Bad news from the Lancaster Host, site of many HMGS and WBC game conventions over the years. The Lancaster Online just reported a major water main break, causing the ceiling on three floors to break, 2000 residents and crew to be evacuated, and most importantly, the local fire chief has condemned the facility. Details from the Lancaster Online.News Link
What does it mean? Very likely the end of our relationship with the Host. HMGS had a contract with the Host for Fall IN this Fall, but I’d say the Host just effectively cancelled most contracts. It’s a shame, really. The Host was a smelly dump, but it was our smelly dump.. As comfortable as an old shoe.
Farewell, Host, you served us well over the years.
From the HMGS Board of Directors
It’s important to show the other side of the story, always. I have to hand it to this Board, they have been on top of rumor control and quick to reach out to individual bloggers (such as your humble servant) in an effort to quell the occasional bout of mass hysteria. When I get that kind of communication, I feel duty bound to post it– it doesn’t cost anything to see the other side of the coin, eh?
As you may have heard a plumbing line ruptured in the Host on Saturday. Assorted on line accounts can be found here:
In spite of the overblown news reports the HOST has power and water restored Monday.
We spoke with Host management Tuesday and can add the following details:
The Host is currently open for business but with certain areas inaccessible due to flooding and water damage.
The Host had two  water pipes break; one on the 400 level and one on the 600 level which caused some of the drop ceiling to come down in the hallways.
Both a plumbing company and a restoration company are on site making repairs.
We will update you if there is any new information, especially as regards to Fall IN 2016, and the possibly accelerated remodeling.
With that said, has my opinion changed much? Not really. I sincerely feel as if every show we throw at the Host is basically rehearsing for a disaster of these proportions. Fortunately this was a local dancing event and not one of our shows– that would be a severe financial hit, albeit not cataclysmic, to be objective. If we had to evacuate everyone from the show, and possibly even refund a lot of the admissions, it would certainly hurt the bottom line, but worse, it would erode any confidence in the holding company that operates the Host currently. As it is, they operate the place on the barest of shoestring budgets– no investment is evident, beyond sustenance level patchwork measures like renting a portable physical plant to keep the place heated and air conditioned (and parked in the parking lot), or brand new shiny blue tarps to cover the multitudinous leaks over the Lampeter ballroom. Last convention, we heard a lot of positive stuff at the membership meeting about the company investing money into the hotel. This just doesn’t seem to have come to pass, beyond emergency repairs.
All that griping aside, I’m a realist. There just isn’t a competing space anywhere in the “sweet spot” (Central PA). EVERY alternative the board has looked at seems to have a problem with it that could lead to even worse griping if we move the cons there. Believe it or not there are metrics for what the BoD is looking for, and they have been forthcoming about what they are– a certain amount of space, adequate parking, attached hotels, easy access to transportation hubs like 95, nearby airports, lots of places to go to eat and even something to do if you bring your family with you. Lancaster isn’t the perfect option, but it had one thing going for it– it was very cheap compared to other venues, and it hit ENOUGH of those metrics to keep a significant amount of people content for many years. I’m not sure what we can do going forward. We might just have to compromise on something major– cost/space/parking/geography, something, to find a new venue.