Closing Furry Unlocked
To Whom It May Concern:
On December 13, 2015 after much deliberation and several hours of discussion, the Board of Wasatch Regional Anthropomorphic Arts and Entertainment (WRAAE) voted to cease operations and dissolve. Assignments were made to begin inventorying physical assets for sale, donation or destruction; intellectual property is being transferred to a holding company operated by Rabbit Valley in Las Vegas. As a consequence of this decision, Furry Unlocked is unable to continue, and will not be returning in 2016 or the foreseeable future.
The Board would like to thank the many volunteers who stepped up after we asked for help during the closing ceremonies of Furry Unlocked 2015, and those who responded to our e-mails asking for help as 2015 closed.
We would especially like to thank all the people who were part of Furry Unlocked in 2015 and Unthrocon in the years preceding. We would like to also thank the furry community for attending and donating their time and talents to put on successful panels and events within the convention. You helped make Furry Unlocked a success. Thank you.
Unfortunately, the Board Members of WRAAE (who also served on the convention staff) were unable to find anyone interested in and qualified for the business side of running a convention, and after four years and thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars, it was deemed that continuing to organize and host a convention in Salt Lake was no longer fungible.
The Board and the convention staff are sad to see Furry Unlocked close, but we are happy that we were able to be a part of making the impossible happen: a recurring, multi-day furry convention in Salt Lake City! All of us come away with experience and knowledge we wouldn’t likely have acquired any other way, and we’re proud of what we were able to accomplish.
While to lack of interest on the business side was a major factor in choosing to shutter WRAAE and discontinue Furry Unlocked, there are other factors: when Unthrocon first started, there was no ComicCon in Salt Lake. There was no BLFC, no AZFurCon, and RMFC was a much smaller event. Over the last 5 years, our local neighborhood has become flooded with events and opportunities for people with many and varied interests to participate in, and Furry Unlocked can’t compete with these events.
Part of the goal of WRAAE was to be able to expand the scope of our operations beyond simply running a furry convention in Salt Lake City. Our vision included providing services for locals, like financial planning and job placement, and shelters and counseling for the LGBT community. We wanted to expand into educating others about the furry fandom at other events through panels or other education opportunities. We hoped to reach a stage financially where we would be able to donate money to animal care and shelter programs. Our current business model and trends do not support this vision.
We don’t know what the future holds, and if it appears at some point in the future that there exists a space and a desire to host a furry convention in Salt Lake, we may return. This is part of the reason we are transferring Roki and the Furry Unlocked assets to a holding company run by Rabbit Valley, so we can still maintain control of the brand we’ve worked hard to create. If in the future someone would like to use the logos and characters we created to host their own event, we are open to the idea.
Thank you all again for being part of our “crazy experiment” and helping us do what many thought was impossible!
The WRAAE Board of Directors
Q: When does WRAAE officially close and cease operations?
A: March 31, 2016 is when all of our intellectual property transfers over to the holding company. We will finalize asset liquidation, give notice to government entities, and donate remaining funds around that time.
Q: What happens to the physical assets of WRAAE and Furry Unlocked?
A: Items with no value outside the furry community, like the swag lanyards, bags and other items made custom for Furry Unlocked and Unthrocon, have been transferred to HARVI, a non-profit run by Rabbit Valley. These items are theirs to dispose of.
Other items with a less esoteric value (power cords, shelves, etc) will be donated to local 501(c) charities or sold for fair market value. Proceeds from sales will then go to local 501(c) charities.
Q: What happens to WRAAE’s money? What about the money I paid for swag at Furry Unlocked?
A: Some money will be kept to maintain WRAAE’s operations as we wind down, to cover things like servers, e-mail, domain names and the cost of filing to shut down our corporation. All other money will be donated to the Best Friends Animal Society and their No Kill Utah project. We will update this page with the amount of the final donation once it’s been calculated and donated. All monies (not just proceeds, as initially expected) donated through the Furry Unlocked Con Store will be given to the Best Friends Animal Society. We have these funds set aside and they will not be used for any costs in closing down WRAAE. In light of shutting down, we decided that one large donation would be make instead of a small one from the Con Store and a larger one from WRAAE accounts closing.
Q: What happens to Roki?
A: As part of our transfer of brands, trademarks and intellectual property to HARVI, Roki is now property of the holding company. As such, he (and the rest of our logos, branding and names) cannot be used without permission from HARVI.
Q: Can I use “Unthrocon” or “Furry Unlocked” or Roki for my own events?
A: Our names, brands and characters are trade-marked and copyrighted, and cannot be used without express permission from HARVI, LLC (operated by Rabbit Valley)
Q: Can I still get any of the swag from Unthrocon or Furry Unlocked?
A: Rabbit Valley (via HARVI) will have items up for sale on Monday, January 18. They paid us for the swag, and that money will go into our final charitable donation.
Q: I did art for Furry Unlocked, can I still sell what I did?
A: If you had a license from WRAAE to reproduce and sell art that you did for the convention, that remains in place. If you did not have a license, one will need to be procured from HARVI and Rabbit Valley. Licenses will not be available until March 31, 2016, as all rights remain with WRAAE until that date.