Convention Timing And Holidays

Good day everyone,

Needless to say, this years 2006 convention was better than ever and had a fantastic turnout. I would like to tickle a small point though...

I have attended the convention since 2002 each year. I remember in the 2002, 2003, and 2004 years, the event was held the first weekend in February. The most recent two, however, were held mid / end of February (around the 17th / 18th or so).

This can cause problems since this mid-february week is the center point for many "winter" events. First of all, it is the largest travel day of the year during the winter. Schools are out for that week for "winter break" and many families pick that week for vacations.

This week also straddles President's day, which is a holiday for a very small percentage of our workforce (teachers, postal workers, etc). Yet other events also fall on that same week (Daytona 500, Denver Basketball tournament of 2005, etc).

Just for the fun of it, I checked airfares for this year to denver (from FL) a week before and after the convention dates this year (Say flying in on Feb 10 and out on Feb 12 or the week later on Feb 24 to 26th). Airfares ranged from $150 to $215 with many non-stop. For the 17-19th, I was unable to find anything uder $300.

Also, there is an extreme volume of travelers that weekend. I was supposed to get into Denver at 9 PM on Friday the 17th. Weather was perfect the whole way (except very cold in Denver) so there were no delays, but my flight was delayed nearly 9 hours, and I got to see the sun come up leaving DIA and barely made the start of the convention!

Everything seemed to take 5 times as long as it usually does at an airport. Waiting for the rental car bus took forever, my bags never came out - Waited 2 hours for them, plane was packed, rental-cars were not available, everything just was slow motion. Because of the high volume. I remember the same thing last year.

When the convention was held at the start of February, I have never seen this happen.

I am wondering if anyone had similar experiences with this time frame? Such as similar price gouging by the airlines? Lost bags? Delays?

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Chris Collura - KG4PJN
 
Airfares can vary wildly depending on when you buy the ticket. I got mine for about $200 round trip from St. Louis, which is about as cheap as I've seen in recent years except for last-minute specials, which are totally unpredictable. Yet, an hour before I bought my ticket, the fare was $100 higher. I just happened to try it again before logging off, was shocked to see how much the price had come down in a very short time. I was helped on the fare, though, by the fact that I flew in a couple days early to ski, and that I flew back early Sunday, which forced me to miss Sunday's activities.

FWIW, the flights were very crowded both directions (they asked for volunteers on both flights), but the planes ran right on time.
 
As Chris mentioned above, many schools are out on Thursday, Friday, and Monday, or some combination of those days, and because of this it is a big weekend for youth sports tournaments, which add to the travel congestion. I know there were at least three maybe four youth hockey tournaments in the Denver / Colorado Springs area that had as many as 32 teams each. You figure that each team will require around 15 hotel rooms, plus meals, ect., and then add Volleyball and Basketball it starts to add up. I had to take my son to St. Louis for a hockey tournament, which prevented me from attending this year. :cry: I’m sure it is a big weekend for the ski resorts also.
 
Could be some of the speakers were not available until later in Feb. The American Meteorological Society annual meeting was in early Feb this year, and included a segment of Severe Local Storms folks.

Glen
 
Not sure if the timing was changed from the last few years. It is always the same weekend as the NBA allstart game and the Daytona 500 as it was this year. The dates themselves might have been a few days different but still the same timing with other major events. Last year the NBA game was IN Denver and still had no problems with rooms etc..

If it wasnt for Kananis surgery we would have been there again and have no problem with the timing. In fact since Monday was a holiday it makes it easier for many to get back and not have to rush to work or go in without sleep.
 
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