DISCON III UPDATE

Although not as informative as many would prefer, this is the kind of communique we need from Worldcons, especially in the Pandemic era.

When we conducted our survey about when and what kind of Worldcon you wanted from us, we told you we’d release those results and our decision in January 2021. It’s the end of January. This update isn’t the one we wanted to give you, and we’d like to tell you why.

Many of you know we have contracts with two hotels, the Marriott Wardman Park and the Omni Shoreham Hotel. We’ve spent the past month in constant negotiations with both and are continuing to negotiate. We can say the Omni Shoreham has been very flexible with us in our ongoing talks, and we want to thank them for that.

The Wardman Park’s owner has filed for bankruptcy, announced the hotel’s permanent closing, and their intent to sell the property (https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2021/01/12/pacific-life-insurance-wardman-park-bankruptcy.html). We are currently retaining legal counsel regarding this issue.

For legal reasons, this means we cannot give any updates regarding the dates of DisCon III.

We share your frustration with the situation. Many of us on staff have been unable to plan our Worldcon properly, given the ongoing ambiguity levels.

We are also sorry that, as of now, we cannot release the survey results. Our concern stems from our belief that releasing the survey now, while still in talks with both the Wardman Park and the Omni Shoreham, potentially could make it more challenging to reach an equitable conclusion for all parties involved.

Here is what we are planning given the situation we are currently in:

We are publicly committing to having a robust, virtual experience for DisCon III. As of now, this means having at least three streaming programming items per convention hour. We will provide more information on this in the upcoming weeks and months.

We will be creating a separate virtual membership type for those who cannot attend DisCon III in person. Supporting members will have the option to upgrade their memberships to this new membership type. Presently, we do not have a membership price or estimated date when this membership type will be available.

We are still committed to releasing the survey results, though as talks are ongoing, we cannot give a date on when those results will be released.

We are committed to continuing our talks with both the Wardman Park and the Omni Shoreham Hotel to reach a conclusion we can share with you.

Finally, we are committed to being as transparent as we can with all of you regarding this entire situation. We will be providing updates to you every two weeks, with our next public update on February 14th. We know you are looking for more concrete information to make plans. We regret not being able to give it at this time.

Thank you for your support, and if you have any concerns or questions about how we are proceeding, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us across social media @Worldcon2021 or by emailing info@discon3.org.

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