Following this year’s Katsucon, held over Presidents Day weekend at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, a post went around on various social media, showcasing photos of damage inflicted on hotel rooms.
An exit sign dangling from a wire in the ceiling. Water leaking out underneath a room’s door. “Katsucon 2016” graffiti in a bathroom stall. A hole in a door, with a strip of tape over it reading “One Punch men was here.”
“Disgraceful” is an understatement for what happened to the hotel during Katsucon. People talk about how fanservice or hentai could give people a negative impression of the anime fandom, but this kind of thing will give people a negative impression of the anime fandom. Worse even, it’ll give a negative impression of the fandom to people who can affect the fandom.
These things will cost money to fix. No doubt “those Katsucon people cost us money” is a sentiment that will resonate with the hotel’s management, and possibly with the people responsible for deciding whether or not Katsucon can come back. Even if the Gaylord does allow Katsucon back, I’d be very surprised if it’s under the same conditions. Many fans are speculating a price increase to con attendance.
This kind of thing upsets me deeply, because of how ridiculously selfish it is. People decided to indulge in destructive vandalism for their own self-amusement, not caring about how it might affect the rest of the convention. And make no mistake; these sorts of things do affect cons.
Congoers in the northeast corner of the US might recall Anime Boston 2012, where the convention’s informal dance was shut down by police due to overcrowding, drug possession, and an assault. The management of the Sheraton hotel where the dance took place was called before the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing to answer for the incident, and when all was said and done, Anime Boston was barred from hosting an informal dance in 2013 and hasn’t hosted one since.
Yes, this is the work of a few bad apples, and no, it should not reflect on the anime community as a whole. That much is a given. However, this is a business deal we’re talking about, at this point. This is real money, real damage we’re talking about. There’s no discount on repairs for “a few bad apples,” and in Katsucon’s case, “a few bad apples” stand a very real chance of spoiling the bunch.
So, I pose the question to you, readers:
“What do we do?”