Prompted by this discussion on Kevin Standlee’s Live Journal, I did a bit of playing with space (not budget like Kevin’s post) for one real Worldcon, and 3 theoretical Worldcons. The real Worldcon, the recently finished Chicon 7. The three theoretical Worldcons: one at the Albuquerque Convention Center, two slightly different layouts at the San Diego Convention Center and a layout at the Town and Country in San Diego.
My details are on a Google Drive (f.k.a. Google Docs) spreadsheet, which I’ve made publicly readable.
My conclusions still hold: The only viable site out of the three is the San Diego Convention Center. Albuquerque has the space (plus an extra 60,000 square feet of exhibition hall I couldn’t put to use), but not the hotels (951 rooms nearby, possibly more in some obscure hotels), and the T&C doesn’t have the space.
Actually, I was able to get everything into the T&C, but only by using all of the space, including the space that is for all intents and purposes inaccessible. And this still is the smallest usage. (It is possible that it is closer to what Chicon 7 actually used – I couldn’t recall for sure if all of the smaller rooms on the “Silver” and “Bronze” levels were used or not). And this would actually be sprawling the convention across what are actually two or three hotels, with a bunch of odd sized and oddly located rooms.
None of my runs took into account Con Suite (I left that space out of my Chicon 7 “leftover” space). For the two convention center layouts, this would probably have to be a room at the one of the adjacent hotels (I’m not sure either actually has a connected hotel), and even then it might end up in a sleeping room or suite. This is another area where the T&C could be problematic. The T&C pretty much gives us two choices for con suite: where it was for WFC 2011 and Anime Conji 3, and where it is for Conjecture, Condor and Gaslight Gathering – both of which would not work well for a Worldcon con suite (too small, overflow seating to outside – either against a fence or down a goodly flight of stairs).
I also didn’t take parties into account. I cannot speak to either of the hotels adjacent to the SDCC, nor the ones adjacent to the Albuquerque Convention Center. But the rooms in the T&C would make a Worldcon party scene nearly impossible. They’d either be in what I’ve described as the world’s tallest motel, or in a building with cramped hallways and vertically stacked suites.
As far as the 2.5 San Diego options are concerned, I will again reiterate: This is only theoretical. If you throw $20.00 at me, you better either be expecting to pre-support the Westercon bid, or you are buying me dinner!