Hi! …and Welcome to the 2019 GaryCon Convention Report.
It was a great year once again up in Lake Geneva and the Grand Geneva Resort and Convention Center. Of all of the conventions I have attended in recent years, this is simply the best, and I’ll definitely be letting you all know why as I let everyone know, especially the folks that couldn’t attend, about the fun and games that occur every year at this time to honor the memory and life work of Gary Gygax.
For those of you that may be new visitors to my gaming website here, I’m an old-school gamer and GaryCon Volunteer that comes up to lake Geneva to run original games, and to help out and run the show. I’m thankful to Mike, the operations director, and Luke Gygax & family for inviting me every year, as well as Dave Conant and Skip for letting me run games, and Cliff, Frank, Caroline and Red for letting me help out to make the show, well, full of awesome for all of our guests, VIP’s, and drop-ins alike!
I arrived early on Thursday Afternoon after a better than average drive than normal. I changed my route and explored again, and instead of going over to Bloomington, then up to Rockford, I went to Champaign, from the countryside just outside of Cincinnati and then up on Illinois State Highway 47 which was a straight shot into Lake Geneva arriving on the South side of the Lake on Lakeshore Drive. This was a beautiful drive where I shaved 70 miles of my trip distance, arrived about the same time as if I had taken I-74 to Bloomington, and I managed to miss both all of the Chicago Loop Traffic and the Illinois Toll Roads. You got that right, no toll fees, or heavy traffic, just a scenic drive into Lake Geneva. Woooo Yeah!!!
Once I rolled In, I checked in to the AmericInn Suites by Wyndham over in Elkhorn. Runs about a c-note a night, and I don’t have to fight to make reservations. Both the Lake Geneva Resort and the Great Wolf Timber Lodge are usually all booked up a year in advance for GaryCon weekend, and truly, I’m just there for the gaming. I had about a ten minute drive each way every day, but a nice hotel room with privacy, and a fireplace which was much appreciated as it was cold and snowing for most of the weekend.
From there I rolled over to the Resort and picked up my badge and did my first volunteer shift. I always pick GM HQ for the first night, to get handle on checking in guests that are continually arriving after the show starts, and to give the guys that have been slammed for two days their first real break. This year we set another record for attendance, and had sold more than 2500 badges by Thursday night, and still had our Friday and Saturday one day badge buyers who had yet to show up.
After that I went around taking some photos of various games in progress. I’ll include a few of these here, before moving on to my Day Two report.