things. There was a huge, helium filled UFO balloon hovering over the pool area all weekend.

And the hotel loves this convention. The convention loves the hotel. Convergence makes this hotel a shitload of money every year, and as such, the hotel gives the convention pretty much anything they want.

Just some extra datapoints. Furry conventions are not weirder than SF conventions; that's just a false argument. All I know is that Anthrocon (yeah, I'm attending two conventions in two weeks. I'm insane.) has a really hard act to follow.

Your rating: None

I propose hourly stairwell races. If you can make it to the top without puking....

...you get to turn around and go back down! (What, you thought I was giving away a prize or something?)

The elevators being out of commision is a bummer. At this point, there is nothing to be done, with the exception of being creative in how you use the stairs. so.... Anyfur up for a race?

Your rating: None

[ propose hourly stairwell races. If you can make it to the top without puking....]

I can't help but think of Ghostbusters at a time like this.....

"Well, when we get to twenty, tell me. I'm gonna throw up." -- Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman

-Feren
"We use them for divine retribution."

Your rating: None

Heh, I remember that line myself. I don't see why that wouldn't go over wel, it'd be a good workout, it's something to do if you're bored and somefur's up for it, and you could have chilled bottles of water waiting for them when they got down...

heck, my 2 cents, that's all

Tlaren }:=8}

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Duncan da Huskyread storiescontact (login required)

a quality engineer from Volo, Illinois