There was a nice cheer from the crowd that was left at the Pensacola Bay Center late Sunday afternoon, as the Mike Ensley, the chairman of Pensacon announced the dates and the first confirmed guests for next year’s edition of the fan convention.
Ensley says the fan convention will return next year on February 19 through the 21 to the Pensacola Bay Center, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and, hopefully, The Saenger Theater. The first announced guests are Peter Mayhew and David Prowse, who play Chebacca the Wookie and Darth Vader on Star Wars.
After months of planning, Pensacon 2015 is ready to go this weekend.
"We just want to take over Pensacola" said Mike Ensley, the Founder and Chairman of Pensacon. Although he’s thinking big, Mike Ensley is surprisingly calm. This is the second year of the three day convention for fans of science fiction, comic books, video games, costuming or cosplaying, tv, movies, books and anything else where imagination and fun are the most important elements. "Everybody's flights are booked, people's hotel rooms are booked, they're excited to be here".
If one Escambia County Commissioner gets his way, the debate and a vote on which Confederate flag to display at the Pensacola Bay Center will cool its heels for the next month or so.
On a 4-1 vote in December, the Commission approved flying only the U.S. and the Florida state flags at the facility. The Confederate battle flag was taken down, along with those representing Britain, France and Spain.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the economics of the inaugural Pensacon convention. Organizers projected between 5,000 and 10,000 people would attend the event, which quickly filled the Crown Plaza Hotel and Pensacola Bay Center. “It is big, and it’s rare that in February you have a downtown hotel reporting that it’s fully booked,” Harper says.
To further make the point on the significance of the event during the “winter visitation trough,” he says that there are just a few big weekends during the height of the tourist season that beach hotels fill up.