Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pittsburgh Ready for Furries to Flock Hotels, Restaurants Roll out Unique Forms of Hospitality for Anthrocon

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pittsburgh Ready for Furries to Flock Hotels, Restaurants Roll out Unique Forms of Hospitality for Anthrocon

Article excerpt

Restaurants will be selling food out of dog bowls and drinks with 36-inch straws (long enough to fit under a fur suit).

With Anthrocon opening Thursday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown businesses are preparing for the nearly 6,000 Furries expected to hit town through Sunday.

Baris Budak, owner of Pizza Parma and Fernando's Cafe, stocks up on dog bowls and straws, hires as many temps as he can afford and orders ingredients by the truckload for the Furries' favorite lasagna wrap.

"We start shopping two weeks before," Mr. Budak said, "Even big companies like Coke will make an exception and do an extra delivery at night."

Fernando's Cafe has a special place in the hearts of Furries. Its original owner. Fernando DeCarvalho, became famous in the Anthro community after he was hit in the head with a brick while defending a Furry. Now a missionary in South America, Mr. DeCervalho left the cafe to Mr. Budak, who continues to welcome them each year and renames the cafe Furryland when the convention is in town.

Mr. Budak is not the only one to benefit from Anthrocon. Since the convention moved to Pittsburgh in 2006, it has brought in $39.6 million, according to Visit Pittsburgh. It's expected to generate $5.7 million this year, $200,000 more than last year.

Hotels also prepare for the Furry invasion. "We expect that they travel with a lot of luggage, so we have extra carts to help them on the day of arrival," said Tim Zugger, general manager at the Downtown DoubleTree, one of eight hotels hosting Anthrocon attendees.

Only about 20 percent of attendees don the full fur suit; many choose to wear ears, a tail or just a button with a picture of their anthropomorphic alter ego, said Anthrocon board member Karl Jorgensen of Leesburg, Va.. "For the most part it's people who develop their own characters, and each character is unique to that person," he explained. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.