*** UPDATE 3-30-2020 ***
From our founder:
I am so incredibly saddened by how the Coronavirus has affected so many of our lives. Even if you aren’t sick this may have still affected your family, job, and friend’s lives. Some of you may get sick, some will know someone who gets sick, and some will have even more pain knowing someone who succumbs to the illness. Please remember that this community is here to support you through friendship and gaming. One of the things I wanted most when we created PDXLAN was to create a community, not just a “mega-event”. I feel we have that in our community. Whether you have or have not been to a PDXLAN lately our community is here for you. Please reach out to other attendees on our Discord server or Facebook. Your life matters, you matter.
Thank you all for your friendship through the hardest times we may know. I look forward to seeing all of you at our next event.
– Matt / Vector
*** UPDATE 3-19-2020 ***
Greetings everyone, I hope you are well!
This is an unprecedented time we are living in and there are many things we must adjust to in this constantly evolving situation. School closures, event bans, restaurant and bar limitations, social distancing – it all feels like something out of a movie. In over 17 years of PDXLAN we have never had to postpone an event. Making the decision to do so was not easy. It is our opinion that events will likely still be banned on our original April LAN date. Even if for some reason the event was only a few days after the ban expired in April, it would not be in the best interest of our staff and attendee’s health to hold the event given the predictions of the virus’s ongoing impact.
Earlier I had mentioned a backup weekend of June 11th-14th. Let me explain why that date is no longer an option. Our venue is unique in that between May and September the venue has the right to cancel our event with just 45 days notice. Essentially if the Amphitheater has an event, no other events are supposed to take place. Which is why PDXLAN switched to a Fall / Spring model when we moved venues, so we did not run into the possible if our event being canceled. Our original fall back date, June 11-14th, had a problem in that it fell within those dates of possible cancellation. With the Amphitheater having first right of refusal, it is quite likely they will take the June weekend with their rescheduling of concerts. In working with Amphitheater management, all weekends except one is now unavailable. The weekend that is available is one that Clark County had held for their 4th of July fireworks show. Clark County is allowing our event to take place on that weekend alongside the 4th of July event, so we are moving forward with having PDXLAN on the same weekend, July 2nd-5th (Thur-Sun)
I know many people might cringe when they hear that July 4th is the new PDXLAN date since people often have plans for 4th of July celebrations. The reality is that we are living in a time when things are anything but normal and we are called upon to be more flexible. For the first 3 years of PDXLAN, the July dates for summer were on or near 4th of July, it has been done before – we can and will do it again. While I acknowledge it isn’t the “best” date, it is the date we have available for PDXLAN. We plan to lean into the idea of a 4th of July LAN and have more food cart options for outdoor eating & BBQ. We understand some of you will not be able to make the rescheduled date, so we are doing something new for this event only: For the main raffle, you do not need to be present to win. Think “proxy claimer” and you’ll get the idea of our plan. In addition, if you cannot make the new date you still have nearly 4 months to sell your tickets. I will be providing regular pushes on our social media advertising where people can buy / sell tickets starting in April to help with people wanting to sell their tickets.
PDXLAN is looking forward to another great LAN party with tons of contests, tournaments, game of the hours, and play time with friends. This whole situation is hard on everyone and we are looking forward to celebrating with everyone on the other side. We can’t wait to see you in July!
*** UPDATE 3-12-2020 ***
Vector here (Matt) and I want to give you some information PDXLAN has been gathering. Three main topics: Continuing Spring Planning, Financial Impact of canceling, and Postponement.
Spring Event Planning:
Spring event planning is continuing despite bans in the state of Oregon and three counties of Washington state. Prizes are still inbound, sponsors are still sponsoring. I’ve decided to work from home for the next few weeks out of an abundance of caution to immediate family members with underlying health issues. Do not expect an update on if we cancel, postpone, or not until mid April. In mid-April (After the ban on events lifts/doesn’t lift) we will take a look at what’s happening and decide. Health of our attendees, our staff, our families, and loved ones matters to all of us at PDXLAN. Refer people here when they ask for updates.
Financial Aspect of Canceling:
This has to be the single most scary thing I’ve dealt with in 17 years of PDXLAN. Being a business with just one employee, canceling this event would be financially devastating to Jessica and me. That said, I’d still want to figure out ways to try and make it right for those that wanted it. When PDXLAN tickets go on sale, the business immediately starts planning for the event. This means that since November we have been actively working on the next event. We draw money from ticket sales to do this to pay for expenses like office rent, facility rentals, power contracts, taxes, etc. Having to refund everyone may mean the end of the LAN quite honestly. This financial portion has been a heavy burden on me the past week. Today I woke up to a FB post in our group that brought me to tears. (Thanks Joe S.) The understanding he showed eased my burden. It helped immensely. Patience in a situation like this is so relieving.
Postponement of Event:
To be clear, we are NOT doing this yet, we do not have enough information yet. Today I called the Event Center and asked “If we had to reschedule, what weekends could we do that?” Just one weekend came back (June 11-14). If we were to postpone, obviously there’d be questions like “What if I can not make the new date?” – We are not at the place to answer those questions yet. If we were to postpone, we’d have those answers at that time. I only mention this date so you can pencil it in.
It is my hope to keep you all updated. Please fight the urge to panic about PDXLAN or to post questions already answered above. This is new territory not only for me, but businesses everywhere. It’s a highly stressful situation, a highly fluid situation, and a very serious health situation – for a lot of people. It is my hope that planning can just continue and we will roll with the punches until mid April.
Again, no changes at this time – we are keeping you updated as we know.
*** ANNOUNCEMENT, 3-3-2020 ***
Attendees of PDXLAN,
I wanted to take a moment to address Coronavirus publicly in a place people can link to and check for updates. I’ve gotten questions via Facebook, Discord, and email asking about Coronavirus in relation to the event. I’d rather answer in just one place so that you all have the same information.
I personally anticipate Coronavirus getting worse before the event. It’s inevitable. I feel precautions can help but only do so much. This virus shows only mild/no symptoms in roughly 80% of the people it infects. It may feel like nothing stronger than a common cold. Added to that, the incubation period is such that a person may not even know they are sick and spreading the virus for 2-14 days. Simply put: People are going to spread it unintentionally.
The only thing we all can do is minimize risk. Ultimately each attendee will need to make their own decision on what to do, what risks to take. Tips from the CDC are making sure to wash your hands (Not the 3 second kind of wash) and use hand sanitizer frequently. Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, nose – this virus can not penetrate skin, so it is relying on you to transport it inside you.
In some ways the event is changing this time. For instance, PDXLAN was seeking PC free-play area sponsorship from a few different sponsors, but last Friday we decided that we would be not doing that area because public machines and viruses make for a bad idea. In addition we are contemplating doing the Monster bin differently. No decision yet made there. We are also rethinking contests and doing fewer that use items that you all touch. The help desk at the event will have hand sanitizer (as always). While we can’t force the sanitizer on you, we strongly suggest you use it.
We can all do things that help, examples include: Instead of a handshake, just wave frantically. Instead of borrowing a pen on the table, bring your own and keep it in your pocket to use. When you use something that someone else has touched (like a ketchup pump at concessions) wash your hands before touching your food. Instead of sneezing into your hands, sneeze into your elbow. Consider vitamins / airborne / Emergen -C now, before the event. Get more rest to keep your immune system strong…. etc.
We all love seeing each other at the event and it is my hope that we can minimize transmission through information.
Matt “Vector” Conwell