2012 BPA Survey Results—Venue
Jan. 12, 2013

The main reason for this survey was the question about whether you preferred WBC to remain at the Host or move to a more expensive facility with better amenities. The answer is 57% were in favor of staying at the Host. However, this is somewhat offset by the more subjective editorial responses shown below where the presumably more strongly held convictions were expressed in more detail in favor of a move by an 88:50 ratio.

Complicating the matter further were the limits imposed on this theoretical move wherein the highest nightly rate for a room in this new facility including parking and taxes was all of $140 for 47% of you. That’s a tall order. All I need to do now is find a nicer, larger facility next to an airport in the mid-Atlantic region with a vacancy during a specific nine-day period for less than $19 per day more than we’re paying at the Host. Piece of cake! For the record, the other spending options were (somewhat predictably) $160 (32%), $180 (9%) and the high end $200 (13%).

What You’d Like to See… What You Want Not to Change How I See It…

A Modern Facility 88: I travel from California and the quality of the facility and inconvenience of the location has made it not worth the trip the past five years. / If we need to increase the cost, so be it. I would rather WBC attract a dedicated group of gamers than the weekenders or daytrippers who spend just the bare minimum./ Quit catering to the cheap. I understand the desire not to exclude people, but the sacrifices made to accomodate all detracts from the overall event.

More Space 7

Better Mass Transit connections 4

Better Lighting 13: Especially in the Showroom.

Better Wi-Fi 7

More Guest Rooms on-site 3

More Rectangular tables 5

More Small Meeting Rooms 1

Personal Storage 1: Is there any way to consider providing some kind of secure personal storage options near the gaming areas (especially for those who walk over from neighboring hotels)?

The Status Quo 50: I think the HOST has most of the time, tried to be as accommodating as possible. My daughter one year lost a wallet in the room with DL and money and it was turned in and then sent to us. Pre-convention dealings with them have also been pleasant. For the money and space, I feel that the HOST offers what we need. Having the lower center available in case of emergency and also the outside tent for Open Gaming will alleviate the stress on the auditorium. If the venue is changed, I want there to be an outside swimming pool to be able to get out for some sunlight. The HOST allows for casual poolside breaks with the cabanna and outside grill/snack bar. Many attendees enjoy this amenity which is not common at most hotels. / I think we are in a “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” type of situation. Maybe I’m too short sighted when it comes to where I attend a game convention but for crying out loud, all we’re doing is playing board games. That’s what I’m there to do, and I don’t care if its not in a five star hotel. As long as there’s enough room, then I don’t think we should move. … Since we can’t have low cost AND bigger space, I think we should stay where we are. I think we’ll lose more people if we move to a bigger space, because board gamers are cheap./ While the Host may not be the ritziest location and I would have no issues paying for a higher end site, there are many people who are part of the fabric of the community who might not be so fortunate. I think that securing the Expo hall as a backup against mechanical failures is an excellent step. A new location might bring new friends, but only most likely at the expense of losing some of the long time participants—which to me on balance does not seem worth the risk if reasonable contingency planning is possible at the current site. / I just attended this year for the first time. I have attended many HMGS Miniature Cons at the Host. Beyond more room for Open Gaming, I think it was perfect. AC in the Lampeter room was tough, but those things happen. I stay in a hotel near the Host. That said, I like the Host for the site. It’s worn, but the hotel “tolerates/welcomes" gamers and all our habits, or at least most of them. In the past when big groups like this try to move to Baltimore, Fredericksburg, etc, it never pans out like you hope. Stay at the Host, push them to improve, and let the gamers who like to whine, whine. WBC is a good event and the Host works well. Changing will upset more people than it will make happy, I guarantee it. / Having it all self contained in one building makes it possible for the whole family to come and do their thing. The kids are never far away, and can go back to the room without leaving the building or crossing a parking lot. It’s a great, low cost family summer vacation with extended family and friends.

We have explored many sites. Some of them are better in these qualities and some are worse. Ultimately, the Board will have to make its decision based on a combination of all factors.

As for personal storage in the lobby, Host lacks sufficient storage for its own guests, let alone those staying elsewhere. Liability and insurance issues preclude this kind of service here and it will no doubt be a problem in many other sites as well.

Better Air Conditioning 19 There is nothing like WBC and the location fits the range of activities. In my opinion, there has been an overreaction about the air conditioner, uncomfortable, but accidental, and it should be forgiven. It shouldn’t change this amazing game con. / As I recall, Hunt Valley had similar issues. Past venues always look better in hindsight. It is true that one of the reasons we left HVI was that Host had a better recent history with climate control at the time. Things change.

Walking Distance to More Restaurants 4

Nearby Alternative Lodging 3: I’m not willing to pay the current $120 per night when there are cheaper options nearby. I would prefer to camp for the week instead or worst case find a cheaper hotel. So it really doesn’t matter to me if you increase the main hotel cost since I won’t be staying there. That said, I would rather see WBC move to a LARGER facility, not a smaller one. I really don’t want to see WBC change to only allow pre-registrants to attend as that would prevent many of my local friends from just attending for a day or two (typically last minute).

Nearby restaurants & hotels of varying price range within walking distance 15: I like that there are other food options nearby. Maybe not close enough to fit in between tournament rounds, but when you’ve got a bit of a gap and are tired of the in-house options, there are others. / The proxinity of the campground makes it possible for me to attend. I wouldn’t come without my family, and a hotel room for that long is prohibitive for us. / Save some bucks and play Frogger, or stay at the Host? Got to have walking distance, or is a short car ride “close enough"? Everyone’s situation is different, and we’ve found our comfort levels in Lancaster. A vastly underrated strength of the Host is the wide assortment of nearby lodging and retaurant options within walking distance. This is a feature we are finding hard to duplicate—let alone surpass—in other sites we have reviewed. While we encourage everyone to find lodging to their liking and within their budget, please keep in mind that those who stay at the convention hotel are the ones really paying the freight. Your membership fees don’t even begin to dent the cost of staging an event this size. While we are pleased to be able to maintain a big tent approach that allows as many people as possible to attend, be aware that the costs of the conference are not being born equally. At least one prominent gaming convention not only caps their attendance but insists on staying at the host hotel in the interest of fairness.
Better Access for the Disabled 8   Being ADA Compliant is something we’d certainly like to have in a site, but older facilities can’t change their layout or add million dollar elevators easily. The Host obviously has many infrastructure needs that supercede such major structural changes.
Parking 2: More parking would be nice. Parking 2: Parking is adequate. / Ideal rural setting without unnecessary extra costs such as paying to park etc. The parking situation at the Host is about as good as it gets. We are having difficulty finding another site that compares favorably in terms of number of spots, proximity and cost.
Golf/Excursions 2: I don’t understand why the Board voted against having a golf tournament on Tuesday for interested gamer/golfers. It may be one way to get a few more people to show up longer. Most organizations that sponsor conventions have some golf options. WBC offers offsite tours and events. Why not golf? / What do you like best, and would least like to see changed about the WBC? / Pesonally, I once and once only found a couple of the other ’widows’ who were doing an excursion to a tea parlor. It was fun and enlightening, since I had a chance to talk to them. There were noises made about providing excursion options for the ’widows’ but there was nothing done last year, as far as I know. Amish country has all sorts of possibiities.   WBC does NOT offer excursions. Individuals may advertise for others to join them on our folders or website, but BPA does not organize or run such in any way. The same is true of golf tournaments. The second we sponsor any type of athletic activity our liability insurance kicks into a higher gear. I doubt whether everyone would enjoy paying higher admission fees so that a dozen golfers can turn their private round on the links into an official tournament.
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