I can answer one of your questions (#4) - Last years PDC happened at the same time as the massive LA fires. We were sitting in "the war room" when word came in that many of the airports were closed due to the main aircraft control tower being in the path
of the flames. This was on Sunday and we were scrambling to figure out how to get not only the attendees into town, but keynote speakers as well. There are some great stories about the lengths people went to getting to LA.