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Relaxicon post-mortem

I'm a little hesitant to write this up, since I was really only there for a few minutes on Friday, half an hour on Sunday afternoon, and most of Saturday night, but I did talk to some other folks and will update this after I've had the chance to sit down with Rick and talk to him some more about it.

Skip this if you could care less about the details.


Last year the Relaxicon was at the Travelodge in St. Paul, off White Bear Avenue and I-94. Attendance was about 70-80 people and it went very well from all accounts including mine. This year Rick and the other folks doing Consume decided against the Travelodge since the hotel had converted the floor it had taken up last year to a smoking floor, and evidently the resultant stench was Too Much. So the convention moved to the Plymouth Comfort Inn at Highway 55 and I-494, which is out in the boonies for most people and especially so for those fans living in St. Paul and points east. This appears to have cut into attendance more than a little, as the body count was down to 40-50 people.

The Comfort Inn also had its shortcomings as a host for Consume. It had no suites suitable to the occasion (i.e. with a wet bar or kitchenette) which made food prep and cleanup a hassle, and the consuite in the pool area was a bit problematic since non-members tended to wander through it en route to the pool. Between this and the glass doors enabling mundanes to stare at the assembled fans, there was some unhappiness and friction, especially later on Saturday night when a couple of drunks wandered into the function space. The drunks turned out to be more inquisitive and annoying than threatening, but at a relaxicon where nobody is badging, they put a crimp in things.

Still, a good time was had by many of the attendees. There was a Game Cube and projection screen available for people to play Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, plenty of food and drink, lots of gaming (most of the people I recognized were regulars at Richard Tatge's Games Night parties) plus video & anime rooms, which were apparently sparsely attended.

Next year Consume should look for someplace closer to the "center" of Twin Cities fandom, perhaps someplace that has an inexpensive suite with adjacent rooms similar to the layout of the Travelodge. I'm not too involved with it and don't plan to be, but I'll certainly put my $0.02 in.