Oh, Anime Wasabi… You sometimes make my head hurt.
First off, I was in the Artist Alley this year, so this review only reflects what my interactions with what I was doing. I worked all weekend and rarely made it out to the rest of the con, but will do my best to cover everything I observed.
The communication with the head of Artist Alley this year started off the mess. It was horrendous. Some people received informational emails while others didn’t, so we had no clue what was going on until we arrived at the convention.
I got there Thursday to the hotel, The Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast, and found out the room upgrade we were promised last year wasn’t happening. It continued to go downhill from there, as we discovered they were giving us free breakfast vouchers and a room with no microwave and no fridge. We explained we had to have those, since we brought an entire cooler of items for our weekend. They bring up a fridge and it’s full of mold. We call, make them take it back, and they bring us a new fridge and a microwave… that doesn’t work. They take the microwave and bring us another one that does work. We had issues with the shower and toilet in the bathroom as well, but it got to the point of “…Whatever…” so we just went to sleep.
Friday, my roomies and I got up and headed downstairs around 9 a.m. to find out when check-in for Artist Alley was and where we needed to line up. We learn its downstairs at the AA at 10 a.m., so we decide to head down and wait… to discover people were already down there and claiming tables. We said screw it, ganked tables for ourselves, and then unloaded. The tables were ridiculously thin, but we made it work. As this is all going on, we’re hearing talk of a tier system that may force us to move tables. Everyone basically ignored it and it never came back up, but again, that’s lack of communication for you.
The rest of the day went smoothly, with my roomies and I changing into our Christmas Sailor Senshi costumes at one point. I checked out the video gaming room set-up when I went to take some pictures, and was impressed at the set-up and variety of games. I wish I would’ve seen more as it looked like it was done very well. I returned to AA and we were doing well until we were told that we would have to wait to close until midnight. *head desk* Needless to say, the AA revolted and closed ourselves at 10:30 p.m. so we could start the day at 10 a.m. Saturday and potentially get some sleeping in.
Saturday we got up and had our free breakfast. I can’t describe it except truly disgusting and the dining room staff ignored us due to us having the vouchers. Afterwards, we returned to our room and I got into my Ho Mario costume… which I quickly learned I had outgrown. ARGH. We went down, set up, and the day went relatively smooth. At one point, I went upstairs to my room and changed into Phoenix, quickly learning the main lobby was a terrifying and busy place when I got stopped for some… interesting photos. I returned to AA and stayed in my safe zone until I changed out of Phoenix after being overheated and frozen with weird room temperatures. : /
Sunday, my roomie got up and noticed on the bill they had CHARGED US for the frickin’ fridge. She quickly went downstairs and gave them a piece of her mind, got the charge removed, and upon being asked how the hotel would fix this… We were given more effin’ vouchers. SERIOUSLY?!?! UGH. We couldn’t pack up quick enough to get out of the room, as at that point we had enough bullpoopy to last a lifetime.
We went down to AA and worked until business was too dead to continue. My ladies and I went upstairs and spoke to a staffer, making sure they weren’t returning to the Red Lion, because if so, we would NOT be returning. I can deal with con disorganization, but NOT that hotel. They told us they were moving to a bigger and better hotel next year, as they were disappointed too, so we applied again for Artist Alley.
But I’ll tell you right now, if they return to The Red Lion, I can assure you of 3 artists at least who will be demanding a refund.