Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Fall In 2014: The Host is most definitely not the Most
So where's the "yeah, but in this little diatribe?"
The place is a shambles. Every con that's held there has a special "Host Moment" that range from inedible food, leaky rooms and hallways, mold, non-functioning TV's and wireless - you name it was bad. For me the apex of Host Moments was the year the staff needed to roll up not one but two septic system pump out trucks and run 5 inch hoses through the front lobby entrance to service the mens room in the main hall. Oh yes, this event occurred during check in on Friday and you had to step over the leaky hoses to get to the tournament gaming room. Nothing says quality lodging like a main lobby replete with leaky septic hoses in full working glory - kind a like a "filth fountain". I thought this moment could never be topped.
I was wrong.
This year the Host out did themselves in yet another plumbing related mishap - they ran out of water early Sunday morning - not just for my room but the entire facility. Think about this - you've got a hotel filled a thousand or so gamers waking up Sunday morning after late nights of gaming, beer and fatty foods (ummm not me of course - my wife reads my blog) and there are no working toilets on the facility. I'll let your imaginations run wild. Apparently the water level monitor in the Host's cistern failed and the system didn't know to refill itself and the water just kind a drained away. The facility just isn't maintained (perhaps the 50 or so buckets in the hall to catch leaks is a tip-off to that fact) and I doubt that's likely to change. The staff tries to do a good job but lets just say they have the chips stacked against them.
Some people defend the Host because it's cheap, and that is true, but still one has to get some value for whatever price is paid and I think we've gotten to the point where guests need to be compensated for the risk the take staying at the place.
I understand from talking to some of the HMGS volunteers that the current contract for the Host runs through 2017, but the last year can be voided without penalty. I would strongly suggest they start to look for a new venue - perhaps to the West as the Host isn't going to cut it.
As for me, I doubt I'll do another overnight for a con at the Host. Cold Wars is the next one and I suspect that I'll just drive up for the Bolt Action tournament on Saturday and head home. There is an interesting event in Williamsburg which will likely get my spring'con business The lack of my presence will not move the needle but I just can't stomach the Host anymore.