I'm not a fan of Portland in general, and I am, with god as my witness, NEVER making hotel reservations through the UUA system again. (Kids, I am like a HALF MILE from the subway and literally several miles from the convention center. Whoever made the decision that GA hotels choudl be chosen based on their use of environmentally safe cleaning products rather than their closeness to the convention center is a tool.)
But so far the exhibit hall has art that I actually might buy and the registration process was WAY smoother than last year. So that's good. Will likely report agian post-blogger hoedown.
Ps. I'm no fabulous beauty myself, mind you, but I have to say that the UU Polyamorists seriously need to improve their marketing efforts. The same circa-sixty-years-old-aging-hippie who manned the table most of the time last year is back.
Are green cleaning supplies really the issue? (I smell a straw man.) I looked at the hotel list and none of the announced hotels meet your description.
Which makes me think the official block sold out before you booked your room and the GA Office was scrambling to get rooms for all attendees. This has happened before.
A bad hotel is better than no hotel. In case you're wondering why I'm already writing about GA 2008.
They're certainly part of the issue. I can't find the hotel RFP for this year right off, but here's the lessons learned from last year with a list of their demands:
At the very least, if the UUA group rate rooms were sold out, then they should have clearly communicated that. Actually, since according to the housing request form you can just request the UUA group rate from the hotel, I don't understand why the UUA bothers having a housing office at all..
Why a housing office? Good question. Apart from helping people with specific, special needs, I'm not sure there is one.
From what I've read in the convention trade, direct reservations from conventioneers are destroying the long-standing quid-pro-quo arrangement for meeting space blocks. GA got caught with its pants down -- and many empty rooms -- a few years ago, which is why I think the (1) the rooms are cheaper now and (2) they ran out.
Money trumps green nearly every time, even for UUs, and I bet that's really what is at play.
The CSO wrote:
"I don't understand why the UUA bothers having a housing office at all.
Scott Wells wrote:
"GA got caught with its pants down -- and many empty rooms -- a few years ago"
I've read in the past that the UUA and other groups who sponsor conferences often make quid pro quo arrangements with hotels.
If the conference event reserves a block of rooms, the hotel will give a discounted rate for conference meeting space. There are some official GA events that may happen in the hotels near the convention center and this quid pro quo arrangement has been useful in the past.
However, this arrangement doesn't work if folks don't use the GA blocks and arrange housing outside the GA system.
I suspect this is part of the reason for the recent UUA Board decision to reduce the number of UUA affiliate groups (fewer groups = less need for workshop and meeting space GA).
"I'm no fabulous beauty myself, mind you, but I have to say that the UU Polyamorists seriously need to improve their marketing efforts. The same circa-sixty-years-old aging hippie who manned the table most of the time last year is back."
I've heard one fear expressed about polyamory from monogamous persons is "they'll try to steal my mate."
Perhaps the aging hippie at the UUPA booth defuses this concern?
Thanks, that was my good belly laugh for today.
I did not use the GA hotel booking service for the two GAs I attended. The first was in Quebec, and I knew a nice little boutique hotel that was not much difference in cost than the conference hotels but was far more charming. (It was a 20-25 minute walk away...but a walk through Quebec City...!). The second was for Boston, where I went through Hotwire and got a cheaper rate than the UUA was able to provide. Go figure.
The older fellow at the UUPA booth is there because he's on the Board of UUPA. He's actually quite a nice guy if you stop and get to know him.
Re: housing and the UUA Board's decisions about IAs. I don't think the idea of reducing people attending by mucking with the IAs is what's going on. I'm a CUUPS member and gotten input both from the CUUPS Board and people on/close to the UUA Board and think that there are some real issues involved, and that hopefully they can be worked out in a reasonable fashion.
"I'm no fabulous beauty myself, mind you,... "
certainly you are. Unconventionally, but fabulous.
It's very kind of you to say that, Kim.
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