In general we get a lot of positive comments on the hotel rooms for the conference, but this year there were a few people who suggested we look into a new location because there were problems with their rooms. Your feedback is real important to us. Last year (based on positive attendee feedback and our experience) we locked into the Arizona Golf Resort and Conference Center for 2008 and 2009. After next year’s conference we have an option to look at other locations if it makes sense to do so.
I would like to address some of the trends in the comments:
1) Free wireless not available in the rooms, only the conference center. True, and it is one of the reasons we pay close to $400 a day ($1600 for the four days) for connectivity to the Internet in the conference center. I agree that spending $10 a day per person for the “facility wireless” is a bit of a hassle, but fortunately it is available if you needed it. We tried to negotiate this last year, but the wireless is provided by an outside provider and it was non-negotiable. Good news for next year: free wireless should be available throughout the conference center including hotel rooms. The conference center started testing it at this year’s conference. Unfortunately it was not quite ready when I tried to use it.
2) Golf course is not open. True and very intentional. While we are sure there are golfers who attend the conference, you actually get a discount while the golf course is closed. I don’t have the exact numbers, but if I recall correctly we are saving more than $20 a night by booking our conference when the course is closed. Last year they surprised us by opening the course early, and this year they opened the course the day after we finished. If you are an avid golfer, the front desk is more than happy to book you some time on other courses in the area and I am sure they would shuttle you if necessary.
3) Hotel Rooms are far from conference meeting rooms. Obviously true for some people. Last year my room was out in the middle of the golf course and I liked the walk. I can see some people don’t and that is understandable. What you might not know is the facility has people standing by 24 hours a day to take you to and from your room by golf cart. We probably need to mention this in our materials and communicate to the hotel desk to make this known when you check-in.
4) Sounds like some of the hotel rooms had issues with appliances, shower heads, and a couple with insects and one with a mouse. The feedback also indicated the hotel staff resolved the issues, which does not surprise me. Others reported the rooms were outdated. Unfortunately we don’t know what rooms had problems because you did not mention it in the evals. If you would not mind letting us know which rooms (send an email: INFO at SWFOX dot NET, or give me a call at 586.254.2530) we certainly will provide these details to the hotel and express our concerns for next year.
We are sending the conference center your feedback as part of our feedback to them. I can tell you that they listen to us (and you too), and have done their best to respond to our needs and to our constructive criticism. We certainly hope you also took an opportunity to do the same.