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Subject: 7Springs minimum stay requirement rss

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Sagrilarus wrote:
darthhugo wrote:

Lancaster is a tourist attraction with mature hotel market. 7 Springs is a resort/ski lodge with limited, year round visitors. Comparing the two isn't even possible.


    Sure it is. Does it serve the needs of the convention? It's really that simple.

    WBC had to move no doubt. If the new venue is out of space because the convention has grown, that's a sign of good news not bad. I'm not arguing that part of the issue.


Fair enough, and I'm sure that I won't be able to add much to a discussion that I'm thinking has numerous words written from both sides of the debate.

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Sagrilarus wrote:
Ward wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:
natsean wrote:
Quote:
This has become complicated.


This is the first year all of these things are in place, though. I think it is more that it is new than complicated.

Plus, as was said above, you can call and talk to a rep and they explain it all. I read all the stuff to be prepared, but when I booked, I asked a few simple questions to make sure everything was clear.

It will be a breeze next year.

Kevin


    No, I mean that you need to have an extended stay, and you need to commit earlier and you need to put non-refundable money on the table. It used to be I could come up for two days on short notice if my schedule allowed it.

             S.


So it isn't so much that it is complicated, but that it is inconvenient. I think you can probably still come up for two days on short notice, but you can't reserve a room for two days 6 months ahead of time and cancel on short notice if your schedule doesn't allow it. I'm sure it is inconvenient for many, but many others it is more convenient as the hotel rooms are available for longer stays.

Imagine wanting to book a room for the week but the rooms are unavailable for that length of stay because the rooms were snapped up by people reserving the second weekend only. The weeklong stay would have to be broken up into 4 days at the hotel and 3 days at an alternative site. Certainly not convenient for those folks.


Never camped on a reservation in Lancaster. Never needed to. There were enough rooms in walking distance to reserve a couple of weeks in advance. It's a shame the new place runs things so much tighter. Not enough resources, or has the con gotten that much bigger?



The con actually shrunk in terms of total number of unique visitors. However, the number of "gamer days" was much closer to what we had the last few years at the Lancaster petri dish. This was especially noticeable on what was originally the precon weekend , where there was definitely more people than in years past. Conversely, there wasn't a huge upswell in the back half of the con, since it was not within "commuter distance " of many who lived somewhat local to Lancaster and drove in each day.

I fully expect to see an uptick in attendance over last year as word spreads on how well the site worked out for most folks. To be sure, some will not and did not like it, but they appear to be in a pretty small minority.

And while you may have never "camped" on a reservation, others did and then cancelled shortly before the con.

And while those rooms were rented again off a waitlist, it still can be a deterrent for those attending the con if the hotel connected to the hotel sells out artificially fast. They also didn't count toward the convention room block, which can hurt the BPA.

The resource that is "scarce" is the hotel connected to the convention facility - despite having substantially more capacity than the Host ( 40% more rooms IIRC ) , it sold out very quickly last year. This year, with the new reservation procedures as well as attendees being more familiar with the layout of the overall resort and some choosing condos, there appears to be a bit more time to decide - for longer term stays. I'd be surprised if any rooms survive til the May 15th date when shorter stays than four nights will be accepted.

Long term, the convention facility has tons of unused space to allow growth. I suspect the limiting factor will be lodging. There is plenty available, but some involves a 20-30 minute drive.

I don't know how many total rooms are available at the resort overall counting condos and chalets with the hotel. Based on the number of condos just at the top of the mtn I saw while biking, I think there is still a lot of untapped capacity. What the site does lack in comparison to Lancaster is the cheap places like Motel 8 within walking distance. But as has been discussed here and elsewhere at great length, the Board had to make compromises . I think 7S was the best choice given the relative dearth of other options out there.

Historicon ( miniatures ) went through a similar site selection process recently as their contract with a facility in Fredericksburg VA is about to expire. Their needs are quite similar to WBC with cost being a primary concern . They chose a location in Somerset NJ for a 2018 date. Shortly after they had agreed last month , the facility was sold and now they are back to the drawing board. They might end up back at the Host, but at an unknown increase in price .
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kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.
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ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.


Maybe they assumed the better angels of our nature, but instead noticed unexpected, negative outcomes.
 
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Marty S wrote:
Conversely, there wasn't a huge upswell in the back half of the con, since it was not within "commuter distance " of many who lived somewhat local to Lancaster and drove in each day.


    This was huge back in Lancaster, and on the second weekend you'd see a lot of kids in open gaming, especially those last couple of years. In a lot of ways that was the most interesting weekend -- a lot of new people in the room bringing a lot of excitement. Families coming for the day.

    A convention like this isn't supposed to be an open venue for everyone. It's for the grizzled veterans. But seeing the new people in the room was a nice change. They were fresher, both emotionally and hygienically.
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Note also that I don't think the condo's come even close to selling out, so I believe you can still stay within a mile of the hotel at almost no notice at all.
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ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.
 
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Lemur wrote:


Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.


Since the condos don't seem to sell out, even at the last minute, they would be a better solution for a larger group like yours.
 
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Sagrilarus wrote:
Marty S wrote:
Conversely, there wasn't a huge upswell in the back half of the con, since it was not within "commuter distance " of many who lived somewhat local to Lancaster and drove in each day.


    This was huge back in Lancaster, and on the second weekend you'd see a lot of kids in open gaming, especially those last couple of years. In a lot of ways that was the most interesting weekend -- a lot of new people in the room bringing a lot of excitement. Families coming for the day.

    A convention like this isn't supposed to be an open venue for everyone. It's for the grizzled veterans. But seeing the new people in the room was a nice change. They were fresher, both emotionally and hygienically.


That's why they have a Junior's room, to cater to the grizzled, unshowered veterans. shake
 
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Lemur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.


In the scenario you mention, the way around this is to put the names of one member of each party that you know will attend. Therefore the rooms can easily be transfered to them.


So, if Jim, George, Tim, and myself are going, and we each want a room, you just make sure that those four names are on each room. But without that certainty, then it would be difficult to plan ahead.

 
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rri1 wrote:
Lemur wrote:


Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.


Since the condos don't seem to sell out, even at the last minute, they would be a better solution for a larger group like yours.



Same price?
 
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darthhugo wrote:
Lemur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.


In the scenario you mention, the way around this is to put the names of one member of each party that you know will attend. Therefore the rooms can easily be transfered to them.


So, if Jim, George, Tim, and myself are going, and we each want a room, you just make sure that those four names are on each room. But without that certainty, then it would be difficult to plan ahead.





Right - but, if I have 9 people that might take 4 rooms, that's a different matter altogether.

So, maybe 1 brings his wife (1 room), 2 bunk together (1 room) 3 more get a rollaway and lower costs (1 room) and, at the last minute, 1 bails, so the last two take the last room together. Or, he decides he doesn't want to force someone onto a rollaway, so he decides not to come. In any event, the four rooms *are* all occupied, and -- according to the hotel -- BPA suffered not at all.



 
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Lemur wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
Lemur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.


In the scenario you mention, the way around this is to put the names of one member of each party that you know will attend. Therefore the rooms can easily be transfered to them.


So, if Jim, George, Tim, and myself are going, and we each want a room, you just make sure that those four names are on each room. But without that certainty, then it would be difficult to plan ahead.





Right - but, if I have 9 people that might take 4 rooms, that's a different matter altogether.

So, maybe 1 brings his wife (1 room), 2 bunk together (1 room) 3 more get a rollaway and lower costs (1 room) and, at the last minute, 1 bails, so the last two take the last room together. Or, he decides he doesn't want to force someone onto a rollaway, so he decides not to come. In any event, the four rooms *are* all occupied, and -- according to the hotel -- BPA suffered not at all.





But if you are sure you are going to use 4 rooms, you should also be sure of four people that you can attach to the reservations, yes? If you're not sure of at least four names, than there must be some chance that one or more of the rooms will not be needed.

It seems to me that people were naturally uncertain about the condos the first year. More people seem to have embraced them this year as the early adopters gave them high marks last year. I expect that the condo option will grow much more popular after more people try them out this year. They will in essence serve the function of the off site hotels in Lancaster. I would really think that they are the way to go for someone looking for greater booking flexibility.
 
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Lemur wrote:
rri1 wrote:

Since the condos don't seem to sell out, even at the last minute, they would be a better solution for a larger group like yours.



Same price?


Same price per bedroom. Also, if you book 7 nights, you get 2 of them free. They advertise a 24-hour shuttle so once there you don't necessarily need your car.

We'll be staying in one this year. Me gaming all day, kids in the juniors room, & wife sunning by the pool. Can't wait!
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SLOTerp wrote:
Also, if you book 7 nights, you get 2 of them free. They advertise a 24-hour shuttle so once there you don't necessarily need your car.



I thought it was book 7, pay for 5, but I booked 9 nights and Seven Springs told me it was only one night free. I still made the reservation, but following up on this is on my to do list. The reservation clerk checked with her manager.
 
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actuaryesquire wrote:

I thought it was book 7, pay for 5, but I booked 9 nights and Seven Springs told me it was only one night free.

We booked 7 and payed for 5. There doesn't seem to be an expiration date on that offer at the BPA lodging page.
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SLOTerp wrote:
Lemur wrote:
rri1 wrote:

Since the condos don't seem to sell out, even at the last minute, they would be a better solution for a larger group like yours.



Same price?


Same price per bedroom. Also, if you book 7 nights, you get 2 of them free. They advertise a 24-hour shuttle so once there you don't necessarily need your car.

We'll be staying in one this year. Me gaming all day, kids in the juniors room, & wife sunning by the pool. Can't wait!


As Michael said, it is the same price per bedroom, so a 4 bedroom condo would cost the same as 4 hotel rooms. Or 2 - 2 bedroom condos.

AFAIK, the condos have varying furnishings (so some will have bedrooms king/Queen sized beds and others may have 2 twins, etc.) Also I think most have a sleeper sofa in the living room as well.

Also they all have kitchens for additional meal options. (You may want to stock up before the week.)

They also have a shuttle to get to and from the convention, or you can drive.
 
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We plan on driving to the Convention Center with a trunk full of games each morning, then use the shuttle bus for any midday trips back to the condo.
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Marty S wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:
    It makes sense financially for the place hosting the event, but it doesn't make sense for someone that is looking to attend for a couple of days. I may be able to find a Motel 6 nearby. That would be the alternative.

    The big conventions aren't designed to attract more casual gamers for shorter stints. It's why my group throws its own mini-con every year now. I just can't imagine gaming for ten straight days, or even five. With a non-gaming family, it simply can't happen.


There are several cheap hotels just off the PA turnpike, about 20-30 mins away.


I have stayed at the Budget Host Inn right off the PA Turnpike in the past and enjoyed it. it is VERY basic but a good price. There is also a nice diner right next door and some other restaurants withing easy walking distance.
 
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ladue wrote:
Lemur wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
Lemur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.


In the scenario you mention, the way around this is to put the names of one member of each party that you know will attend. Therefore the rooms can easily be transfered to them.


So, if Jim, George, Tim, and myself are going, and we each want a room, you just make sure that those four names are on each room. But without that certainty, then it would be difficult to plan ahead.





Right - but, if I have 9 people that might take 4 rooms, that's a different matter altogether.

So, maybe 1 brings his wife (1 room), 2 bunk together (1 room) 3 more get a rollaway and lower costs (1 room) and, at the last minute, 1 bails, so the last two take the last room together. Or, he decides he doesn't want to force someone onto a rollaway, so he decides not to come. In any event, the four rooms *are* all occupied, and -- according to the hotel -- BPA suffered not at all.





But if you are sure you are going to use 4 rooms, you should also be sure of four people that you can attach to the reservations, yes? If you're not sure of at least four names, than there must be some chance that one or more of the rooms will not be needed.



Technically, there were about 10 names that could be attached. But that wasn't an option at the Host.

Like I said - this went on for ... oh ... 8 years? It worked fine. BPA didn't suffer (and I verified that). But, it apparently bothered some people, so a policy had to be put in place to prevent it. C'est la vie.
 
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Lemur wrote:
ladue wrote:
Lemur wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
Lemur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:
kengelma wrote:
I believe the current "complicated" requirements are something BPA asked for and not how Seven Springs normally deals with reservations. We get pinged if we don't meet our room block guarantees. Without the reservation rules, lots of our members "game" the system, make reservations and then decide later to cancel, which deprives people who need rooms of the opportunity to make reservations and is a financial liability for the organization--punishing everybody.


Thanks for posting this Kaarin. I think that makes a lot of sense and that the BPA has risk is not something I at least had considered.




Unfortunately, the ability to transfer a reservation has been eliminated too. So, for years (not recently), I would reserve 3-4 rooms for my group and then, at the deadline, we'd decide who was going - who was bringing their wife, who needed to pair up, and the rooms would be assigned to the people.

I was then told, this rendered the room as not counting towards the BPA commitment; and immediately, I felt badly. In fact, I reached out to the Host (where this was happening) to see what I could do to ensure the BPA didn't lose the room credit. And, I was told, that was completely false. So long as the room was never "canceled" (but, merely transferred), it still counted towards the BPA room block.

In total, I think I reserved multiple rooms about 6-7 years total, and never *once* canceled a reservation.


In the scenario you mention, the way around this is to put the names of one member of each party that you know will attend. Therefore the rooms can easily be transfered to them.


So, if Jim, George, Tim, and myself are going, and we each want a room, you just make sure that those four names are on each room. But without that certainty, then it would be difficult to plan ahead.





Right - but, if I have 9 people that might take 4 rooms, that's a different matter altogether.

So, maybe 1 brings his wife (1 room), 2 bunk together (1 room) 3 more get a rollaway and lower costs (1 room) and, at the last minute, 1 bails, so the last two take the last room together. Or, he decides he doesn't want to force someone onto a rollaway, so he decides not to come. In any event, the four rooms *are* all occupied, and -- according to the hotel -- BPA suffered not at all.





But if you are sure you are going to use 4 rooms, you should also be sure of four people that you can attach to the reservations, yes? If you're not sure of at least four names, than there must be some chance that one or more of the rooms will not be needed.



Technically, there were about 10 names that could be attached. But that wasn't an option at the Host.

Like I said - this went on for ... oh ... 8 years? It worked fine. BPA didn't suffer (and I verified that). But, it apparently bothered some people, so a policy had to be put in place to prevent it. C'est la vie.


Hey, don't say people didn't try to offer advice on how to work in the reality of 2017.

 
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SLOTerp wrote:
actuaryesquire wrote:

I thought it was book 7, pay for 5, but I booked 9 nights and Seven Springs told me it was only one night free.

We booked 7 and payed for 5. There doesn't seem to be an expiration date on that offer at the BPA lodging page.


I booked 2 rooms Sunday. Deposits and total due amounts for 7 nights did not reflect the discount (stay 7, pay 5). Staff member said she would talk to manager Tuesday (Monday was Holiday) and email me. No word yet. I plan to contact them tomorrow.
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[/q]

But if you are sure you are going to use 4 rooms, you should also be sure of four people that you can attach to the reservations, yes? If you're not sure of at least four names, than there must be some chance that one or more of the rooms will not be needed.[/q]


Technically, there were about 10 names that could be attached. But that wasn't an option at the Host.

Like I said - this went on for ... oh ... 8 years? It worked fine. BPA didn't suffer (and I verified that). But, it apparently bothered some people, so a policy had to be put in place to prevent it. C'est la vie.[/q]



Well, the problem wasn't people like yourself that honored all their room reservations, but other people who would drop rooms at the last minute. Some of those rooms wouldn't get filled, especially for the full length of the con. The reality is that there were more than enough people willing to commit to the full length of the con a year in advance, but were unable to do so in part because of speculative reservations. The con benefits if the hotel block is sold out to the maximum extent possible, and the old system was preventing that. To an extent, the flexibility that some people would prefer is harmful to the con itself. Unfortunate, but true. The current system is something of a compromise, maximizing the opportunity for full length attendees to reserve rooms, while not forcing people to commit to their plans a full year in advance.
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Rahul Chandra
Canada
St. John's
Newfoundland
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Speculative bookings completely destroy things for foreign visitors, too - no way can I consider booking a flight if I can't get a room, if the room becomes available a week before the con that's too late.
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