For the first time in living memory, two groups have submitted valid bids to stage the Bouchercon mystery conference in the same year. The year is 2010 (which even though it sounds like a far-off science fiction future, is actually only two years away) and the cities are San Francisco and Tempe, AZ.
You can read more about the proposals here:
Having reviewed the information provided by both parties, I find that there really is no contest between the two: the San Francisco bid is superior. It's in a better location and it's run by people with a long-standing connection to the mystery world. (The Tempe folks have a lot of experience in the science fiction community, but apparently none in the crime world.)
I'm also somewhat non-plussed by the programming ideas put forward by the Tempe committee. Although they seem well thought-out, they don't strike me as being especially interesting.
As a result, I believe the San Francisco proposal has greater potential for resulting in a successful and entertaining conference.
(I should note that the committee chair for San Francisco, Rae Helmsworth, is an acquaintance of mine. I don't recommend the bid based on that connection. However, knowing her does favorably impress me regarding her ability to put together an excellent conference.)
The attendees at this year's upcoming Bouchercon in Baltimore will vote to decide which bid is accepted. I urge everyone who's going to be there to show up and vote.