Over Two Months Later, TouhouCon Artists Still on the Hook for ‘Free’ Hotel Rooms

One of the things TouhouCon 2015 (Sep 18–20, Anaheim, CA) did this year was promise complimentary hotel rooms for participating artists and vendors. While it was a nice thought, it would have been even nicer if it had actually happened. After the convention, people who had stayed in these “free” rooms found their credit cards charged hundreds of dollars in October for the full cost of the rooms.

You know, without anyone actually telling them it’d happen.

According to the event’s staff, it turns out that TouhouCon was unable to settle their venue bill, so the Hilton charged the only credit cards it had on file. Artists are clearly angry, creating a dedicated Facebook Group, but refunds for what are (frankly) pretty hefty sums have yet to materialize.

In late November, TouhouCon finally made a public statement on Facebook regarding the situation:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.33.49 AM
That post has been followed by weeks of silence though, as pointed out in the previously mentioned group.

Honestly this whole thing smacks of poor budgeting and irresponsible spending by a convention. The reason refunds have likely not come is the same reason the hotel didn’t get paid in the first place — the organizers are flat broke. Hopefully they’ll get their act together and get people back their money, but I’m not holding my breath.

And this may very well spell the end for TouhouCon. If they don’t pay people back, but still try to run a 2016 convention, I doubt many will be willing to trust the event staff. If the staff does manage to pay these people back, it could possibly bankrupt the con.

Of course, after not paying a hotel bill, I doubt many venues would be willing to host the con anyway.

h/t to Nick Schneider

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

8 thoughts on “Over Two Months Later, TouhouCon Artists Still on the Hook for ‘Free’ Hotel Rooms

  • December 23, 2015 at 4:16 am
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    >News portion of website is devoid of commentary on every other news article.
    >Convention news consists of sh!t talking other cons
    >Is starting a first year convention and clearly knows nothing about the stress and labor that is of running a con, the monetary expenses, and the discognizance that occurs when managing groups of people.
    You only skimmed the surface on this issue, obviously to get some attention a la trying to ignite drama with your seldom visited website. I commend you on actually linking to the Facebook group, but you clearly didn’t do it to actually help people. If you paid attention to the issue, you’d know the Hilton is of major responsibility for this considering HILTON chose to charge the artists and vendors, NOT TouhouCon.
    You will learn the hard way. No matter how professional you are, how carefully planned out you make it, and how many people you have gathered who know their way around cons, the good ol “Things don’t always go as planned” will happen. Heaven forbid in a years time there isn’t a website nitpicking about how crap your Nerd & Tie Expo was…amirite?

    Reply
    • December 23, 2015 at 6:12 am
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      Hey buddy,

      1. We’re not a huge website, so sorry of our community of a couple thousand readers don’t comment a lot.
      2. I worked my first con when I was sixteen. I ran my first con when I was twenty-one, and I stayed as one of the people in charge of that con for pver a decade.
      3. I have staffed cons with 100 attendees, I have staffed cons with 30,000 attendees.
      4. We mostly write negative articles because THAT’S NEWS. We provide a critical perspective absent from most other sites that claim to do convention news. If you want someone who regurgitates press releases, I can point you to five other places to read instead.

      Touhou Con made a promise to pay for rooms, and Touhou Con renegged on that promise. The Hilton charged artists cards (which was wrong), but wouldn’t have done so if Touhou Con had fulfulled their contract. Period.

      This is Touhou Con”s management’s fault, and I can say that having run a hell of a lot more cons than you.

      Reply
      • December 23, 2015 at 10:49 am
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        Oh, I thought I was being rather cordial but I guess I took the troll bait. Well, I did actually have a response to you and was curious about your supposed experience with cons.
        Anyways. Since I’m banned, I’ll just leave copy paste with what I was going to say and bid you adieu.

        1. I can make a pretty good estimate as to where you’re really at, not just from this website on it’s own. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
        2. If you’re familiar with cons then you can empathize that not all is as appears on the surface, let alone social media no?
        3. In the end it doesn’t really matter how many people were at the cons you staffed at nor how long you were doing it. It was how relevant you were to the internal workings of the con. For all I know up until this last one you could’ve been working badge pick-up and as such been irrelevant to more important internal workings. Regardless, it’s really not in my interest of time to get to know you beyond being a counter to this article, or lest you actually prove to be more knowledgeable than you’ve currently presented yourself.
        4. Mostly? That’s all I’ve seen on this website far as I’m aware. You’re not even being constructive about it, let alone doing the research or if you’ve thoroughly done so in the past you certainly didn’t do so for this one when there was so much more to it.

        Yes, TouhouCon made a promise to pay for a room and as they’ve said it is still a promise they intend to keep to the best of their ability. Had you actually taken the time to do your research on this as a writer is supposed to you would know that Hilton violated their part of the contract and that a court of law would likely get involved. You would also know that there are people still working to get those mischarged refunded.

        Assume what you want since you know nothing beyond my commentary. If you’re really as professional as you claim to be then your writing would share more than the close-minded perspective you’ve chosen to write from. If you’re really that important of a person to the internal workings of the many cons you’ve claimed to work then I repeat, heaven forbid something happen to you and your con a year from now where you accidentally overlooked something and turn the public eye against you.

        Reply
    • December 23, 2015 at 9:16 am
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      *tries to act like a big man while their username says “Anonymous”*

      Aww, you scared bro? ‘Fraid your dirty laundry might get shown on a “seldom visited website”?

      Reply
      • December 23, 2015 at 9:57 am
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        Oh honey, just because you chose to show off your not so pretty face and real name for the internet to see doesn’t make you any less of a simpleton. But I’ll give you brownie points for derailing.

        Reply
        • December 23, 2015 at 10:27 am
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          …aaaand with that you’ve just gotten banned.

          We don’t take well to personal insults based on appearance ’round these parts. Goodbye to distortionwolf@gmail.com / 71.55.103.217

          You shan’t be missed.

          Reply
          • December 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm
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            I was going to add another quip but you beat me to the punch.

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