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Old 11-07-2005, 08:34 AM   #1 (Print)
Skittles
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TC-Con '06 - Hotel Discussion

OK gang... since we've nailed down the location for TC-Con '06, it's time to start talking about Las Vegas hotels.

I, for one, am not keen on going back to the New York New York again. As I've mentioned before, the only reason we went with their hotel is because their group room booking contract didn't leave me in a noose if we didn't meet a quota. That was the key (if not sole) factor in why we went back to NYNY last year. And frankly, they didn't do that much for us. Room rates weren't fantastic, and too many folks found cheaper rooms going through Travelocity and Expedia.

So, I'd say it's time for a change. And I know a lot of folks won't mind not going back to the NYNY again this year.

There are lots of nice hotels on the strip. Let's start talking about where everyone wants to say, and see if we can't reach some kind of consensus.

Right away, I'll throw out two major hotels. The Flamingo, and Treasure Island.

As the TC-Con '05 attendees probably know, The Flamingo was a frontrunner last year for a while, but we ditched them after some seriously binding contracts and unreasonable paperwork were provided to us. The Flamingo is a nice, decent hotel located roughly near the middle of the main LV strip. It has a nice pool area, some great lounge acts, and from what I hear some fantastic gambling. The rooms look nice (though not overly luxurious). However, as of right now, room rates for June run close to $120.

Treasure Island was thrown out last year as well, but for some reason (I think price), we didn't give them much of a glance. This year, though, I want to throw the option out for them right away. The TI is a fairly nice hotel located closer to the other side of the strip... though not out in the middle of nowhere, it's also not as conveniently located as the Flamingo. It has a nice pool (with private cabanas available), some great shows (including a Cirque du Soleil offering), and very nice looking rooms. It's also got great rates (at ~$89 right now for June) and is part of the MGM Mirage group of hotels (meaning folks who have point cards from the NYNY can use them at TI)

Of course, there are any number of other hotels in Vegas that might suit our needs. Hence, this thread. I want to get folks started on talking about hotels, so people have a chance to throw out ideas, offer suggestions, and provide a few cons to our 'Con hotel (har har). Please offer up any ideas you may have on the location.

However, I do want to mention a few things now...

- High prices are bad, m'kay? Yes, folks may prefer a five star room like the Mandalay over a midline hotel. Can't really fault anyone for that. But higher priced hotels means excluding folks who are on a budget. Again, I don't want to hinder any kind of discussion, but please understand that high priced hotels are going to be unattractive to folks with limited funds.

- We may not be able to get a group contract. I wouldn't, won't, and can't sign a contract that leaves us with seriously binding terms, like a lot of hotels prefer. So please understand that while we'll do everything we can to find a group rate and bring prices lower, it's very possible we could end up having to book our rooms without a group code. Please be understanding of that. Considering how resourceful our bunch of people are, I doubt we'll have problems finding room rates that are cheap.

Talk amongst yourselves. I gave you the topic.

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Old 11-07-2005, 08:54 AM   #2 (Print)
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Given those two options? The Flamingo wins hands down for me if we can get a contract that will work for us. I much prefer the location of the Flamingo over the TI.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:02 AM   #3 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faerie
Given those two options?
Actually, I just threw those out as examples. If y'all have other preferences, feel free to throw them out.

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:03 AM   #4 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faerie
Given those two options? The Flamingo wins hands down for me if we can get a contract that will work for us. I much prefer the location of the Flamingo over the TI.


That's the thing. As Skit said, it's likely that we won't get a contract, and everyone will be on their own for booking rooms.

Would you (and I'm not directing this at you Tara, but posing a general question) rather be on your own in booking rooms at a place like the Flamingo, or have a contract somewhere else?

It's a tough choice, b/c with a contract, at least we have a guaranteed number of rooms available for us. Without it, and the hotel fills up, people may be SOL.

But one good thing about the Flamingo is that it's near quite a few other hotels, and not as far in the relative boonies as the NYNY.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:16 AM   #5 (Print)
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I should clarify the issue with group room contracts that we faced last year, so that folks can understand what we may be up against with regards to group rates and contracts.

When we went to the Flamingo last year, and asked them about group rates and to see what they could do for us, we were given a 20 page contract to sign. That contract stipulated that we give them a base number of rooms for our group. The person signing the contract was required to fill at least 80% of those rooms. If not, whatever quoted rooms weren't booked would be paid for, in full, by the person signing the contract. Also, the contract didn't do anything to guarantee us room availability. So if you called and booked a suite, there was no guarantee they'd have it available for you at check-in.

In addition, the Flamingo has crappy, crappy room booking options under their contract. They weren't going to give us a group code to reserve our rooms with, since we were (and still are) such a small convention group by Vegas standards. They expected the person signing the contract to get a list of names and room preferences, compile that, and send it to them. They also required that we have our full booking list 60 days in advance, with no new additions after that.

Sorry, but Homey don't play that.

That's why we went with NYNY. NYNY was the only hotel on the strip that gave us a group room booking contract that was flexible, it allowed us to book our own rooms both online and via telephone, I was able to keep track of the bookings via spreadsheet for folks that wanted to confirm their reservations through me, and there were no financial obligations that we were held to.

The only real financial obligations we want to worry about are the ballroom and the catering. But that's a standard at any hotel, and I know the ins and outs of that.

So, unless Flamingo has drastically changed their group booking policy, there is no way I can recommend getting a contract with them. Now, for other hotels? Yeah, I'd be willing to look into it. But if there are too many binding stipulations in a contract, there's no way I'd want to sign it, nor would I want anyone else to sign something that could leave them in a lurch.

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Old 11-07-2005, 12:29 PM   #6 (Print)
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TI

I've stayed there before, and enjoyed it.

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Old 11-07-2005, 12:33 PM   #7 (Print)
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My first preference would be the Flamingo. But if y'all go with Treasure Island, I'm not going to stalk off in a huff.

Just get me a nice pool with cabanas that can be rented for the day, and I'm satisfied.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:57 PM   #8 (Print)
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I'll go wherever the majority of others are going as well. I have no preference of hotels.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:01 PM   #9 (Print)
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I don't think the location of TI is too bad. It's next door to the Mirage, across from the Venetian, and pretty close to Caeasars Palace.

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Old 11-07-2005, 01:28 PM   #10 (Print)
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As a veteran of several Contiki tours and an adventure tour of Costa Rica (which included two nights that I shared a bathroom with a spider the size of my hand ), I'm not too particular about where I lay my head down to sleep at night. If there's air conditioning and no bandicoot trying to break in to my cabin I figure I'm ahead of the game.

That being said:

1. I think it's important to plan this so we maximize the number of people who can attend by keeping costs per room reasonable. This is far more about the peeps, than the place.

2. Location is important, but not as important as #1. Didn't they put some kind of mini-rail system into place in L.V.?

3. On a personal level, I'm very pro picking a hotel that has ready access to a Cirque Du Soleil show. The last time I was in Vegas the high point was the day that I shot an Uzi in the afternoon followed by seeing "O" that night. I'd like to see another this time around. Mystère is showing at TI. (Ka/MGM, O/Bellagio, Zumanity/NYNY).
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:29 PM   #11 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joules1111
As a veteran of several Contiki tours and an adventure tour of Costa Rica (which included two nights that I shared a bathroom with a spider the size of my hand ), I'm not too particular about where I lay my head down to sleep at night. If there's air conditioning and no bandicoot trying to break in to my cabin I figure I'm ahead of the game.

That being said:

1. I think it's important to plan this so we maximize the number of people who can attend by keeping costs per room reasonable. This is far more about the peeps, than the place.

2. Location is important, but not as important as #1. Didn't they put some kind of mini-rail system into place in L.V.?

3. On a personal level, I'm very pro picking a hotel that has ready access to a Cirque Du Soleil show. The last time I was in Vegas the high point was the day that I shot an Uzi in the afternoon followed by seeing "O" that night. I'd like to see another this time around. Mystère is showing at TI. (Ka/MGM, O/Bellagio, Zumanity/NYNY).


You gonna book this through your travel agent again?
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:00 PM   #12 (Print)
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Judging by all the offers I've been receiving in the (real) mail lately from the Mirage, I suspect I'll be staying there, so if everyone does decide to stay at TI, it'll be quite convenient.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:02 PM   #13 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtleboy
You gonna book this through your travel agent again?


Has my travel agent learned to spell my name yet?
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:03 PM   #14 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joules1111
1. I think it's important to plan this so we maximize the number of people who can attend by keeping costs per room reasonable. This is far more about the peeps, than the place.

2. Location is important, but not as important as #1. Didn't they put some kind of mini-rail system into place in L.V.?

3. On a personal level, I'm very pro picking a hotel that has ready access to a Cirque Du Soleil show. The last time I was in Vegas the high point was the day that I shot an Uzi in the afternoon followed by seeing "O" that night. I'd like to see another this time around. Mystère is showing at TI. (Ka/MGM, O/Bellagio, Zumanity/NYNY).

I guess I just wanted to comment on this because even though there is the monorail, most people end up spending the majority of their time at the "base" casino/hotel property. It just seemed to be the way it worked and maximized the impromptu run ins with the other peeps.

That said, I really don't think it matters where that particular casino is. Joules raised some good points, particularly about keeping things as affordable as possible. Finding a place with a good rate will attract more TCers to attend. And there are a wide range of room styles within each casino. If the base room is affordable, but people wanted to spring for a suite then more power to them. Considering we go with a mainstream strip casino none of them are exactly slums.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:10 PM   #15 (Print)
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Since we're only sort of thinking about this and we've never been to Vegas, I'll support whatever is kinda cheap and is easiest for Skittles to set up.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:10 PM   #16 (Print)
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Sahara = slum, spent 3 nights there last year.

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Old 11-07-2005, 03:13 PM   #17 (Print)
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It would be cool staying at a hotel on the monorail line, but I wouldn't make that a deal-breaker. I usually get a car when I go to Vegas, but many folks don't, so having the monorail handy would be nice. As Matt said, we have tended to congregate and eat meals at/near the base hotel.

Is there a site that lists out "all" Vegas strip hotel prices similar to Expedia, etc? At one time, most of those hotels weren't listed on such sites. It's a pain to have to go to each hotel and look up their prices.

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Old 11-07-2005, 03:34 PM   #18 (Print)
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why isn't expedia doing it for you? I think hotels.com allows you specify strip only.

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Old 11-07-2005, 03:36 PM   #19 (Print)
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Martin - TravelAxe is a good site/service that will list prices for hotels through several different reservation systems.

As for host hotel, I stay at the LV Hilton and like it. I may stay at the host hotel this year because I did feel a bit left out with not being were the peeps were. At the same time, it does have a very convienent stop on the Monorail.

I'll contact my casino host and see what LVH can do - possible rates... contracts... etc...

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Old 11-07-2005, 06:20 PM   #20 (Print)
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I would definately go with TI. Flamingo is owned by Harrah's and is now in the sidewalk of suck that is Harrah's district.

Harrah's owns all the hotels between Venetian and Alladin except for Barbary Coast.



TI is closer to bigger and better hotels like Mirage, Venetian & Wynn.

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Old 11-07-2005, 07:51 PM   #21 (Print)
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I could be convinced to stay at the TI. It wouldn't be my first choice, but really, if that's where we're going, you won't see me complain. I'm pretty much there for the people anyway =)

It also puts me right next to Fashion Show Mall and pretty darn close to the Forum Shops at Ceasars. Evil. evil evil evil.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:57 PM   #22 (Print)
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According to this website the TI pool isn't much to write home about either.


The one at the hilton sounds better.

Although I don't think we are going to get a top rate pool at a super low price.

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:02 PM   #23 (Print)
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Firstly I don't think anyone should sign their life away on a contract over rooms. It's hard enough to do this without having a financial noose around your neck.

I'm all about maximizing attendance, be it tweaking dates, hotels, etc. $89 is pretty good for a room on the Strip, and face it, all you're gonna do is shower and maybe sleep in the room. (And possibly build a fort with the furniture).

TI is in a decent place on the strip, certainly no worse than NYNY. The monorail is cool, but it's a hike to get to it even if you stay in a hotel that has a stop.

What's important for me in a Con hotel?

1. The Peeps. It's gotta have the Peeps. No point in going all the way to Vegas to stay where the Peeps aren't. That means cheap rooms and a good location.

2. Places to Hang. Lots of places to meet and greet the Peeps. We had the Big Apple Bar in NYNY that was a great place to relax, chat and hang with the Peeps.

3. Pool. Gotta have a good pool, but it's optional, not necessary.

It doesn't matter to me if the hotel has great shows. The only show I'm planning on seeing in Vegas is Avenue Q.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:07 PM   #24 (Print)
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I only stay in hotel rooms with feather beds, bathrobes, slippers, and nightly turn-down service (including the chocolate mint left on my pillow). Does TI offer such amenities?

















(Yes, I'm kidding, and yes, I think I'm funny )

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:14 PM   #25 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miro127
I only stay in hotel rooms with feather beds, bathrobes, slippers, and nightly turn-down service (including the chocolate mint left on my pillow). Does TI offer such amenities?<snip>


Sure. If you want to pay for it.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:17 PM   #26 (Print)
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I went to the Hilton this past year on a $50/night special. It was a little off the beaten path of the strip, but the price was right, and the room was decent.

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:35 PM   #27 (Print)
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Two important points about the Hilton that I feel are important to make (one pro, one con)

- The monorail stops right at the Hilton. As in, literally out front of the Star Trek Experience. I think it's one of the more accessible stops when looking at walking distance from the hotel in question to the stop...

- ... which is important, because The Hilton is REALLY off the beaten path. It's so far at the end of the strip that getting almost anywhere else on the Strip is a trek (har har) unto itself. So while the Hilton may have major kudo points for low rates, bear in mind you may end up saving less than you think, because going anywhere else means you have to cab it, or take the monorail. Very little is within reasonable walking distance of the Hilton

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Old 11-07-2005, 10:06 PM   #28 (Print)
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Quote:
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I only stay in hotel rooms with feather beds, bathrobes, slippers, and nightly turn-down service (including the chocolate mint left on my pillow). Does TI offer such amenities?



The Venetian across the street certainly does.

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Old 11-07-2005, 10:12 PM   #29 (Print)
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<snip>

- ... which is important, because The Hilton is REALLY off the beaten path. It's so far at the end of the strip that getting almost anywhere else on the Strip is a trek (har har) unto itself. So while the Hilton may have major kudo points for low rates, bear in mind you may end up saving less than you think, because going anywhere else means you have to cab it, or take the monorail. Very little is within reasonable walking distance of the Hilton


Not to mention having to schlep across town just to hang in the Peeps' hotel.
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:28 PM   #30 (Print)
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Yeah - but if the Hilton was the Peeps' hotel...

Seriously, I am looking into LVH - but, as stated previously, the Con is all about the peeps (and whatever cool secrets we can get from Pony and the rest of the TiVo Entourage.

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