Surprisingly Not-So-Terrifying News

After many years of trying to get the project going, it now appears that, yes Virginia, downtown Phoenix will be getting a new 1,000 room hotel, in conjunction with a major expansion of the Phoenix Civic Plaza's meeting and function space.

What this would mean is that Phoenix will finally have enough hotel rooms and function space close together to be able to host some of the larger conventions and trade shows it's been missing out on.

Like, say... a Worldcon.

Oh-h-h-h, shit.

Phoenix had a Worldcon once before, in 1978. For most of the attendees, it was "a pretty good con." Behind the scenes, though, it was... ummmm... why don't we settle on the word "exciting"? It was very, very, very exciting. It was so exciting that I had, literally, nightmares about it for, literally, years afterward. It was so exciting that it's only in the last few years, after a quarter of a friggin' century, that I've gotten back onto a moderately cordial basis with some of the people who so angered and disappointed me back then. (And there were several people involved who, even now, I cannot think of a single polite word I would say to or about them. But it's only several, which is a great improvement over the immediate aftermath of That Hideous Summer.)

That 1978 Worldcon pretty much maxed out and strained all the then available hotel rooms and function space available in downtown Phoenix. And that, as well as the bad taste left in the mouth of Phoenix fandom, has been one of the major reasons there's never been another Worldcon bid from Phoenix.

But with the new hotel and function space being built, I can see one coming. I don't know when exactly, but probably sometime in the next five to ten years, someone will announce the start of a Phoenix Worldcon bid.

This is not necessarily bad news. (Why, yes, I am surprised to find myself saying that.)

In the years since the 1978 Worldcon, Phoenix has developed a core group of con-running fans who actually seem to enjoy and get satisfaction out of putting on decently run conventions. They've put on dozens of Leprecons and Coppercons (our annual local conventions), as well as a number of Westercons, World Fantasy Cons, World Horror Cons, and I think one NASFIC.

I find a fair number of those con-runners to be... okay, how do I put this politely?... "stodgy". This is not a bad thing, when stodginess is accompanied by dependability and competence.

So I think a Phoenix Worldcon, with the new facilities being built, might actually be a doable thing again. It would still be a stretch, and whoever was on the committee would find themselves strained and pressured by the task, but I think most of the current group of con-running fans in Phoenix could do it without the... "excitement"... that came so close to overwhelming the people involved in 1978.

So if a Phoenix Worldcon bid comes into existence sometime in the future, I'm offering a deal: If the Phoenix bid has the most boring bid parties, the dullest promotional literature, and the stodgiest people at its head, they'll definitely have my vote!

1 comment:

Bruce said...

I'm copying over a comment for this post, left in the topic above. (Yeh, the formatting for this template can be a little confusing.):

Terry Berry said...
Hey Bruce

Did you forget about the bid Eric, Doreen and I chaired for the Worldcon that eventually ended up in San Francisco?

Ummmm... if you say there was one, but rack my brain as I may, I don't remember a Worldcon bid for Phoenix since Iguanacon. But that may have been back in the period when I would still have automatically refused to give any consideration to such a bid, and -- literally, it seems -- put it out of my mind.