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29 November 2007 @ 08:57 am
Belated Chambanacon Report  
Back in Champaign-Urbana, in a hotel with real character, fannish family members returning to celebrate the end of exile - who could ask for anything more?

First, the hotel. The "Historic Lincoln Hotel" - it actually is on the site of the oldest hotel in Urbana, Illinois and very probably incorporates some of the original structure. It is two separate hotels merged together slightly oddly and features elegant sleeping rooms, cavernous dining rooms (including one in a library where you can actually borrow the books), and very interestingly shaped and laid-out function space. Well-kept at this point - a little frayed at the edges but clean and in good repair.

The room selected for the con suite was cozy - with a fireplace! - and made this seem like a more intimate gathering than in the past. The dealer/art room was located in the other part of the building - originally it seemed a long way from the other function areas, but it turned out to be at the bottom of the back elevator from the sleeping area AND not too far from the con suite if we propped open the back door. Filk room was very small, but that was so we'd be close to the con suite. A larger ballroom section is available next to the dealer/art room.

Stairs caused mobility restricted people and items (dealer stuff, strollers) to need to make a slightly circuitous route at times, but mostly very manageable and easy to get around in.

It reminded me of some of the UK hotels we have been in (yeah, we know, it's a baby compared to those hotels) only without the tons of fire doors and with elevators.

Food in the hotel was very good, especially for the inexpensive price ($7.95 breakfast buffet, delicious banquet).

The con itself was a typical Chambanacon. Unfortunately, due to late notice about the hotel and personal life intervention, many people were not able to be there who had planned to be. The attendance was actually down from last year in Springfield, though I don't think by very much.

We saw the return of Andy and Jody Offut (yay!), and a Xerps party held in a room with a beautiful canopy bed. We made the once-traditional Papa Dell's run (with billroper, daisy_knotwise, catalana, and Steve WINOLJAFAIK). Bheer in the con suite was Sam Adams (*gasp!*) - this was mostly due to a gouge on keg price from the hotel such that the con figured it might as well take the best they had, but we can look on the bright side (*grin*).

For next year, there WILL be a Chambanacon and it WILL be in the Champaign-Urbana area. This particular hotel is iffy because it is currently in receivership - who knows what shape it will be in this time next year, though every effort will be made to stay. I committed ladyat and myself to work with publicity for next year, including the Chambanacon website and some constant reminders about the con and its plans at flyer tables throughout the year. The important thing will be to generate enough memberships and attendance that Chambanacon can continue to afford premises and amenities. Not that many people are needed - just need to get fen back in the habit of coming home for the holiday weekend.

Stay with us and we'll hope to see you there next year!


Historic Lincoln Hotel South EndThe south end of the hotel photographed from the west.

Historic Lincoln Hotel From WestThe whole thing photographed from the west.

Church southwest of Historic Lincoln HotelChurch southwest of the hotel - looks even more like the UK...

Historic Lincoln Hotel Sleeping RoomOur room.
 
 
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janmagicjanmagic on November 29th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
where are the elevator pictures?
the most interesting part of the hotel were the elevators that were completly covered in a brocade fabric. Throughout the hotel the wall paper, rugs,bedding were richly patterend. there were chanderleers where least expected.
most importantly, i had a good time and will likely return
Amanda Snyderpafuts on November 29th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Since it's at THIS hotel Scott and I are actually talking about trying to make it next year. We spent every Christmas Eve we lived in CU at this hotel in front of the lobby fireplace. As I've been saying on everyone's journals. :)