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Subject: Early Impressions of Seven Springs rss

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Grant LaDue
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I'm not convinced that the Host will work for us even if they remodeled unless they reconfigure the meeting space. It seems to me that we were becoming very cramped. Ballroom A wasn't big enough for the big tournaments, and the medium sized tournaments were often over stretching the other rooms. The open gaming space was ok generally, *but* handicapped access was unacceptable there and in other places. They have a lot of issues that can't be resolved with a cosmetic refurbishing, but would seem to need a fundamental rebuild.

Presuming it does get redone we could see how it is then, but remember that Seven Springs won't be the same then either. It's a good couple of years before the Host can be ready for us again, so we should see then what we need and what we want.
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Andrew Drummond
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This is a fun game, but I think at this point, we need to start a betting pool.

How far into the future can you write a post on BGG that says "But what about going back to the Host IF... (insert overly optimistic idea here)" that guarantees at least 5 responses.

My opening bid is that this will work until March 2022.
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Marty Sample
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ladue wrote:
They have a lot of issues that can't be resolved with a cosmetic refurbishing,


But that is what they appear to be doing, relatively speaking as they are supposedly in the midst of renovating a block of guest rooms. I don't see the meeting spaces getting re-arranged short of a full scale demolition, and that doesn't appear to be happening .
 
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Michael Sosa
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If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless. Its harder to get there to most regulars including international flights that used to be direct to Philly.
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Scott Saccenti
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April 2022
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Marty Sample
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Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless. Its harder to get there to most regulars including international flights that used to be direct to Philly.


The attendance drop this year was anticipated and well within the number budgeted. I'd be very surprised if it drops further; past history has shown that the first year in a new venue attendance dips, then starts to rise again.
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David E
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Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless.


Regardless of whether it's still standing?
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Eric Brosius
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AmadanNaBriona wrote:
Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless.


Regardless of whether it's still standing?

I think Michael wants to go back to stand around the big smoking hole in the ground.

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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
"But what about going back to the Host IF... (insert overly optimistic idea here)"


I wouldn't say it's the most likely event, but "The place gets rebuilt as a with a comparable amount of meeting space, and isn't too highfalutin so as to drive up prices" isn't exactly a ludicrously improbable outcome either.
 
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Scott Beall
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In my best "Bones" voice:
The Host is dead Jim!
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Max Jamelli
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Eric Brosius wrote:
AmadanNaBriona wrote:
Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless.


Regardless of whether it's still standing?

I think Michael wants to go back to stand around the big smoking hole in the ground.



I'll game anywhere. As long as the smoke doesn't get in my eyes I'll be cool.
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Marty Sample
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If the Host was capable of actually catching fire ( doubtful given all the mold that must be built up ) it probably just smolder for years on end like one of those underground coal fires.
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Rob Winslow
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I miss the Host and wish we'd go back. I had become very friendly with the slab of black mold creeping down the wall under the (barely functioning) A/C vent. I just found out his name was Ricky and that he was dating Emily, the green mold in the bathtub. I had planned to take them both out to dinner last summer but the move to Seven Springs precluded this. Very disappointing.

Alas, I was hoping to punch my Legionnaire's Disease ticket this year, as that's one of the few ailments I hadn't yet caught while staying in the Lancaster Host, but it was not to be. In fact, I came home from Seven Springs feeling good. My sinuses weren't clogged, I didn't have a headache for the rest of August and I wasn't coughing up chunks of lung. Stupid move away from the Host took all that away from me, so I'm with Mr. Sosa -- please, please, please, WBC Board, get us back to the Host. I want the old WBC experience back. Enough of this crap of finding a place with mold-free rooms. I miss Ricky and Emily and I really want to get my Legionnaire's Disease ticket punched, as I'll then be eligible for a free chest x-ray.

Lancaster or Bust in '17!
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Wray Ferrell
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Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless. Its harder to get there to most regulars including international flights that used to be direct to Philly.


Have you ever stayed at the Host? In 2015, a few weeks after WBC the kitchen was shut down by the health department due to numerous health code violations, then earlier this year a water main broke getting the hotel condemned. The place is falling apart and the owner, both old and new are applying bandaids. I thought the first year at Seven Springs was awesome and I hope to never set foot in the Host again.
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Michael Sosa
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You guys are all very funny. I've been staying at the Host since 2007. I agree it has been getting worse. A shame that there doesn't seem to have been any investment in the facilities. But I found everything tolerable and the Lancaster area preferable to the mountains of 7 Spring, no matter how beautiful and upscale it may be. Did I mentioned I'm still scarred from falling down that stupid mountain slide?! And after a few days I couldn't stand the food?

I miss taking my early morning walks around the golf course, smelling the manure of the Amish farm, listening to my kids complain about the freezing pool, and how easy it was to walk from my room to the tournaments!

I miss you baby, come back! Don't you remember the great time we had at the Presidential Suite?!
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Michael Kiefte
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Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless. Its harder to get there to most regulars including international flights that used to be direct to Philly.


I don't follow this at all. Flying to 7Springs was much easier than to the Host. The shuttle worked out really well.
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David desJardins
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mkiefte wrote:
Belisarius88 wrote:
If attendance continues to drop we should go back to the Host regardless. Its harder to get there to most regulars including international flights that used to be direct to Philly.


I don't follow this at all. Flying to 7Springs was much easier than to the Host. The shuttle worked out really well.


There are many more intercontinental flights to PHL than PIT.
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Joel Tamburo
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The attendance drop was lower than expected and also accompanied by an increase in attendee days (per Don's last newsletter as he said people stayed longer). Like Marty I expect we'll be either level next year or a small increase as the pattern has always been a move causing an initial attendance drop then building attendance in the new location.

Personally, I loved Seven Springs.

I loved the clean rooms and lack of mold.

I loved having a place that was fully staffed.

I loved the food, the cost increase there was mild in my situation but the quality jump was noticeable.

I loved having actual stable tables to play on and decent chairs to sit in.

I loved having properly lit areas (and I was in both the lodge and the main building)

I loved not having to drop money on medication from getting sick at the con this year (goes back to lack of mold). It was great to have a clear head all week.

I loved the scenery. Mountains beat the daylights out of the farmland/generic suburb look of Lancaster.

I loved the staff - their attitude was upbeat and friendly and they were responsive. I was impressed how they turned on a dime in air conditioning the lodge area.

Were there some places where it was less than perfect? Of course, no place is perfect. I wasn't crazy about the maze like layout in the main building (but will learn it over time), also the amount of trooping up and down staircases was a bit much when wearing a boot. I also understand where some people were used to getting really cheap food at the Host (with quality to match the price) and as a result there was a price hit to them.

All this said, I know there is coming up a newsletter that will in part look at changes for 2017 to address lessons learned this year. I have a feeling some sort of "fast food" area will be on that list.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
The shuttle worked out really well.


Not for people flying in the opening Saturday it didn't.

Quote:
I also understand where some people were used to getting really cheap food at the Host (with quality to match the price) and as a result there was a price hit to them.


The con cost about 50% more for me than it did last year and there wasn't any increase in food quality.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
I also understand where some people were used to getting really cheap food at the Host (with quality to match the price) and as a result there was a price hit to them.


I don't know...I don't think the quality here was that much better.

I paid $15 for chicken fingers and fries for the kids in that ski lodge basement joint, and I didn't think they were better than the Wendy's value nuggets and fries we ate last year for $2.

The sit-down places weren't great either. We didn't eat in the really expensive place, but the bar and Timbers were just OK. Certainly I paid less for better food at certain places in Lancaster.

So, for me, the price went up but the quality really didn't.

(As I said, we didn't eat at the gourmet restaurant. I assume that place had better food.)

I just need to adjust my mentality next year. Lancaster is a town with everyday normal prices and choices for everyday people living their normal everyday lives.

Seven Springs is a resort with resort prices for people on vacation living vacation lives. The WBC has never really been a vacation for me in the past. It was close and cheap, so I didn't really ever have a, "I'm on vacation, so I will have to spend more money on some of this stuff" mentality.

That was my big error. The WBC is certainly a "vacation" destination now.

I should have had a better plan to deal with that reality this year. Next year, I will now that I know the deal firsthand.

Kevin
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Joel Tamburo
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I did the fingers once and didn't pay $15. And they were worlds better than Wendy's fare;for one thing everything was fresh up and tasted fresh up. I did the broiled chicken at Timbers and it was outstanding - cooked correctly, flavor excellent and the garlic mashed potatoes were good too. Again roughly $15. I also splurged one night and had the salmon - made properly with good flavor and tasty sides.

We also did the breakfast every morning and the quality was way better than the Host buffet. Real eggs and good quality meats and breakfast potatoes. I also liked the French Toast. The pancakes however were so so as they were just too big; literally plate size and about a half inch thick.

As to the other places, never did get to Helen's but got to Emo's. Good food (grilled polish) and the thing was so gigantic I actually had to chop it in half and gave it to another gamer - saved him lunch money which was cool.

I appreciate that we all have different budget scenarios for WBC. I have always treated it as a vacation (I come from Chicago) and as such tend to eat at the hotel or very close to it. This of course means my standard food budget was already pegged at a higher number than a local attendee, which is likely why when I added it all up I spent about 11% more than last year. And that was well within acceptable bounds. I also paid lower sales tax on the room and saved gas as Seven Springs is 180 miles closer, which translated into 12 gallons of gas not bought plus a lower fare on the Turnpike.

Anyway, we'll see if providing cheaper food options is part of what the newsletter will discuss for WBC 2017.
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Eric Brosius
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My wife and I ate at Helen's (the fancy place) on Sunday night after WBC was over. We thought it was excellent, and the prices were about what I'd expect for the kind of food (I think about $75 for two of us, plus wine.)
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
I did the fingers once and didn't pay $15. And they were worlds better than Wendy's fare;for one thing everything was fresh up and tasted fresh up. I did the broiled chicken at Timbers and it was outstanding - cooked correctly, flavor excellent and the garlic mashed potatoes were good too. Again roughly $15. I also splurged one night and had the salmon - made properly with good flavor and tasty sides.


I got fingers, fries and a drink: $15. Maybe they liked you or something, 'cause they stuck it to me. I didn't see a $12 difference between that and Wendys.

Arguing about quality and taste is a dead end, though. For my part, I found Timbers to be steps below Red Robin for about the same price. Wings were sub-par, for example.

I am a burger snob...that wasn't a $15 burger. But YMMV. (In full disclosure, I live 3 miles from Emerils Burgers and More, which for $14, is one of the best burgers you will have. Choose from Grass Fed, Chuck or Short Rib. So, I'm a bit biased.)

But as I said, this won't get us anywhere. I'm just voicing my opinion, and on something like food, that isn't worth much.

Quote:
We also did the breakfast every morning and the quality was way better than the Host buffet. Real eggs and good quality meats and breakfast potatoes. I also liked the French Toast. The pancakes however were so so as they were just too big; literally plate size and about a half inch thick.


Never did breakfast at the Host. When Perkins was there, we hit that. Or Friendlys. Or just had something in the room. I thought the Host picked up their game, though. At least, I heard people were excited about bacon being back last year at the Host.

Quote:
I appreciate that we all have different budget scenarios for WBC. I have always treated it as a vacation (I come from Chicago) and as such tend to eat at the hotel or very close to it. This of course means my standard food budget was already pegged at a higher number than a local attendee, which is likely why when I added it all up I spent about 11% more than last year. And that was well within acceptable bounds. I also paid lower sales tax on the room and saved gas as Seven Springs is 180 miles closer, which translated into 12 gallons of gas not bought plus a lower fare on the Turnpike.


Yea, I think that is the crux of any dissonance. I think many of us just thought of the WBC as a casual getaway. It took me 90min to get to Lancaster, I stayed in cheap hotels and ate cheap food so cost wasn't really ever an issue. I didn't pay much attention to it because it was just a few $100.

The first years when I was going by myself, I stayed in the Knights Inn for like $30/night and ate horribly. When I started taking my son, I "upgraded" to the Day's Inn and maybe an Applebees now and again.

Still, dirt cheap for a week away from home.

This year, I took my daughter also and with the upgrade in food, the sticker price was that of a real vacation. I went from like $600 for the week to well over $1000.

I'm all for the move, though. The gaming was great, as usual. My daughter had an awesome time in the Junior's Room and is already asking about next year.

So, any issues I had were on me and not being prepared. When you read about prices and distance, it isn't the same as experiencing it. Now I know exactly how far things are and how much things cost, so I can make better decisions next year.

This year was a learning game. Next year, I'll be a pro.

Kevin
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Tom Cannon
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Eric Brosius wrote:
My wife and I ate at Helen's (the fancy place) on Sunday night after WBC was over. We thought it was excellent, and the prices were about what I'd expect for the kind of food (I think about $75 for two of us, plus wine.)

Nice to hear. I didn't get a chance to try this one out but I loved all the option in the resort for food choices. The breakfast was very good with excellent sausage to go with my eggs.
 
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Rob Winslow
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The beer taps worked.

Who cares about anything else.
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