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Pensacon 2017: Expanded Venues & Guest Announcements

"February 17 through 19, 2017 Pensacon will return to downtown Pensacola at the Pensacola Bay Center, the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel, the Rex Theater, the Saenger Theater and, added this year, the Pensacola Little Theater as well." - Mike Ensley, Founder and Chairman of Pensacon.

Usually Mike Ensley would be making that announcement from the Pensacola Bay Center on the final day of Pensacon, but there were delays and dram this year as the Bay Center had a conflict with a pair of Ice Flyers hockey games that weekend. In the end, Ensley says all the parties came together and got the dispute settled. "It was great that everybody came to the table. The county commissioners worked with us, the Bay Center worked with us, the Pensacola Ice Flyers worked with us, we came to an aggrement and we were able to all get this all done. So we are very thankful to them."

And there was good reason for that cooperation. For the third year Pensacon brought a barrel load of cash into the local economy during a season that has historically been slow. Over 22 thousand people attended the event bringing in over three million dollars. Ensley says the numbers were on par with last year, but he saw more people buy three day passes instead of single day tickets. He thinks that trend will continue next year.

And in 2017 there will be at least one new place to visit during the weekend with the addition of the Pensacola Little Theater to the mix of Pensacon venues. Ensley says they will probably be screening films there during the weekend. He also was able to announce the first couple of guests. "Our first guest will be Matt Gerald. This will be his first convention appearance ever." Gerald appeared in the movies Avatar and San Andreas and had a recurring role in the series The Shield.  He currently has a featured role in the Netflix series Daredevil based on the Marvel comic book character. 

Ensley also announced that Sandahl Bergman and Sven Ole Thorsen from the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Conan the Barbarian will be appearing. 

Ensley says he hopes to have more guest announcements in the coming weeks. All the rooms at the Crowne Plaza hotel sold out less than three hours after the announcement of the dates for 2017, and he says VIP passes and three day weekend passes will be going on sale for Pensacon 2017 on April 15.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.