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Return to the City Timeless

   Posted by: ravynprince   in Uncategorized

Welcome to the City Timeless

The idea for the City Timeless first came back in 1999. At that time, I was going to three renfaires a year with a good friend of mine. We were considering adding farther roadtrips to take in even more renfaires each year, since we enjoyed the environment so much. It was an opportunity to be something or someone else, to experience a world that we could only dream of in our daily lives. As we were walking around in our period garb, chowing down on turkey legs and huge mugs of ale, leering at the passing wenches, I spoke the immortal words, “wouldn’t it be cool if we could live like this all the time?”

At that time, the longest running renfaires were no more than 6-8 weeks long, only on the weekends. What I envisioned on that day was essentially a permanent renfaire. We talked about the ideas for years, getting ideas from some of the faires we went to, talking about it to others, yet, it always stayed a dream with little or no effort beyond simply dreaming with a friend. Then, in 2000, I had the opportunity to start up a renfaire of my own, the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire. And this experience ignited the dream again, with a force and a sense of destiny, since this opportunity had come out of nowhere and was perfect to learn more about how renfaires actually ran. We’ve run that faire since 2001, 11 faires so far. As a charity event, we raise more than $60,000 for local education. Each faire is only a weekend long, and really only teased my dream…the thought of taking that to a yearlong event was too much to even conceive of…yet, conceive I did…

Research began and I felt that to make this happen, I had to know more about the other side of the business. The Timeless City would be a tourist location. I dreamed of a castle that people would stay in, a village full of craftsmen that would live and work there, that part of the dream has always stayed constant, though other aspects have shifted I went along this journey. I went to work for Disney in 2004, intent on learning everything I could from the experts. And yet, the longer I was there, the more the dream faded, replaced by the everyday efforts of work, raising a family, building a home.

As I dreamed, the dream got bigger, to the point where it became too large for me to actually see it happening. My early projections said that even at the most minimal configuration, it would still cost between 5-10 million dollars to start it up. I just couldn’t see raising that kind of money, so I bought my lottery tickets, and continued to dream.

 

Fast forward to present day. I still had my years worth of research that I occasionally added to, plans that I occasionally played with, more of a mental masturbation than actually planning out a viable business. The hurdle that always stopped me was the money. It was just too much. A curious thing happened though, the world of entrepreneurship changed, radically. Before you needed angel investors, deep finances, connections, to get any kind of business off the ground that needed that kind of capital. That changed with the concept of crowdfunding. Sites like Kickstarter were radically changing the business landscape, depending on donations from individuals to support new ideas. Even with this, though, I still didn’t see it as a viable way to finance my dreams. Most of these businesses were very small, the funding in the thousands of dollars. And yet, over time, the amounts grew. I began to see millions of dollars going to fund video games, movies, a whole host of different business ideas.

Maybe, just maybe, the City Timeless could be born after all…

 

Over the years, my idea has evolved. For a couple of years, I was hooked on World of Warcraft and other RPGs that created a full world that you lived in virtually. My idea would be to take that concept and turn it on its ear. Allow people to experience their virtual fantasy life in the real world. Instead of being just a single time period, the city would encompass not only other time periods, but whole other worlds of imagination…Knights, fairies, ogres, time travelers, all in one place. I also saw my desire to create a character and live it outside the everyday world being modeled by so many different groups of people, realizing that they were all after the same thing…and alternative to our grey, sad little world. The people were SCA, civil war re-ennactors, rennies, cosplayers, steampunkers, dieselpunkers, you name it. Even people who were doctors and lawyers during the week and donned their leathers and pony-tailed hair-extensions to pretend they were hardcore bikers exhibited the same desire to create their own world and live it to its fullest.

That is what my dream is really about…letting people create their own worlds, their own characters, share that dream with others, creating the reality by sharing the fantasy. Some French philosopher once said that reality was nothing more than a shared delusion. This makes my dream even bigger…what if I could create a place that allowed people to create their new world, a new culture, a new way of looking at the world that could actually impact the larger reality that we have to live within?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 9:47 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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