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Zer Netmouse
April 7th, 2006
03:54 pm


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2008 worldcon site selection

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[User Picture]
Date:April 8th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
Well, I presume you got the party host information, though that was from the convention rather than the hotel. Remember the fire paranoia, and the "hotel has no in-room coffeemakers and doesn't allow anyone to bring them in" warnings? Marci called the hotel to report the common coffee machine on our floor still hadn't been serviced Friday afternoon, hours after her first call reporting the problem,

"We'll take care of it. Would it help if we also brought you a coffee maker for your suite?"

"Yes, thank you."

And when the hotel guy showed up, coffee maker in hand, and asked where we wanted it. We said wherever the hotel preferred, that we knew there were fire safety concerns. "Okay; I'll just put it where it usually goes."

So much for the hotel's claim that they never provided or allowed in-room coffee makers due to Chicago's fire safety laws.

The written party host information had other difficulties in both tone and content. But, again, that was more at the committee's hands than the hotel's. It set the tone, though, one soon borne out by the hotel's attitude and sensibilities. Time blurs the various indignities I suffered at the VIP check-in desk the hotel was running for suite reservations when I arrived, but the Hyatt staff spent 3-4 times as long as I've spent checking into any other party suite, treating me like scum the whole time.

I didn't get hit with any of the bogus cleaning or damage charges. ConJose did following the single party they hosted. The charge was for alleged cigarette burn damage. From a non-smoking party. I understand other parties were also hit with $200-300 charges with early on, and that the problem went away as soon as more party hosts started leaving enormous tips.

To be specific, because tipping sensibilities vary, I started out leaving $35-40/day for cleaning the parlor where we'd already cleared all the trash and tidied the room. We tipped separately for the sleeping rooms, which were used much more lightly. I was advised to raise my daily parlor tip to the $50-60 range after the convention's hotel folks saw what the hotel did to several party hosts Thursday and Friday nights. IIRC, I know of one large party with multiple suites that was leaving $75/parlor/day even though they, too, were doing much of their own cleaning before the maids came in. (Though I don't think they were down scrubbing the floors. And, yes, it was over the top for me to do so -- the dirt could be easily removed with the normal cleaning tools the maids had. I just didn't have the financial resources to deal with hundreds of dollars in extra cleaning charges, and I learned on site that the hotel had a propensity for charging them.)

The hotel's hostile attitude toward party hosts that I encountered wasn't just one thing, or two, or three. It was a repeating pattern that kept limiting what I could do, what I could serve my guests, and one that came with a constant, discomforting awareness that I was at the hotel's mercy in a hotel that was capricious in its mercy at best.

I had *enormous* fun with the parties themselves in spite of the hotel's surly intimidation techniques and flaked out service. The State Fair party remains a lovely combination of memory, myth, and fannish lore. I'm glad to hear that you guys weren't affected by the hotel's hostility. I hope the Chicago Hyatt truly has changed as much as I understand they say they have. But I'll have to see it for myself, and see it hold up over time, before I'll ever consider hosting a party in that hotel again.

Who, fans, ever let anything go? Of course not. I am quite sure that if Chicago wins, there will be plenty of people willing to host parties in the Hyatt. Neither my budget or Minn-stf's stretches to the extravagance of a convention-long party suite these days, anyway, so in many ways my party-host antipathy toward the hotel is mostly a moot point. Yeah, if Chicago wins the site selection vote and I'm able to attend the convention itself, I'm sure I could find parties to help with if I were so inclined. But there will be other ways to help, too. That's true of every Worldcon, regardless of where it is.
[User Picture]
Date:April 8th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)


Glad we missed all that drama. My experience was to do your own thing, be clean and to interact with the hotel minamally. We did not try to cook anything which helped I guess. We also did alot of our own clean up left a tip and were never bothered. We looked poor so maybe they did not think us worth the effort. By this I mean we had people sleeping in the parlour. Also we did not talk to other parties much so we never got into the escalating tip movement. The main interaction we had was to take some beer from Torcon.
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