Way back in 1977 KathE started this whole thing. With her sister and some friends, she put together her first StarCon convention here in Denver Colorado. The early conventions took place annually, first at the old Regency Hotel and they were moved to The Stouffer’s (Clarion/Red Lion) for a few years. In 1984, I came on board with big plans for us to grow. We formed Starland, a merchandising company, which allowed us to start producing events and selling things full time to pay the bills.
Initially we started producing a summer convention to complement our fall StarCon – the first one was called 00Who (a James Bond and Dr Who convention). That summer show evolved into StarFest and various other conventions that we later produced and attended in the U.S. Australia, Germany, England and on the high seas. We then rode the Star Trek Next Generation bubble until 1997. At the hight of STNG’s popularity we were producing and attending as many as 4 conventions per weekend, had two retail stores in Denver with affiliates in Germany and Australia, and our catalog was being sent all over the planet.
Then – very quickly – everything changed. Star Trek got cold.
We closed our retail stores, moved our merchandise sales onto the internet and stopped flying all over the place. The worst thing was that we had to find something else that would keep us from having to get real jobs. That’s when we were forced to see if we could turn our annual haunted house hobby into a money making venture. It had already grown from three weekends in October to a permanent October event in the (now demolished) Buckingham Shopping Center in Aurora Colorado.
Once we figured out how to make the haunted house profitable, something had to give and we decided to stop producing StarCon in September – it was just too close to October. Now, because we can’t get enough of a good thing, we build and run up to 6 haunted houses every year and produce the StarFest Entertainment Convention in mid-April.
We also now have a few other businesses that our family runs including: used cars and car parts, a trailer dealership, a real estate business, and a fabric banner printing business. Additionally, our grandson Daniel makes penguins (which are for sale at StarFest). From this website we also help the movie studios promote their films by running online contests for tickets to movie screenings and giving away DVDs.
…this story definitely isn’t over.