Sunday at Disclave '97

Pictures from Sunday at DISCLAVE
(click on any you want to see closer):

"DIS 'n Dat" Too Early Morning Edition GIF (46K)

"DIS 'n Dat" Morning Edition GIF (72K)

Both pages as a PDF doccument (148K)


"20,000 Leaks Under DC"

"A Watershed Convention in an Overflow Hotel!"

Comments like these were heard from members as Disclave wound down from the sort of day they write filk songs about...


The day began before anybody was ready for it. At approximately 5:15 am a room sprinkler on the fourth floor of the hotel was damaged, quickly flooding the room in which it was located, adjacent rooms and all the floors below. The fire alarm sounded, and the hotel was evacuated.

The convention and hotel staffs responded well to the emergency. Disclave encouraged fans who were rousted from their beds to head to the Con Suite which was quickly replenished with additional refreshments. Disclave also reopened the film room and began showing videos. The hotel brought in additional staff to clean up the mess and provided complimentary breakfast pastries, coffee and drinks in the lobby for guests who were inconvenienced by the flood. Disclave is grateful to the hotel staff for their friendly and efficient efforts.

And an inconvenience it was. About seven guest rooms were affected, and both the rear lobby and a function room which Disclave used as its Green Room were pretty thoroughly soaked. Guests with rooms located above the fourth floor, which were not directly affected by the flood, were not permitted to return to their rooms for more than an hour after the evacuation. The main hotel elevators were in the path of the flood and were disabled, and so guests at first could only return to their rooms via the stairs. However the hotel soon made its service elevator available to the guests. Later in the morning, guests on the remaining floors of the hotel were allowed to return, some to find rooms spared from damage, but some with belongings drenched by the flood. The hotel moved guests with water-damaged rooms to other rooms in the hotel.

The convention continued, despite the disaster. Activities that had been scheduled in the 10th floor function space (made inaccessable by the disabled elevators) and the Green Room (water damaged) were moved to the Con Suite. The scheduled 3:00 pm comment and criticism session was moved to a larger room in anticipation of greater-than-normal attendance, but by that time everybody was ready to start laughing about it (though some may have just been getting punchy due to the sleep they missed). Disclave appreciates the convention members' good humor about the inconvenience.

The Washington Science Fiction Association, the parent organization of Disclave, is discussing the consequences of the incident with the hotel and other parties. Both WSFA and the management of the hotel are eager to resolve the incident as quickly as possible, and discussions have been cordial. Within an hour of the flood, the hotel had already assured WSFA that it was interested in continuing the contract negotiations for next year's Disclave.

We expect that discussions related to the sprinkler break will continue for weeks or even months. Until WSFA and its officers know all of the details and while we are considering our options, the club will not make any public statements about the cause of the incident or the potential liability of any party. Rumors have already begun to spread (and mutate), with the predictable mix of fact, speculation and pure fantasy. As science fiction fans, we appreciate the literary merit of these rumors, but cannot discuss their specifics at this time.

...and Wetter

Even as we recovered from our liquid wake-up call, water problems continued for Disclave. Heavy rains hit late in the day (thankfully, long after people were allowed back into the hotel. The hotel sprang a number of leaks in the Exhibit Hall (home of the DisCave and dealers' room), the main ballroom and some sleeping rooms on the east side of the hotel and poolside. The hotel's recent efforts to seal the Exhibit Hall roof paid off handsomely -- there were no drips detected in the middle of the con suite or dealer's room, although there was some seepage along outer walls. Damage was limited to carpets, sparing the con suite supplies and dealers' goods. The worst damage was at the entrance to the Exhibit Hall, which was caused by a new carpet that covered the built-in drain.

In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the membership seemed to be having a great time all day. The DisCave was full but not crowded, comfortable and dry. The evening's dance was very well attended. While a storm continued outside, fandom's family seemed closer than ever.


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This page was created 23 May, 1997. This page was last updated 26 May, 1997.