My Thoughts In Light Of Governor Evers Declaration
Gary Con began as a small gathering of friends and family after my father’s funeral in 2008. What was a few people playing games and swapping stories about my Dad at the American Legion has become something far greater. Gary Con brings all of us together once a year to celebrate the life and works of my father. People from around the globe travel to Lake Geneva to see where it all began. This little resort town was the place where D&D was created and the company TSR was founded- and you can actually go play D&D at my childhood home on 330 Center Street.
The close knit atmosphere and camaraderie at Gary Con has caused us to grow rapidly over the past few years. Thanks to a dedicated and hardworking staff, lots of volunteers, GM’s and attendees- we’ve gone from a single game day on Saturday (Gary Con I) to one of the fastest growing and most popular gaming conventions in the country. All the time we’ve remained true to what my Dad always wanted people to understand; There’s always room at the table, that strangers are friends you haven’t made yet, and our family is often times more than just the people we share blood with.
All of us involved with Gary Con are concerned with the spread of the Covid-19. When I posted about it on Saturday night we didn’t know what the next few days would bring. Many of you have expressed a need to forgo coming to the show this year due to concerns and we certainly understand. For many of our international attendees a trip outside their own country may prove to be difficult to return from. As we said on Saturday night, each attendee must assess their personal situation in regards to attending.
So where are we right now? Currently we are still assessing the situation and working with the Grand Geneva to determine the way ahead. Our contract with the Grand Geneva is part of our reason to stay the course as cancelling the show without a ban on gathering by government authority we can’t cancel without penalties. The penalties would cripple us at best, and quite possibly be the end of the road entirely.
Some of you have mentioned Adepticon, a wargaming miniatures show that takes place the same weekend of Gary Con, announced earlier today they were cancelling their show. A key difference between Adepticon and Gary Con is that the state of Illinois has forbidden any gathering of more than 1000 people for the next 30 days. Wisconsin has yet to take that strong of a measure. So the Grand Geneva would be able to sue us if we cancel because Wisconsin hasn’t forbidden the gathering, just recommended against it.
If the state of Wisconsin enacts a policy forbidding a gathering of large numbers of people that then allows both parties in our contract to abide by the “force majeure” language of our contract which then nullifies our agreement due to the action of a higher power. (In this case the state of Wisconsin.)
Please know that all your concerns are being read and weighed in our thoughts on how we are going forward. We have a meeting Friday morning with the senior management of the Grand Geneva. We feel certain that the next 24 hours will see us, partnered with the leadership at the Grand Geneva, making the best decision for our attendees, our volunteers, our family and the community. We ask you to remain patient as we make our roll for traps check, and find the best path forward.