The Westercon 73 committee announced today they have abandoned plans to hold the convention which had been scheduled for July 1-4 in Sea-Tac, Washington. Kevin Standlee explained on the official Westercon website that the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, owner of the Westercon service mark, will help the Seattle committee wind up its responsibilities:
They are working with LASFS, owner of the Westercon service mark, to implement Section 1.9 of the Westercon Bylaws regarding a Westercon committee failure. Loscon 47, scheduled for November 26-28, 2021 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, will assume the mantle of Westercon 73, and has said that they will honor the memberships, both attending and supporting, of those members of Westercon 73 who do not request a refund from the Seattle committee. The 2021 Westercon Business Meeting will thus be held at Loscon 47, as will be the election to choose the site of the 2023 Westercon (Westercon 75).
Although the Seattle and Tonopah Westercon 73 and 74 committees creatively agreed last May to postpone their cons by a year to accommodate the state of Washington’s COVID-19 restrictions on large group events, with the passage of time the Seattle committee has suffered from attrition, and they did not feel they had the resources to do a virtual event.
The Westercon 73 committee chair Gene Armstrong (whose full statement is at the link) had this to say about the decision:
…Even though we were not at full staff we were doing pretty good and then Covid hit in March 2020, and the world stopped.
After waiting and watching it came to the point that we would not be having the con and working with Westercon 74 and our hotel we were able to shift the cons to the following years. So, we shifted and the longer this has gone on we started losing staff and panelist and in the last several months we have lost our chairman and I had to take over. Within the last couple months, we have talked about going virtual, but when I look back, we don’t have the pro’s or the staff to do a virtual convention. So, after talking to other convention runners and gathering opinions on the best course of action, it was decided that we will be shutting down Westercon 73 in Seattle as of now.
Westercon 73 members have these options:
We are offering partial refunds to those who paid more than $35 for their memberships (but would be grateful if you would consider donating it instead). Please contact Westercon 73 for assistance.
Those attending members who do not request a refund will have their memberships honored by Loscon 47, to be held Thanksgiving Weekend (November 26-28) in Los Angeles.
As for those with supporting memberships —
Since you have a paid membership with voting rights for Westercon 75 we will be working with Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society to make sure you will be getting your right to vote, unless you just want a full refund.
[Thanks to Kevin Standlee for the story.]