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...will go live and open for reservations on SATURDAY, September 3rd at MIDNIGHT, central time. I will link the reservations web page Embassy Suites has created for us to our web site - www.nats2023.com - that morning before the rooms go "live". Any updates or changes that I learn of I will post here as soon as I am aware of them.

-Len Pilhofer

 

Come And Make It - small.jpg

Edited by LenPilhofer
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Mike...the overflow hotels are the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood suites. We have contracted rates with these hotels as well - in the $152-$154 range - and I will be posting links to their sites with the contracted rates locked in, to our website - www.nats2023.com - at the same time I post the Embassy Suites link. I'll do this right before the 3rd of September.

-Len

 

Come And Make It - small.jpg

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Len, question about "September 3rd at midnight". Midnight is usually written as "12:00 am". So, do we stay up September 2nd until it become midnight or do we stay up September 3rd until  midnight?

 

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1 hour ago, VintageRPM said:

Len, question about "September 3rd at midnight". Midnight is usually written as "12:00 am". So, do we stay up September 2nd until it become midnight or do we stay up September 3rd until  midnight?

 

Just wait till 0001 on the 3rd. 🙂

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tricky business this midnight stuff. Midnight for any given day is usually assumed to be the hour after 11 PM. One minute after that hour is the next day, the midnight of which is assumed to be the hour on that day after 11 PM. Accordingly, 00:01 on September 3rd is not midnight for that day. 

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Yep, yet another cluster f**k! I hit "book" at 1:07 and it wouldn't confirm. Called the reservation number and they said it had already sold out. Tried calling the hotel directly and although reservations answered (but they're "sold out"), no one at the front desk would answer the phone when they tried to connect me.

SO now I guess we wait to see IF the hosts can expand the room block to give us another chance to get in.

NOW you may see why I was harping on seeing if the Hilton was ready or not. Find it hard to believe they sold out in LESS than 10 minutes! 

 

Gil

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There was even a problem beforehand. I tried to reserve a room yesterday afternoon. Yes, I know it was before the block of discount room opened, but I needed a suite. The girl at the other end of the phone said that "It's odd, that the entire hotel seems sold out."

She put me on hold and came back 10 minutes later saying, the entire hotel still seemed sold out, and when she went to call the main reservation area to find out what's happening, no one would pick up the phone...

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I looked at the hotel site on Thursday and it was locked for the convention. It opened fine last night at midnight. No problems what so ever.

Dak

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I had no problem getting my reservation last night. Luckily living in Hawaii it was only 7pm for me. The site worked as advertised by Len. Went to the 2023 Nationals webpage, clicked on the link and done in about two minutes. Have conformation in hand and ready to travel to San Marcos next August. Should be loads of fun and a great time to visit with my modeling friends.

Have a nice day all.

David Von Almen, Gentleman modeler

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There were 837 IPMS members who attended this year’s Omaha National. Even if only 500 planned to attend the San Marcos convention, and they all shared a room, that would be 250 people (one from each pair) trying to make a reservation. That is virtually the entire block. But, of course, some will be, instead, staying with family. So the demand for rooms significantly exceeds the block size, even at only 500 members attending. But we know that that is too low an estimate. Len got all the rooms Embassy would offer. And, he was very forthcoming in explaining how and when the rush would take place, such that almost all these 250, 300 or more members were ready when the ballon went up at 000 hours, Central Time. Hence, it comes as no surprise to me at all that the block was gone in 15. minutes. 
 

For future reference for those who encountered the “block is full” message, bear in mind when an organization gets a room block at a hotel, until the block is opened at the designated time, it always appears on the hotel computer as full or unavailable. Also, do not make the mistake of assuming the person answering the phone at the reservation desk knows anything about our show. For them, if the computer does not hit them in the face with very specific instructions, they are usually not much help. Should they know why the block appears to be full? Sure! But, they never do. 
 

Finally, for what it is worth, when dealing with these large chain hotels, NEVER call the 800 or 888 central reservation facility remote from the actual hotel where you want to make the reservation. They know even less than the people on site. 
 

My thoughts based on 30+ years of registering for Regionals and Nationals.
 

Nick Filippone, 
 

 

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10 hours ago, ghodges said:

Yep, yet another cluster f**k! I hit "book" at 1:07 and it wouldn't confirm. Called the reservation number and they said it had already sold out. Tried calling the hotel directly and although reservations answered (but they're "sold out"), no one at the front desk would answer the phone when they tried to connect me.

SO now I guess we wait to see IF the hosts can expand the room block to give us another chance to get in.

NOW you may see why I was harping on seeing if the Hilton was ready or not. Find it hard to believe they sold out in LESS than 10 minutes! 

 

Gil

Why do you find it hard to believe 250 rooms sold out in 10 Min?

In Vegas folks complained that the rooms went too fast (I used a timeshare and avoided that issue).  My wife has a gazillion points so we booked Omaha early to avoid the rush, good thing as those rooms were gone in under 30 min (IIRC they accidentally opened it up the day before too). We booked down the street to avoid fighting with the internet for this reason.  250 rooms is nothing for a worldwide reservation system that handles thousands of reservations hourly.

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It’s my understanding the hotel has 283 rooms total, the block was 260, as Nick pointed out there were over 800 IPMS member at Omaha last year, it’s no wonder it sold out in minutes, there are no more rooms to add to the block between 8/2 and 8/6 no matter how much we or the hosts want too. One thing that does happen every year is a percentage of people cancel, is the hotel agreeable to a waiting list, and rebooking rooms in the block at the convention rate?
 

Seems it is past time the convention looks into moving into a higher “event” category so it can book larger venues (sorry for the redundancy if this is already under consideration), which means charging more, rooms costing more and maybe less profit. I for one am fine with that, the Nats are the, if not one of the cheapest multi day hobby conventions going.

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But you cannnot put 10 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound bag, no matter when or how or how quickly or slowly or efficiently or fairly you do it! The on-site hotel simply will not accommodate all of us. However else one may criticize the system this year, it was fair and even handed, giving everyone a level playing - field shot at a room.

Having to deal with yet another new better (?) computerized electronic medical record system at my hospital, I can confidently affirm that people place way too much faith in these machines. They hinder as much as they supposedly help.
 

“Open the pod bay door, HAL.”

And even if the hotel failed somehow, ( and I am not suggesting they did) that is on them- not on Len and his team. 
 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In no way do I blame Len’s team or the hotel, it looks like they both did what they could, kudos to them! There was no way everyone that wanted to was going to be able to stay at the Embassy, good on the San Marcos team for having 3 overflow hotels with a convention rate. And there are not many if any hotel booking sites that would not of at least had minor issues when hundreds of people log on at the same time. 
 

I think it’s great that the IPMS Nationals has grown to be so popular it draws so many people, and regularly gets 2500-3000 models on display at the contest!!

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When the clock ticked 12pm I was sitting with my hand on the mouse ready to click. I expected things to go quick based on the numbers expressed by Nick.

Hopefully, there may be a few cancellations as some people team up. 
 

Dak

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I think the room block reservations were handled as fairly as possible. As Nick said with the amount of enthusiast crowd we have all wanting to stay at the same place not everyone can be guaranteed a room. I got lucky and went on at 00:00:15 and got in but was prepared to go down the road a bit to find a place to get my head down if necessary. 

As an aside if the 'Nats are held in smaller towns with a smaller hotel near or co-joined to the convention center this may be something we will face more in the future, especially as most of us wish to stay at the convention hotel. I think the convention hotel had a total of 285 rooms and the IPMS has basically taken over the hotel with a 260-room block. I would imagine it will be harder and harder to have conventions like ours in big cities due to the space required and the cost factor. I was told by a friend who is most familiar with these things that it would be unfeasible to hold an IPMS convention in a city like New Orleans due to the cost and space constraints for example.

Hopefully everyone will be able to obtain a room

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Let me very clear....I'm not implying ANY malfeasance... nor hankypanky....I also know they booked a block of as many rooms as they could, even if that number was lower than we would desire. I'm saying that while Len and his crew did an admirable job in trying to give everyone a fair shot at making a reservation and to prevent gaming the system; they failed to follow through with important information they should have known and passed on to us. 

If you check out the DF here under the "UPDATE" thread, you'll see I was asking Len and his team to get with the Hilton folks to find out ANYTHING we needed to know to book using their system. There's NO reply after Aug.10th to my inquiries. After a single reply to my first set of questions that generally just reassured us they were working to prevent gaming the system, there's no answer to my request to ask the Hilton more specific questions and pass those answers on to us.

Yes, they opened the system on time, and it worked smoothly and quickly as long as you DIDN'T ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE DATES. Almost every failure I've read of, and mine included, failed because the system automatically rejected ANY attempt to add Tuesday the 1rst to the reservation attempt. I think this is information that Len and his team could have known, should have known, and failed to pass on to us.

The system itself was misleading. The system allowed you to change the number of rooms being booked, as evident by several people saying they booked multiple rooms. The system also allowed you to change the number of attendees from "1 adult" to 2 adults (or whatever your needs). The system also ALLOWED you to CHANGE THE DATES....implying that it wouldn't be any problem, but it is now clear that doing so caused a failure. Some people were quick enough to drop back, drop Tuesday and go with the set 2-5th and got their reservation; which is yet more proof that THAT was the "glitch". 

IF the hosts had gotten with the Hilton folks and asked the simple question: "What can make a reservation attempt fail automatically"?; they might have been told "trying to book outside of the dates 2-5th. 

Again, MY personal beef is that after almost begging the hosts to follow through with the Hilton group to find out that kind of info; they didn't. IF they did, they never posted it on the DF were I posted my concerns; nor did they post it on their FB page either. All they provided were the links, the code, and the assurance it would operate. Unfortunately those assurances came up short.

As I said elsewhere, this will at least provide a learning opportunity for the future, by the new Nats Committee as well as any future hosts. Whether the answer is to be sure the contract allows for expanded dates during the week, and/or a better job of communication about the reservation system being used, as well as better and more concise information for our members before reservations go live; I hope it works toward a smoother booking system for all.

I'm also sure that Len and his crew will work towards trying to help people like me going forward by making us aware of cancellations, as well as toiling to provide a great convention for the attendees. This was an unexpected hiccup, and hopefully will be one of very few going forward.

 

Gil :cool:

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God helps those who help themselves. I played with the reservation page on Friday afternoon. At that point, you could not book the room because the room icons were not displayed as they would be at midnight Central Time. But you could edit and alter those large black dates. I tried it. And though I could change the 2 Aug. to 1 Aug, the little tiny calendar in the far upper left never changed from Wednesday to Tuesday. So this made me think it could not be done. So, I called the hotel- not the 888 number but the actual local hotel number. I was informed on no uncertain terms that the IPM code block did not include Tuesday the 1st, but would require a separate reservation at a different rate. And while I gave it one lightening quick try at midnight ( in my typically arrogant attempt to out fox the  #@%* computer- I didn’t) , I was prepared to pivot to a Wednesday start date. It only cost me a few seconds because I had practiced. 

None of these preparations would assure success. But an athlete can improve his or her chances of winning with preparation and practice. Similarly, we all had the same opportunities to prepare and practice by spending a few extra hours in the gym! 
 

Nick

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