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PAX07 Convention Center Feedback

amnuxollamnuxoll Registered User new member
edited September 2007 in PAX Archive
Dude. Get the heck out of Seattle. The convention center is not only too small to handle PAX (with large events spread over multiple cramped rooms) but it's pretty lousy.

Did anyone else get tired of waiting in line for a toilet in a crowded, filthy bathroom only to find no toilet paper in the stall? And regardless of your reason for visiting the restroom, you always end up waiting in line to dry your hands. Five sinks and only two hand dryers (no paper towels) means a long wait and undoubtedly there were a lot germs passed around last weekend because just didn't bother.

But if you didn't mind the bathrooms, surely you did mind the dearth of places to eat. As I recall, our choices were:
1. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for crepes
2. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for subway
3. Wait in a 1 hour line for tacos
4. Wait in a 45 minute line for pizza.

Gee, how about none of the above?

So, as long as I'm starving I might as well not drink water either since the water coolers ran out of the life-giving liquid at around 10:15am and were rarely refilled.

Fortunately, as I stumbled back to my hotel (exhausted, starving and severely dehydrated) there were lots of friendly, scary alcoholic panhandlers willing to help me find my way back.

In short, the center was too small, poorly maintained and in a bad location. Dud.

Don't get me wrong, I had a good time at PAX this year but the venue left a bad taste in my mouth.

:AMN:

amnuxoll on
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Posts

  • KaneKane Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You would prefer, maybe, the old hall that had half the space and less amenities around the center?

    Kane on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The bathrooms in the exhibition hall were very clean and rarely used; I don't think may people noticed them, even though they were the biggest ones in the convention center.

    There was lots of food only a few blocks away. Naturally there will be lines at the places IN the Center, with 30k+ eating there, but hop and skip a bit down the street and the wait is no longer than any other day.

    Also, I'll take panhandling drunks over actual violence anyday. That just comes with being in a popular part of the city. *shrug*

    Houn on
  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Past Organizer of the West Coast Train Trip San Fernando ValleyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    well i never saw any lines for crowded restrooms, i brought my own food so i never had to wait in line at the eateries, and . . . well, i never even saw any water coolers . . . but there were a multitude of drinking fountains near every set of restrooms

    coming away i felt this venue was a nice fit for our "little gaming festival" my only gripe was they were extremely anal about bawls having their own booth to sell bawls for a dollar and instead sold balls among their existing venders for 2.50 WTF!!!!

    TimeCruiserMike on
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  • KaneKane Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Seattle does tend to have lots of panhandlers, but very VERY little actual violence downtown. Thats all down in Ranier Beach, South Park, and White Center. ;)

    Kane on
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I waited in line for the bathroom once. And I brought my own lunch so I never needed to wait or go someplace else for food. Also, why does the water cooler not getting refilled make the convention center itself bad?

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  • MisteriosoMisterioso Registered User
    edited August 2007
    This is a joke topix, right?

    Misterioso on
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  • SkorMTSkorMT Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Free play PC room had a bathroom in it, and was never busy.. dirty.. or lacking in supplies.

    Over all I thought the center did a very good job. Vendors in the center were a little understaffed I think.. but that's their fault. Though someone rumored that they were informed it was only going to be a crowd of 10K ... lol silly them :D

    One "nice to have" I think would be ATM's on the floor of the exhibition hall, AND that they be restocked through out the weekend :)

    I went to 3 different ATM's on Sunday , and they were ALL dry lol

    Oh, and as a side note. We (as in PAX) wasn't using 100% of the convention center. There was still plenty of room to be had. Believe it or not there's a 5th floor to that thing.

    SkorMT on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Rumor is next year PAX will have the whole place.

    Houn on
  • EarleyEarley juicyjones Seattle WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    amnuxoll wrote: »
    Dude. Get the heck out of Seattle. The convention center is not only too small to handle PAX (with large events spread over multiple cramped rooms) but it's pretty lousy.

    Did anyone else get tired of waiting in line for a toilet in a crowded, filthy bathroom only to find no toilet paper in the stall? And regardless of your reason for visiting the restroom, you always end up waiting in line to dry your hands. Five sinks and only two hand dryers (no paper towels) means a long wait and undoubtedly there were a lot germs passed around last weekend because just didn't bother.

    But if you didn't mind the bathrooms, surely you did mind the dearth of places to eat. As I recall, our choices were:
    1. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for crepes
    2. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for subway
    3. Wait in a 1 hour line for tacos
    4. Wait in a 45 minute line for pizza.

    Gee, how about none of the above?

    So, as long as I'm starving I might as well not drink water either since the water coolers ran out of the life-giving liquid at around 10:15am and were rarely refilled.

    Fortunately, as I stumbled back to my hotel (exhausted, starving and severely dehydrated) there were lots of friendly, scary alcoholic panhandlers willing to help me find my way back.

    In short, the center was too small, poorly maintained and in a bad location. Dud.

    Don't get me wrong, I had a good time at PAX this year but the venue left a bad taste in my mouth.

    :AMN:

    Wow I can see you were annoyed, but it's a little obvious you didn't take even the most basic action to find out what other choices you had. There were about thirty trillion rest rooms at the center. I mean tons of them and I never saw a line once. So if you did, all you had to do is walk about thirty seconds to another one. Any enforcer could have shown you that.

    When you're traveling, and you want to know where to find food, you ask someone from the local place or your hotel concierge. I am from Seattle and there are a LOT of choices of places to eat on the cheap. If you just ask everyone has favorites.

    There is a full-on convenience store at the bottom of the convention center with everything any convenience store offers, including water that doesn't cost seventy-five dollars a bottle and run out by 10 am, porno, cigarettes, alcohol, you name it.

    The reason you see homeless people is that we don't pass laws making it illegal to be visible if you're poor in this town. It annoys everyone, but all cities have them so if you don't see them, it's just an illusion. In my opinion, that's a lot more annoying.

    Maybe a good idea would be for them to have a sheet in the packet showing some things to do around the convention center and a map.

    Earley on
  • SimplicitySimplicity Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The convention center was great for PAX. Atleast a hell of a lot better then the old M.B. we were at.

    Simplicity on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Earley wrote: »
    Maybe a good idea would be for them to have a sheet in the packet showing some things to do around the convention center and a map.

    Wasn't there a map in the PAX07 book they gave everyone? I'm pretty sure there was, but I don't have mine with me to check...

    Houn on
  • ScotasianglishScotasianglish Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I think he's joking... I hope he's joking.

    On food lines though: on a friday night, in a downtown restaurant (Cheescake factory) I had a 20 minute wait for a group of 5... that's damn good wait time for such an establishment in any situation on a Friday night, even more amazing that half of the restaurant was packed with PAX'ers.

    Scotasianglish on
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  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I think he's joking... I hope he's joking.

    On food lines though: on a friday night, in a downtown restaurant (Cheescake factory) I had a 20 minute wait for a group of 5... that's damn good wait time for such an establishment in any situation on a Friday night, even more amazing that half of the restaurant was packed with PAX'ers.

    That's a pretty standard wait for that particular Cheesecake Factory, PAX or no.

    Houn on
  • Kuribo's ShoeKuribo's Shoe Kuribo's Stocking North PoleRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I waited longer at a Burger King in North Bend on my way home than I did at any place during pax.

    Those Subway people were on point.

    Kuribo's Shoe on
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  • SkorMTSkorMT Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    I think he's joking... I hope he's joking.

    On food lines though: on a friday night, in a downtown restaurant (Cheescake factory) I had a 20 minute wait for a group of 5... that's damn good wait time for such an establishment in any situation on a Friday night, even more amazing that half of the restaurant was packed with PAX'ers.

    That's a pretty standard wait for that particular Cheesecake Factory, PAX or no.

    yeah.. that place is ALWAYS busy..part of the reason I've never ate there :D

    SkorMT on
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    The OP is a whiny loser. The convention center was a great venue and there plenty of other options for eating if you were just willing to *gasp!* JUST GO OUTSIDE. Seriously, you're in downtown Seattle and there a buttload of options for eating if you're willing to walk a few blocks or take a short taxi ride.

    Druhim on
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  • Fo0dNippl4Fo0dNippl4 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    The only dumb thing is what I've read about the Bawls situation. That's just shitty on the Convention Center's people's part.

    Fo0dNippl4 on
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  • wenchkillawenchkilla Registered User
    edited August 2007
    You are a whiny asshole. Let me address this point by point.
    amnuxoll wrote: »
    Dude. Get the heck out of Seattle. The convention center is not only too small to handle PAX (with large events spread over multiple cramped rooms) but it's pretty lousy.

    Did you go last year? We had much more than twice the space. Yes, the room approach was arguable, but I never found myself cramped. THEY HAD EXHIBITION HALLS FOR US TO STAND IN LINE. They have enough goddamned space.
    amnuxoll wrote: »
    Did anyone else get tired of waiting in line for a toilet in a crowded, filthy bathroom only to find no toilet paper in the stall? And regardless of your reason for visiting the restroom, you always end up waiting in line to dry your hands. Five sinks and only two hand dryers (no paper towels) means a long wait and undoubtedly there were a lot germs passed around last weekend because just didn't bother.

    I went to the bathroom several times each day. They were always clean, stocked, and reasonably occupied. Only thing was some guy peed all over a toilet seat, so I put down some toilet paper in an X shape so noone would sit down on accident, and moved stalls.
    amnuxoll wrote: »
    But if you didn't mind the bathrooms, surely you did mind the dearth of places to eat. As I recall, our choices were:
    1. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for crepes
    2. Wait in a 1/2 hour line for subway
    3. Wait in a 1 hour line for tacos
    4. Wait in a 45 minute line for pizza.

    Gee, how about none of the above?

    First of all, how dare you insult Taco del Mar. You clearly never even ate there, because you dismissed it as Tacos. It is one step below most mexican restaurants.

    Second of all, open up page 28 of the schedule (Which you probably threw away because it was like, so poorly designed, man :roll: ). What is this? Oh dear, a list of food at the WSCTC, as well as the nearest three malls and the food in there. Also, what about going outside, walking around a block, and finding dozens of places to eat? Oh, wait, going outside...

    amnuxoll wrote: »
    So, as long as I'm starving I might as well not drink water either since the water coolers ran out of the life-giving liquid at around 10:15am and were rarely refilled.

    Fact: They don't actually owe you free water! *GASP*
    amnuxoll wrote: »
    Fortunately, as I stumbled back to my hotel (exhausted, starving and severely dehydrated) there were lots of friendly, scary alcoholic panhandlers willing to help me find my way back.

    You mean there were homeless people in the middle of a big city in the middle of the goddamned night? No way. You should check out New York at 2am, I'm sure it's lovely.

    In conclusion, I would love to meet up with you at PAX next year. Because if this is a joke thread you'd be a fun guy to hang around, and if it's not a joke thread? Well, that'd be even better.

    wenchkilla on
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  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The convention centre was a perfect size and all the lines were the size you would expect for an event with 30k people, no matter where you were to hold it.

    If you don't like the food there, walk 3 blocks in ANY DIRECTION.

    Goodness.

    mully on
  • PhanmanPhanman Registered User
    edited August 2007
    This thread is funny regardless of him being serious. It would be funnier if he is in fact serious because it would confirm he was one of the laziest and most clearly spoiled nerds there.

    Life is hard when you leave your room.

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  • karlthepagankarlthepagan Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I'm sorry, but this did not feel like an adequate 30k person convention. I really admire the effort that went into the event and the main theater events were perfect.

    However I never had a chance at seeing many of the other events that I wanted to see and the booths weren't quite what I desired. After the "line ride" filled up a space that seemed capable of satisfying 10k people it stood empty for 3 days :(

    JavaOne is "over 15,000" attendees held in Moscone Center which is absolutely huge (in b4 $1k-2k admission is bad) - but I don't know if Seattle Con Center is that much different. J1 keeps the attendees outside until the opening ceremony. I could deffinately see that being done and then any of those spaces would have been adequate for the overcrowded sessions which were held in theaters A/B/C.

    I really did like the openness of theater B - but that would have been a better space for more competitive events rather than panels. (good for game pitching / omegathon elimination rounds, bad for women in gaming / fragdolls - couldn't hear anything @ the later)


    The console gaming was deffinately nice, but perhaps de-centralize it - putting different game titles or systems in different rooms and increasing the staff (if possible... in b4 "volunteer then"). Also don't let the guitar hero parties monopolize entire rooms and push people into corners, wearing headphones and surrounded by a fort of chairs in order to actually use and enjoy systems which were neighbors to the geekfrat plunk-fests.


    edit: ok positive time - when I consider $55 vs $hundreds-thousands-invite only... this was awesome... and worth it. I think I would get the most for my money if I tabletop gamed... the facilities for TTG rocked!

    Leaving 30 minutes slack time between sessions is the best thing ever... no really... extra time between quality events is better than stuffing your schedule full of sh%&... you guys did the right thing there.

    I deffinately had a good time, but I see so much great potential in this event I couldn't help but offer up how my experience here was different from other cons.

    karlthepagan on
  • BuraisuBuraisu Innovator Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I only waited in one line for food, the rest of the time, it was pretty fast. It just depends where and when you go for food. Bathrooms are the same way, depends where and when you go. No bathroom lines for me and if you found the nice almost never used bathrooms, they were clean and fun. ^_^

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  • specspec Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I never saw a dirty bathroom the entire time, and I walked the 3 blocks away from the convention center to some of the 30 restaurants in the area instead of standing in line for crappy food at the location.

    spec on
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeh, the only food line I waited in was the cafe, because, damn, they make a good turkey sandwich.

    Mostly I just left the center to eat. But I live here so I know my way around. The key I guess is to find a local when it's food time and journey outside.

    The bathrooms, well, there's only so much they can do when you have 40 bajillion people coming in and out all day and night long. Some of them were in bad shape but some of them were quite clean, it just depends.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
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  • AiolarAiolar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wow - lines for the bathroom? Almost <i>anywhere</i> you go, the lines for the womens' bathrooms are much longer than for the mens'. However - at PAX, there was NEVER a line that I saw, and it was also almost always empty. I guess that's just another result of a convention that is some crazy ratio of guys:girls.

    Aiolar on
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  • kazuokazuo Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    PROTIP: Try walking OUTSIDE to get some food

    There's a fuckton of food in every direction from the CC.

    I found... awesome burgers, pizza, pho, japanese food, like 4 other subways, a 7-11, etc.

    EDIT: Also, I NEVER waited in line for the bathroom EVER. Even in the main hall.

    Wil Wheaton should beat your ass for being too stupid to go outside.

    kazuo on
  • pjarvipjarvi Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Only 2 complaints:

    -Theaters were too spread out. It was exhausting having to go back and forth through that tiny hallway to get to the theaters. Made only worse by the lack of any place to flop-down and rest. This also hurt the social atmosphere.

    -Bawls.

    pjarvi on
  • DopeskiDopeski Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The exhibition hall bathroom was huge! Every time I went there must have only been at most 5-6 of the stalls being used out of like 40-50 (There were a LOT). The lines weren't that bad, the Freeplay PC line looked a bit long but it only took about 3-5 minutes max to get in. I didn't eat at any of the Food vendors downstairs, so I don't know how long they took, but other than that I rarely had to do any waiting at all.
    Rumor is next year PAX will have the whole place.

    I'm just curious, how much bigger is the Convention Center?

    Dopeski on
  • alienfirstalienfirst Washington StateRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There is food EVERYWHERE in Seattle. Around the Convention Center, and, if you're willing to take a bus ride, there's Pike Place Market (bus transport is free in downtown Seattle). My boyfriend and I would go down to Pacific Place (a block or two away) and eat there when we got hungry. Good food, and we had no wait time.

    As for the Convention Center itself, that is pretty much the biggest place possible. Sakuracon (anime convention) is held there at the end of March and they fill it up. There really is no place bigger to go. I was disappointed that the whole place wasn't rented out. The top floor has the hugest auditorium. Seriously. I thought that would be used for the big panel/events, but I think it had already been rented out (there was some conference happening on Sunday which used the top floor). Which is why I am so hoping PAX can have the whole area next year. It is a huge place and I really want to see it all filled up.

    I honestly don't know what convention center you were looking at. Not only were there the PAX enforcers running around, but there was the convention center employees running around too. If something was up that was seriously irking you, you should have found an enforcer or convention center employee and raised the point.

    alienfirst on
  • JoahWJoahW Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    JoahW on
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  • alienfirstalienfirst Washington StateRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    JoahW wrote: »

    BALLROOM! That's the descriptive noun for the uber-large auditorium that I couldn't remember.

    alienfirst on
  • NightingaleNightingale Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I loved the center. I thought the staff that was actually there from the convention center were polite, professional, and did their job. I had one lady security guard joke with our group which was absolutely AMAZING and human. I don't remember any staff from Meydenbauer being around at all.

    There's escalators. QQ more about having to move between floors.

    The space was great - I only had one drawback where we didn't get into line early enough for a panel and missed the first 10, 15 minutes. I would have liked to have larger theater seating space for a few of those panels that were in Theater A or B. At the very least a display set-up with audio and visual for the overflow audience would have been nice. It would be perfect for someone like me who often doesn't have questions to bring forth but am intensely curious in other people's questions and answers on the topic.

    The location in Seattle I think is as close to ideal as you can get other than one-way streets which occurs in any downtown metro area that I know of. Food is pricey near the convention but if you get a few blocks away and look around there's some reasonably priced food that is very good. There's also a wide selection of hotels around that can house such a massive gathering as this.

    I never had to wait in line for a bathroom, but I'm also a girl. There were like, 3-4 bathrooms for each floor. It was more than sufficient. Something that may be considered is converting one on each floor to a double guys-only bathroom given that I know females are a little lower in attending population wise. They'd just have to VERY well marked if they were going to do something of that sort.

    Nightingale on
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  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I'm hoping the OP was a poor attempt at a joke. I was there all three days, never experienced any sort of bathroom lines, and getting food was not a problem. Of course the restaurants (like Subway) closest to the action will have long lines. That's just common sense. Also, restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory always have long waits, regardless of whether or not a convention is taking place.

    Both nights we walked down to Pacific Place (just a block away), and got seated within 10 minutes at one of the restaurants upstairs. Easy as pie.

    The event was extremely well done, considering how much is done via volunteer-work and the PA group is less than a dozen employees. I left very impressed. So were a bunch of my co-workers (we're from MS Games), and we've all seen dozens of game conventions (and many people went to previous PAXes).

    All in all, :^: to the folks involved, and excellent choice of venue. Sure, it's not perfect, but for a first time there, awesome. And it'll keep getting better too!

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  • SnickersSnickers Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Good lord. What a cynical prick you are to start a thread like this.

    Snickers on
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  • spiritdragon101spiritdragon101 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    the only thing that pissed me off is that i couldnt find any bawls

    spiritdragon101 on
  • ThelloThello Registered User
    edited August 2007
    The Center was actually extremely spacious, as far as I recall. My only complaint is that I missed the Storytelling in Games panel because I couldn't figure out where the hell to get a schedule. When I finally did, I couldn't find theater A! If you went up to the corner where the handheld louge was, the arrow for Theater A pointed down. By the time I actually figured out where it was, the panel was over. So much for getting Ron Gilbert's autograph D:

    Thello on
  • Lewis99207Lewis99207 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Seattle was great.

    I would of liked to have seen more retailers on the exhibit hall and there weren't any games there that haven't been so overhyped in trade magazines that I felt I already knew everything about them. After reading an article about Bioshock [insert any other game at PAX here too] every month for the last two years I didn't even want to play the demo.

    Lewis99207 on
  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Lewis99207 wrote: »
    Seattle was great.

    I would of liked to have seen more retailers on the exhibit hall and there weren't any games there that haven't been so overhyped in trade magazines that I felt I already knew everything about them. After reading an article about Bioshock [insert any other game at PAX here too] every month for the last two years I didn't even want to play the demo.

    With E3 so reduced in scope, and possibly dead next year, I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more companies set up shop at PAX. I think that's a good thing, because it's becoming a great way to interact with gamers at a more personal level. Let them see your game in-person, rather than trying to bombard them with ads.

    That said, I do hope the rest of PAX (BYOC, the tourneys, get-to-gethers, panels, etc.) remains "marketing-free".

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  • PlayPlay Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Man, some people are never happy. You got like two or three times the space, with room to expand next year, but it's still not good enough. If you've ever been to any other large convention, you're going to figure out that conventions have lines, get used to it. The PA crew and us Enforcers try our damnedest to manage or alleviate lines as much as possible, but we can't make people disappear (unless they work for E for All :P).

    I guess next year we'll have to rent out the fucking moon, but someone will still bitch about it.

    As for convention center food places, we warn them ahead of time, but after that it's in their hands. We can't exactly enforce private businesses. Although it would help if they didn't fuck up the count. Subway thought there were 12,000 coming total. They were wrong. It was more like over 37,000. Oh well, I guess we just held up PAX tradition. Subway ALWAYS runs out of bread. If anything, this should encourage you to get out and explore the city. It's a really cool place, honest. Just don't make eye contact with panhandlers.

    Play on
  • GenXerGenXer Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Had an fantastic time at PAX '07! Looking forward to next year very much.

    I must say I think the venue was a great choice. As someone who has worked for years for a convention logistics and transportation company, and worked in many of the convention centers in major cities, this one worked well for an even like PAX.

    I did not find that the bathrooms were either dirty or had abnormally long lines. I didn't use them excessively, but they weren't a problem.

    The food situation was wonderful! 3 blocks in any direction and you had your choice of restaurants of almost any type. I realize lots of others have said this as well, but the longest wait I had for food the entire time was 10 minutes the one day I did choose to do lunch at Subway in the convention center. This wasn't due to lack of options elsewhere, this was due to a desire to save time and spend as much of it as possible at PAX that day!

    The layout of the hall worked well. There's always room for improvement, especially after the first time in a venue, but overall things were good. The handheld lounge B on the second floor was difficult to find for many people, and rearranging or providing better signage for that would be greatly appreciated. I didn't end up getting my HDTS buttons until Sunday afternoon :-( Yes, I could've looked harder, there was too much other cool stuff to do! :-)

    Overall, great first year in a new venue!

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