Are You Confused? Let's Try To Fix That...
What is Westercon?
Westercon is the West Coast’s most prestigious science fiction and fantasy convention. It bounces around the Western Region of the United States, and approaches its 70th year in 2017. Started many years ago for fans who couldn’t afford to attend the World Science Fiction Convention, Westercon became an event where fans travel to different parts of the West, join with different communities, and experience science fiction and fantasy fandom together.
What are the dates proposed?
We won Westercon 72! Dates are July 4th - July 7th, 2019 in Layton, Utah at the Davis Convention Center with the attached Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. There will be some registration and light programming on July 3rd to mitigate the convention starting on a national holiday.
Why will you be Westercon 72?
Westercon is a yearly tradition. Tempe, Arizona in 2017 was the 70th Westercon to date. Since we won the vote in Arizona, we become the 72nd Westercon for 2019.
What is this whole voting thing?
Supporting and Attending memberships for Westercon 70 paid a small fee and voted for who gets to host Westercon 72. Now we are a seated Westercon for 2019, we go through a similar process for the NASFiC, North American Science Fiction Convention. Members of Worldcon 76, in San Jose for 2018, will vote if we are honored to host the NASFiC for 2019.
How do I vote?
Why do you ask for pre-support?
The Utah for 2019 bid team spends hours, and their own money making sure this awesome event is available. By pre-supporting the bid you are boosting the morale of the poor overworked volunteers, as well as financially helping run bid parties, print campaign material, negotiate with venues, add perks to the event and spread the word to more fans. A pre-support also gives you bonuses and a discount towards attending the event should we win.
What are these wacky Support Levels?
The team came up with funny labels to represent different levels of monetary support. Each level has a reference to Utah or fan history and other media forms. The levels also offer bonus items for supporting, including a discount towards membership if we succeed.
- Tickets vs. Memberships
Tickets are purchased often for one time events. They allow someone to attend a movie, ride a bus, or pay for getting caught by your local law agency. Memberships, by tradition show you are a part of a community. Not only does this give you access to the full experience, it gives you all the publications, rights to vote, participation in policy meetings, and a welcome place among the amazing Science Fiction & Fantasy fans across the world.
Who is on your committee? Who is your chair? What experience do they have?
Our bid team is listed in detail here: http://www.utahfor2019.com/about-the-bid/our-team. Chair for Westercon 72 and NASFiC 2019 should we win, is Kate Hatcher. We are always looking for volunteers, are you interested? The committee positions might change and expand through the process.
What are some of the main tourist attractions of your city?
Davis County, Layton City, Utah, is nestled near the mountains between the cities of Ogden, and Salt Lake City. A beautiful playground; it’s home to Antelope Island State Park, Lagoon Amusement Park with Pioneer Village in Farmington, and Layton City Mall with an interactive aquarium. The Great Salt Lake is only minutes away as well.
Layton gives easy access to over 15 trails and parks, the Heritage Museum, Layton Sego Lily Day Spa, Hill Air Force Museum, Virtual Reality Venues, and The Hive Brandy Company & Winery.
What type of weather can we expect in Layton, Utah during the Westercon weekend (July 3rd - 7th)?
Layton Utah in July ranges from a low of 56 degrees to a high of 102. Average is 78 degrees and usual over the holiday weekend is 85-95. July only holds about 0.3” precipitation levels. Other averages are on our location stats page under Venues, Layton City.
What will Westercon 72 convention policies be like?
Utah Fandom Organization is in the process of outlining their code of conduct for events, as well as the Westercon team is working out policies that include issues of harassment, assault, lost children, photography, and general guidelines. We are finding these details the most important part of having a safe and fun event so it is taking a little time. We’re also going to work with volunteers and staff on updated ADA guidelines and previous cons ideas on progressive hospitality.
What are airfares/train fares like?
Salt Lake City International Airport has two terminals, five concourses (A-E) and 71 aircraft gates. Delta Air Lines, KLM and SkyWest Airlines operate from Terminal Two. All other airlines serving Salt Lake City use Terminal One. In addition to scheduled international service, the International Terminal is used by chartered flights and houses U.S. Customs.
We can inform you of average rates for 2017 for a group of cities to Salt Lake roughly three months out. However, it’s too early to inform on accurate pricing.
Amtrak has a terminal in Salt Lake City that serves as a hub for California routes and Western routes that reach destinations coast to coast. It is too early for predictable pricing.
We wanted to give Westercon attendees a fresh look at Utah, as Westercon 67 was held in Salt Lake City at the downtown Marriott at City Creek. Layton has the facilities, is only 23 minutes from the airport, and is close to many more options for interests and off site excursions. We also wanted to avoid the Barbershop International Harmony Conference in Salt Lake for 2019.
What can we expect for a Westercon?
Westercon is a regional Science Fantasy Convention. It covers programming that includes literature, speculative fiction genres, costuming, steampunk, fandom, art, gaming and other fan related activities. You can expect ‘geek’ culture at large with emphasis on a community and personable settings. Other traditional events such as cosplay, socials, masquerades, excursions and ceremonies can be found here: Westercon.org/traditions
It’s not a media con?
What some term as media cons or ‘Comic Cons’ consist of a big market push, often high celebrity participants and huge attendance focused on pop culture aspects of the experience. Conventions that are fan based/related such as Westercon, Worldcon, and Symposiums keep their focus on the community, learning or personable experience. Yes it still costs to attend and purchase some items, however it centers around discussions, inclusion, socialization, brainstorming, and innovation while honoring those in fan related fields. All cons big or small focus on fandom likes and trends, but smaller, fan-based cons give you a better push to interact without the extra buck.
How are you working with other local events/groups?
Since Utah is writer ‘heavy’ we have reached out to local writing groups. Utah for 2019 has also been in touch with, or worked with people who supported the local ‘conduit’ convention in previous years and have had talks with the local steampunk community and anime group. There are plans on working with a local aerospace company, fanfiction groups, makers group, poetry slam, Hill Air Force Base, as well as literacy campaigns and businesses in Layton. This does not list regional reach-out plans.
What is the organization behind this convention?
The Utah Fandom Organization is the nonprofit endorsing this bid/campaign. UFO’s goals include charitable works for educational purposes in promoting Science Fiction and Fantasy literature, the fostering of activities for readers and creators in that community, including fan-oriented activities, with an emphasis on points of literacy, inclusion, expanding the range of opinions and approaches in the field and expand interest in genre fiction, arts, and culture.
How else can I get to Layton, Utah?
Flying carpets, space rockets and time machines are not listed at this time. However, you can find options for airplane, train, bus, car, and technically body flying coordinates at our transportation page under Location/Transportation.
What arrangements will be made for evening socializing and party space? Do you have a corkage waiver?
We have been clear with both the Davis Conference Center and the attached Hilton Garden Inn on our needs for evening programming, social spaces and party spaces as well. Our team plans on extended evening programming. Our social spaces will primarily be in suites, with some social events in the dcc. Utah for 2019 will have more details once the contracts are final.
How much is parking?
The Davis Conference Center and the Hilton Garden Inn have free parking and over 600 spaces not including nearby options, all uncovered. We are working with the Davis County Tourism & Events team to make sure attendees will have parking options and oversized vehicle options.
What will room rates be?
We are working with hotels and the Davis County Tourism and Events Bureau to secure great hotel rates to this event the contracts are not final yet, but rates range 119 - 129 USD regardless of number of people in the rooms up to 4 adults or combination thereof.
East Wing, What about the West Wing of the convention center?
The east wing of the DCC is ideal for a Westercon. Our bid team would love to negotiate for the west wing which includes a huge exhibit hall, but that depends on support, votes and memberships. So, it all depends on you.
Do you have awards/prizes/contests?
As the committee sits on a full hat of tricks and awards, Utah for 2019 needs to remind you that sneak peeks can only happen if we are supported and win the bid.
Will you take in mailed artwork?
We would love to get the west wing with the exhibit hall to have a great art show, choice awards and accept mail-in artwork. This will depend on support, success, and who we choose as the on site Art Director. Questions like this about the convention are better addressed with more details if we win the bid.
How is the crime rate in Layton?
Out of an average of 1,600 crimes reported per year in Layton, 1,455 were property crimes. These numbers are less than ⅓ the average of Utah crimes per city and less than 1/8th average crimes per population reported in the United States. Many Layton residents now lock their vehicles so we expect this rate to reduce drastically!
How are accessibility options? Travel?
One of our team is experienced in checking facilities for ADA compliancy. The Utah Transit Authority has Paratransit information on their website and we have it on our transportation page. Major airlines including Southwest have ADA options and acknowledgements for people of size, wheelchair and scooter transport, and assist devices on flights. More options including allergy awareness forms and TTY etc will be posted during the bid and on the convention site should we win.
Do you even have spirits out there?
Call it what it is, Alcohol! Can Utah throw a party? Oh yes. Not only do we have local breweries and national brands, but Layton City is home to the Hive Brandy Company & Hive Winery. Did we mention there is even a local brand of beer called Polygamy Beer? Information for those 21 and older, of course.
- How do I get some flyers/postcards or pins to hand out at my local convention?