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OFF-TOPIC Please Read: Updates/Q's for Beer & Pancake GT

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Russ H

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The first post in this thread is updated whenever we get news.

Updated: 01-27-2008:
Updated attendants list
DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS until we decide on a start time on Friday.


Question: How long will it take all of you to get from where you live, to the hotel?

If you are driving, I'm guessing you'll be coming in the night before (or coming part way, then driving the rest).

Reason I ask:

If we have enough folks with 3 hr or less flight times and would do a morning flight, we could have the following schedule:

Friday: 2 pm-7pm at the hotel, then dinner. Ideas: Cashflow workshop (similar to Les's REST workshop, but more focused on cashflow strategies and incorporating your own plan into the game play).

Saturday: 9 am-6 pm Presentations, both 15 min ones and the longer SteveO arranged talks

Sunday: 9am to noon (so those that want to fly back on Sunday can do this).

Sunday: afternoon- apartment tours and other fun investment-oriented activities for those that stay. :)

Total time:

Fri: 2pm-7pm
Sat: 9am-6pm (6pm-9pm dinner, 9pm-whenever for the night owls!)
Sun 9am-12pm Wrap up sessions

**********OR**********

Friday-- we can start EARLIER (like 9 or 10am) if everyone flying would get in the night before (Thursday).

Let me know what you want.
Previous news:
Conference room rate and date are LOCKED IN.

Conference room is $300/day. We'll need it on Sat & Sun for sure.

We need to figure out if Friday is going to be all day, or just an evening reception (and cashflow games!) :)

Dates of March 7-9 will stand.

Days Inn Scottsdale/Fashion Square Resort

http://scottsdaledi.homestead.com/Hotel.html

4710 North Scottsdale Rd
North of Camelback Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 US
Phone: 480-947-5411

The reservation is listed under "Fastlane Meetup or possibly "Steve Olafsen". The rate is at $159 per night. This rate will reduce slightly if we get 10 rooms. Steve blocked out 10 rooms for us but we may not need that many.

The meeting room is at this hotel as well.

You can stay at other locations if you want to save money (you need to arrange for someone to drive you back and forth).

22 WHO HAVE CONFIRMED AS BEING ABLE TO ATTEND MAR 7,8,9:

(we will update this list as more names are added)

bflbob
biophase
yveskleinsky
steveo
ryanpal
russH
runum
charmed angel
wildambitions
andviv
MJ
JScott
REIpro
RE Taipan
Being Chewsie
DavyB
JesseO and LaurenO
Legacy Dad
Cactuswren and husband
imirza

********

I will start a post (later today) on possible schedules for each day.
 

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Russ H

Russ H

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Re: Latest News re Facility for Beer & Pancakes GT

bump.
 

Runum

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Re: Latest News re Facility for Beer & Pancakes GT

Russ, I really appreciate the sweat you guys are putting into this. If we can get the room nearby, walking or riding 5 min. is no big deal. Room price is OK for me. We do need to get a date and stick to it and make the best of the situation. No place or date is going to be perfect for everyone. I know it's a tough position to be in, you don't want to piss anyone off. Thanks again for your work.

Edit: I had planned for March 8. However, wife can't go then due to track meet. She can attend with me on Feb. 23 though.
 
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Russ H

Russ H

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Re: Latest News re Facility for Beer & Pancakes GT

Other input?

Is $200/night (w/hotel taxes) OK?

Would you all prefer a more resort-y type of place? (=$350-500/nt)

Is February 23/24 a better choice, if the costs are 30-50% lower?

Do you want to have access to lots of night life?

Will you rent a car, or just take the airport shuttle?


-Russ H.
 

andviv

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- $200 per room per night is OK (I assume they have two queen-size beds, right? that'd help to share a room for those that want)
- Feb 22, 23, 24 is OK as well for me, give a substantial enough discount :D
- Access to the group is more important than "night life"... meaning: I'll be fine enjoying time with you guys, either in a restaurant, the hotel lobby, a swimming pool, etc
- Either way... shuttle would be nice, but given that yveskleinsky and JesseO are offering rides, I think I should be OK :D
 

MJ DeMarco

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Just an FYI for those not familiar with PHX...

Any hotel near the airport will not be convenient, that is, unless you all intend on staying there the whole trip. There is NOTHING by the airport unless you count strip clubs, industrial, and commercial business. If you want a nice dinner -- you will have to grab a cab or rent a car. If you want to hang out at a bar, shoot pool -- grab a cab. Again, there is nothing nice near these airport hotels and such will require extra expenditures in cabs or rental cars.
 

bflbob

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$200/night is much better than $500.
As I recall, I only spent about 7-8 hours/day in the room -- mainly asleep.

Feb 22-24th kind of sucks for me, as my wife won't likely make it then.

I could care less about night life -- we always found plenty.

Shuttle would be nice, but I agree that with enough locals, we'll make do.
Charmed Angel usually drives up from Tucson too (1 or 2 vehicles).
Although I hate to commit them, SteveO, Bio, and MJ are all local too, and might be able to help.
 
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Russ H

Russ H

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Great points, MJ.

RE: Hookers:

I'm not sure if anyone who is coming is interested, but hey, I'm happily married.

RE: Dinners:

As the guy who has itemized all of the group dinner bills the past 2 years (figuring out each person's share based on their purchases), I'd have to point out that we need to define "nice dinner"-- as some may consider spending more than others.

-Russ H.
 

bflbob

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Just an FYI for those not familiar with PHX...

Any hotel near the airport will not be convenient, that is, unless you all intend on staying there the whole trip. There is NOTHING by the airport unless you count strip clubs, industrial, and commercial business. If you want a nice dinner -- you will have to grab a cab or rent a car. If you want to hang out at a bar, shoot pool -- grab a cab. Again, there is nothing nice near these airport hotels and such will require extra expenditures in cabs or rental cars.

Oh...that's true.

As I remember, Pheonix was a good 20 minutes from the Airport.
Maybe a couple of 10 person vans?

Or maybe there is a large Suite we can rent and use as a hangout? BYOB?
 
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Russ H

Russ H

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Seems like hotel choice #2 is being banned by our local experts. :(

So I've removed all info, and will contact all of the banquet mgrs and release the holds.

I'll hold off doing anything more until MJ, SteveO, and others have chosen a hotel and facilities they want us to stay at. :)

MJ, SteveO, and others: Please let me know when you've found a nice spot that has enough avail guest roms and a conference room we can afford. :)

Thanks!

-Russ H.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Seems like hotel choice #2 is being banned by our local experts. :(

-Russ H.
Not true! Just letting everyone know that its not near anything that you can walk to. Please make your decisions based on the BEST INTEREST of those traveling.
 

SteveO

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I have sort of lobbied for the Scottsdale venue since it is in the center of the universe. The problem is that everyone else feels the same way and many of the hotels are booked.

The location of the Doubletree is not the best. It is a lot cheaper than many of the alternatives that are out there though. This is why I have been trying to see what people are willing to pay.

The location on 44th is not too far from places to eat/drink though. It is within 15 minutes of the downtown sections of Tempe or Scottsdale. That is not the same as being able to walk out into the action. Unfortunately, the action costs money.
 

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Feb 22, 23, 24 is would probably be better for me and I'll bet it would open up some more options for hotels in Scottsdale since it is before the start of Spring training.
 

JesseO

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Either date is fine by Lauren and I. We can carpool with people as well since we don't plan on flying out. We should have room for us plus three for in-town drives. I can navigate Phoenix pretty well since I lived there for a few years. The city layout is pretty simple. I think if people stayed in hotels anywhere within a 10 mile radius from the conference center that we'd be able to make do just fine. Ideas?
 

JesseO

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Oh, if I may be a spokesman for those of us who aren't quite in the FastLane right now....$200 per night seems quite expensive to me. I'm sure there are plenty of Motel 6's around that can cover you for $35 per person or $50 per room that are within 10 minutes of downtown Scottsdale. I would be happy to provide rides for up to 4 individuals with a small amount of luggage. Also, there are lots of Denny's and IHOP's in the area. Plenty of night life as well, although I'm partial to relaxed settings myself. Let me know what you guys are interested in. =)
 

MJ DeMarco

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Here is a link to all the hotels in the Phoenix area, least expensive first.
http://www.hotels.com/processRefineSearchResults.do?paging=1&sortBy=PRICE&searchID=AC102645-92A8-4891-1732-FC3399B9107A&searchMtmPropertySupplierId=&searchType=&chooseAlternateDestination=false&propertyIdsToCompareString=&destination=usertyped&addressID=&mtnHotelID=&CIMonth=3&CIDay=7&CIYear=2008&COMonth=3&CODay=9&COYear=2008&usertypedcity=Phoenix+area&street1=&street2=&acDestinationId=6278FA45-A42B-4D3D-95F9-4BA2D92E8A15&acDestinationType=1&lat=0.0&lon=0.0&pointName=&checkIn=3/7/2008&checkOut=3/9/2008&numrooms=1&adults[0]=2&child[0]=0&adults[1]=2&child[1]=0&adults[2]=2&child[2]=0&adults[3]=2&child[3]=0&adults[4]=2&child[4]=0&adults[5]=2&child[5]=0&adults[6]=2&child[6]=0&adults[7]=2&child[7]=0&hotelName=&minPriceStr=0&maxPriceStr=500+&minStarRating=1.0&maxStarRating=5.0&guestRatingMin=1.0&guestRatingMax=5.0&sortType=PRICE&pageNumber=1&numProperties=25&checkIn=3/7/2008&checkOut=3/9/2008


My recommendations by Price Range

$100-$150 range:

Courtyard Marriott, Chandler ($119) (15 min South of Phoenix and airport)
Nice area, very suburban though and not a lot of stuff in walking distance. 5 minute drive to Chandler Fashion Mall which has tons of shopping and restaurants. Property is a little off the beaten path (from Scottsdale)

Hospitality Suite Resort ($118)
Driving range in Minutes within Tempe (Mill Ave) and Scottsdale. Decent neighborhood, property is a little older and dated. Has decent reviews at Hotels.com and is more centrally located to everything.
http://www.hospitalitysuites.com/index.cfm


$150-$200 range:

DoubleTree Airport Suites ($169)
Near airport, not the best neighborhood, but a short drive to lively places.

Marriott Phoenix Airport ($170)
Same as above ... near airport, not really near anything within walking distance, but a short drive to lively places.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort ($170)
Located in a decent neighborhood, some restaurants within walking range. Scottsdale about 15 minutes away. 15 minutes from airport. My studio apartment I had 10 years ago was actually a block down the street from this hotel. Last I remember, there are a few restaurants nearby.
http://www.pointehilton.com/indexsp.cfm
Also, Hotel has an incredible pool.​

$200-$250 range:

Springhill Suites Tempe Airport by Marriot ($211)
In Tempe w/free shuttle service to Mill Ave (urban area with restaurants, theatre, bars)
Minutes from Scottsdale (more night life, shopping, restaurants). Property used to be a Days Inn and is centrally located.​


$250-$300 range:
Tempe Mission Palms ($279)
Located in the heart of Mill Ave / Tempe -- hot spot with plenty of restaurants and college kids. No transportation needed - everything in walking distance.​



The above was based on availability shown at Hotels.com.
 

andviv

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These two sound interesting to me, based on MJ's description


Hospitality Suite Resort ($118)
Driving range in Minutes within Tempe (Mill Ave) and Scottsdale. Decent neighborhood, property is a little older and dated. Has decent reviews at Hotels.com and is more centrally located to everything.​


Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort ($170)
Located in a decent neighborhood, some restaurants within walking range. Scottsdale about 15 minutes away. 15 minutes from airport. My studio apartment I had 10 years ago was actually a block down the street from this hotel. Last I remember, there are a few restaurants nearby.​
 

Legacy Dad

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Hospitality Suite Resort ($118)
Driving range in Minutes within Tempe (Mill Ave) and Scottsdale. Decent neighborhood, property is a little older and dated. Has decent reviews at Hotels.com and is more centrally located to everything.
http://www.hospitalitysuites.com/index.cfm

Looks decent, good price, sports bar and restaurant on site, meeting rooms.

We can always catch some cabs into Scotts for some more lively entertainment. Like I said, I only plan on sleeping a few hours in their bed. No need to spend $300 for that.

Lance
 

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Russ H

Russ H

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LegacyDad said:
Hospitality Suite Resort ($118)
Looks decent, good price . . .
andviv said:
Hospitality Suite Resort
. . . sounds interesting to me, based on MJ's description
Ranked #24 out of 78 hotels in Scottsdale by Tripadvisor (that's not bad-- the top 5 properties are all $350-500+per nt).

The reviews:

http://tinyurl.com/2jkblk

Interesting reviews on Tripadvisor. There's even a review from a local:

http://tinyurl.com/37pqjd

Based on the reviews, it sounds like it may be noisy on weekends (pool party scene). And I'm a bit concerned about the bed bugs review. But overall, reviews are very positive. And the added amenities:

• Fully equipped kitchens & kitchenettes.
• Complimentary Airport Shuttle from 7:00am-10:00pm.
• Complimentary full breakfast 6:00am-10:00am.
• Management hosted cocktail party 5:00pm-6:30pm nightly.
• Three outdoor heated pools and Jacuzzi.
• Lighted tennis & basketball courts including equipment.
• Laundry facilities, Car rental service & Tour services.
• Internet access at our convenient computer Kiosk in our lobby.
• Shuffleboard, ping-pong & horseshoe areas.
• Full service restaurant & lounge with room service.

make for an interesting place to stay.

We're local experts for TripAdvisor-- I spend over 150 hours a year on the TA site, so I know what to look for. Every decent property has their share of bad reviews. The key is to read both good and bad-- and see which reviewers sound more like who you are.

To figure out where you want to stay, copy the name of any of the properties MJ recommends (thanks for the personal reco's, MJ!), go to the TA link and type in the property's name, and read at least 5-6 recent reviews-- and don't just read the bad ones! :smxA:

*******

Nightly Rates for Fri Mar 7 & Sat Mar 8, from Travelocity:

$118.66 Junior King Suite
$158.66 One Bedroom 2 Double Suite
$158.66 One Bedroom Queen Suite

(remember to add about 20% for taxes/charges)

*********

Once everyone reaches consensus on a good spot to stay, I'll be happy to move forward and start working w/the property. :)

-Russ H.
 

DavyB

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Hospitality Suite Resort looks good to me. Possibility of semi-drunk HORSE game. Any takers?

Thanks to those who are doing the research here...much appreciated.
 

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Ramada Inn in the heart of old town has 2 queen rooms for $159 according to Travelocity.

Ramada Inn
6935 East 5th Avenue
Goldwater & Indian School
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 US
Phone: 480-994-9461

Also, our definition of nightlife is finding a nice place to gather, talk, eat and have drinks. We're not planning on going clubbing. :icon_super:

Scottsdale has many many resorts. These resorts are all very nice and non-guests may go to their bars and lounge areas. Just like the Phoenician, the other resorts all have nice outdoor quiet gathering areas with fireplaces, lakes, even gondola rides.

Not to complicate things but... I thought I'd toss this out there:Frank Lloyd Wright tour. I thought that the REI people coming here would like to see this. I'm thinking this is something we could do after the get-together on Sunday afternoon for people who want to see it.
 
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Russ H

Russ H

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PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS UNTIL WE HAVE A HOTEL & MEETING PLACE.

We'll try to get this finalized by this weekend, Monday at the latest. :)

Thanks!

-Russ H.

PS The only reason the Feb date is being mentioned is that March is apparently the busiest month of the entire year for Phoenix area hotels (so they get a premium for everything).
 

SteveO

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We now have a location-- both hotel and meeting room. The dates of March 7-9 will stand.

Days Inn Scottsdale/Fashion Square Resort

4710 North Scottsdale Rd
North of Camelback Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 US
Phone: 480-947-5411

The reservation is listed under "Fastlane Meetup". The rate is at $159 per night. This rate will reduce slightly if we get 10 rooms. I have blocked out 10 rooms for us but we may not need that many.

The meeting room is at this hotel as well.

You can stay at other locations if you want to save money.
 

bflbob

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SteveO:

For flight times, what time should people plan to gather on the 7th?

Morning, Noon, Night?

Also, everyone might want to PM their cell # and email address to someone.
That person can put together a list to email to all participants.
That made it a lot easier to plan a gathering in the past.

Maybe Andviv?
 

SteveO

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The base rooms will remain at $159 regardless of the number of rooms we get. The rooms available to us are 5 with single beds and 5 with two beds. Based on the number of attendees that we have, this should be plenty. If you are signed up with andviv, feel free to call and schedule the room. Note that it is in the name of "Fastlane Meetup".
 

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