Dear Chessiecon Members:
As the Chair of Chessiecon 2019, it is with great regret that I must announce the decision of the convention committee to cancel Chessiecon 2019.
None of us wanted this outcome. However, lack of responsiveness from the hotel, combined with information from current and former staff about its current state, has led us inexorably to a lack of confidence that the Red Lion is capable of hosting a convention to our standards. This hotel has been used by first Darkover since 1988 and Chessiecon from the start, but over the years we have received an increasing number of complaints about it, and this year the problems have become untenable. The committee discussed the options in considerable depth before reaching this decision, but see no way to continue for 2019 without sacrificing the quality of our convention. We decided it would be more productive to focus our energies on future years.
We are intent on holding Chessiecon 2020, and are optimistic about our prospects for finding a new venue, especially given this much lead time. We have been in touch with multiple hotels, and have preliminary proposals from the Lord Baltimore and the Hunt Valley Inn which both look promising. We will be updating our website promptly as we have new information.
In order for the 2020 Chessiecon to be that quality convention mentioned above, one thing we really need — RIGHT NOW — is help. As much of a truism as it sounds, a volunteer-run convention runs on volunteers. But volunteers tend to wear down over time and may need reinforcements or even replacements. The best way to keep things running smoothly as the years go by is to have a steady influx of new volunteers. Right now we’ve gotten a little behind on that, and so we could really use more new help than we might normally need. We’re looking for volunteers not just at the “ground-level”; we have openings from mid-level all the way up to department head right now, and many of those functions need to be handled well before the convention starts. So please PLEASE consider offering your assistance, and please tell all your friends, and get them to tell THEIR friends, and so on, and so on...
If you paid for a membership to 2019, you will be receiving information regarding your refund shortly. If you paid and do not get a message by 6/1/19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, thank you for all your present and past support for ChessieCon, and we hope to see you in 2020.
Chair, Chessiecon 2019