Sunday, February 19, 2012

Registration Form




If you wish to register on standby, priority will be given to them on a first come first served basis. Spaces will become available either by cancellation or non-payment of the individual cost for the event.

At this point approximately 63 of the 87 total registered attendees have paid their fee. ON APRIL 1ST, 2012 any remaining registrations that have not paid will be reopened to those on the standby list for a two week period.

Registration will be permanently closed on APRIL 15TH, 2012 so a final tally can be given to all food vendors and swag providers.


Our itinerary is set. The costs have been tabulated. The per person charge for Asheville Fling 2012 is $135.00. So much for confident promises. I was only $10 off. This covers all bus transportation for three days, rental/entry fees at six venues, three lunches, one dinner, ice cream treats, beverages at three afternoon social hours and a partridge in a rhododendron bush.

Click on the link below for the official registration form. A new window will open. Fill out the form and click submit. You will receive an email response with directions for your payment from our treasurer. This will be a human time response not a computer time response. Once your payment is received you will be double officially registered and your blog will appear in the attendees listing.

Short Note: Biltmore Rocks! The discount entry offer on the registration form to return to the Biltmore Estate to see the house - we will only be touring the gardens - is good for 4 adults and 4 children with no expiration date.

Registration Form

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Happy Planner Man

You have all made me a very happy Planner Man. Our block of rooms at the hotel is at 90% reserved. That means I won't get stuck with a big bill. It also means there are only 4 rooms left. I know many of you are sharing rooms or made alternate arrangements. Thanks for letting me know. I also know some of you have not made hotel reservations. I hope the four rooms left will cover the procrastinators or that you can find a roomie. If I need to ask for more rooms, the group rate is not an absolute sure thing depending on the overall bookings at the hotel.

Strangely, people enjoy coming to Asheville. The hotel across the street had filled their allowed group quota back in October. Another hotel out by the interstate was planning for the NC Master Gardeners Convention to begin that same weekend. Hotel rates here can be rather high due to demand.

As of today there are 3 seats left on the buses. Once they fill registration will be closed. We will be starting a standby list in case a space opens up due to a cancellation. But who in their right mind would cancel the chance to see incredible private and public gardens in the cool mountain spring of Fabulous Ashevegas, the Cesspool of Sin.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Airport Transportation

Asheville has a small airport in a smallish city. There are no trains or commuter lines to zip you from the airport, which is nine miles south, to the hotel downtown. Getting to and from the airport to the hotel will involve a taxi or van service.

The link below outlines the options. A link to a PDF file there will give you a list of names and numbers. Since many of you are likely to arrive and depart in close proximity, sharing a van could make sense. Feel free to use the FB group for hookups, no not that kind, ride sharing kind.

Asheville Regional Airport Transportation

The Asheville Airport Shuttle looks to get high marks on the google and interwebs.

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.