Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Early Blooms Get Pollinated



This is a story about the block of rooms reserved at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel for the Garden Bloggers Asheville Fling 2012.

Based on the attendance at the last two Flings in Buffalo and Seattle, 50 rooms were blocked for our use at the discounted group rate. Part of the signed agreement I made with the hotel was that inside 90 days of the events dates I would be responsible for 90% of the cost of all those room nights reserved for the group. Mr. Planner Man has no intention of getting stuck with a bill like that if the rooms are not filled. So at that 90 day cut off point I will have to decide if some rooms in our reserved block have to be let go if they haven't come closer to being filled.

Our official registration only went live two weeks ago and we are doing very well. Thirty two rooms are booked, ten of them as double occupancy. We encourage you to share rooms to help cut costs for this fun event. More money left to buy plants and shop downtown.

Several members of our planning team only live blocks away and won't be sleeping at the hotel, but still count as attendees. One bus is filled and we are now filling the second. For just two weeks that is a great response.

This year's Fling is in May not July so that leaves less time to procrastinate. The last day you can reserve a room at the hotel before I may need to let rooms go is Sunday, February 19th. On Monday February 20th I will adjust the number of rooms in our our reserved block so any possibility of me getting screwed is removed.

If I need to reduce our reserved block of rooms I can ask for more once they are filled. I can ask. That doesn't mean once they have been set free I will be able to get them back at our discounted rate. Our discounted group rate is valid until April 17th, 2012 only on the block we hold.

The bottom line of this long story is that to ensure a discounted room rate in the downtown hotel of record you need to book a room by February 19th. After that the lower rate gets a little riskier. The longer you wait the riskier it gets. Got it? Asheville being what it is, the longer you wait, the higher the possibility you may even need to book at a different hotel.

Registration for attending the Fling itself will be closed in mid April. Official headcounts will be needed in advance for all of our food vendors and many of our swag sponsors. The exact day in April will be determined on another day.

The Four Points Sheraton link above will take you to the hotel reservation site. Fill those rooms.

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