I was reviewing the Crowne Plaza's form letter regarding next year's
reservations, and noticed some significant changes. The "pile-up" date is
a week earlier (before Field Day), reservations may be made by calling
either the hotel or the chain's 800 number, and the drop-dead date for
cancelling your reservation without penalty is now May 14, just one day
before the hamvention opens. They are still requiring a one-day deposit
(plus tax) at reservation time, and a 3-day minimum stay. No information
on what prices will be in effect -- my informal poll discovered room prices
this year ranging from $99 to $169 a night. The lowest was achieved by a
local ham in September, while June pile-up prices seem to have been in the
$125 range, and prices when they went to the wait list in May accounted for
the higher-priced options.
I caught the Saturday night manager as we were checking out at 0500 on
Sunday morning, and asked her what accounted for the reservation mess this
year. She said that the D-Day reunion was erroneously scheduled in the
hotel before the Hamvention reconfirmed for 2002, and that its organizers
had a block of rooms set aside that were not released until early May.
At least this sounds like a plausible explanation, and while she didn't say
so in so many words, I had the impression they had caught enough flak for
it that they are unlikely to book any other groups into the hotel on
Hamvention weekend in the future.
73, Pete N4ZR
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