A number of elements have to come together and work together to deliver a really memorable Worldcon. We are confident that Renovation, and the City of Reno, have everything necessary to make this happen.
A Good Location
Reno may not spring to mind, but we think it's a great choice for a Worldcon city. It is in the Heart of the Old West, in an area offering fascinating American history, outstanding natural beauty and a great deal of fun. It's also a mid-sized city of around 350,000 people - so forget about traffic jams and rush hours. And it's a city where we will be the biggest convention in town on our weekend, and getting strong support and commitment from the civic authorities.
The city provides the backdrop, but it's the facilities that make or break most conventions when it comes to the experience of the attendees. After all, you're probably going to be spending 20 hours a day in them! And we're not ashamed to say that when we decided to bid for a Worldcon, finding a city with the right facilities was our single most important task - and discovering those facilities was the most important reason for bidding Reno for 2011.
So what's so good about the facilities in Reno? Well the first thing is the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. This has ALL its facilities next to each other and on a single level. So no trips up and down escalators, and no desperate dashes between program items. Not that we're short of space - we're hitting the sweet spot where we're using the majority of the facility (making us the number one user on site) but not all of it (meaning we have flexibility in deciding which halls we want to have, and how to use them).
And by the way - the convention center has no unions, plus we have the right to build our own computer network.
Then there are the hotels. We have two main 4-star resort hotels - the Atlantis (our party hotel) and the Peppermill - along with a smaller block at the all-non-smoking Marriott Courtyard. And resort hotels are a very different experience - something very close to fannish heaven in fact. Luxury decor, world class spas, indoor and outdoor pools and free parking for starters. And critically for fans, given the time we all spend around the convention site - a great variety of high quality restaurants. Nine in the Atlantis (including an all you can eat sushi option) and twelve in the Peppermill, to be precise. And a restaurant in each hotel providing a full range of menu options, 24 hours a day, every day.
Of course we need to make sure we get the right deals, too, especially in these uncertain economic times. That means having enough rooms reserved now to support all of our members, while still getting the benefit of any better rates that may arise in these uncertain times. So we're delighted that we already have signed conditional contracts in place with guaranteed maximum 2011 rates for over 1200 rooms and over 120 additional suites - and moreover have a guarantee that any rooms booked at lower rates by our members will still count towards our block.
A Strong Vision and a Cohesive Program
Worldcons should be run for a purpose. There's not much point going to all this effort to win the event if you don't know what you want to do with it afterwards. And we very much want our convention to look upwards and outwards at the world around us and the future ahead of us. A very fitting idea, we think, for a location settled by earlier pioneers. That's why our theme will be "The New Frontiers".
An Experienced Committee
Last but by no means least, we think we've put together a strong committee to deliver the convention. You can see the names on our staff list, but what matters is that we've got a good mix of old hands and new, and a determination to ensure this convention will be fun for the members and the staff.