HawaiiCon Moves to Mauna Lani Bay
For its third year, HawaiiCon is moving further down the Kona coast. Organizers announced this week that the science fiction and fantasy fan convention is moving to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel for its September 2016 gathering.
HawaiiCon was born on Kickstarter, an ambitious dream that nearly 200 backers turned into reality in 2013 by raising over $68,000. Lead organizer G.B. Hajim, a film and video producer, designed a fan convention that set itself apart from the many other similar events sprouting up in Hawaii in a couple of key ways. The first was simple geography, hosting the event on Hawaii Island rather than in Honolulu. The second was turning that destination into a benefit, building adventure and sightseeing tours into the program.
“We start with taking the celebrities out on tours with the fans around the island to change their frame of mind,” Hajim explained in the Thursday announcement. “Through our gentle application of aloha, our subtle nurturing of the feeling of ‘ohana, our location right on the beach, we have dissolved the distance between fans and their fandom.”
To ease the shift from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is offering HawaiiCon attendees room discounts of up to $100. Extra early-bird bookings will be upgraded to ocean-view rooms for $169 (plus taxes and fees), including Wi-Fi, parking, and other amenities.
While HawaiiCon has always had a strong affinity for “Star Trek,” the 2016 convention will be a special one, marking the 50th anniversary of the science fiction franchise. Like last year, the program will also include a birthday lu’au for original series star Walter Koening. Though the event is more than nine months away, the slate of confirmed guests for “Trek” already includes Nichelle Nichols, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Rod Roddenberry.
HawaiiCon also includes “Battlestar Galactica,” “Babylon 5,” animation and game voice actors, writers, comic book artists and writers, cosplayers and costumers. And there’s even a science track featuring working scientists in astronomy and physics.
HawaiiCon will run from Sept. 15 to 18, 2016. Early bird pricing for HawaiiCon registration runs through Dec. 31, and is priced at $129 for all four days. There are also child and VIP passes available. For more information, visit HawaiiCon.com, follow @HawaiiCon on Twitter, or connect with HawaiiCon on Facebook.