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Re: [Debconf-team] [DebConf12] June 11th meeting with Crowne Plaza Hotel

2011/6/27 Rodrigo Rodriguez <roirobo@ubuntu.org.ni>

El 27 de junio de 2011 11:20, Leandro Gómez <leo.telsen@gmail.com> escribió:

2011/6/27 Gunnar Wolf <gwolf@gwolf.org>
Hi Leandro!

Thanks for this summary! Couple of points for this:

Leandro Gómez dijo [Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 03:10:12AM -0600]:
> 1. General
> ** The Crowne Plaza Hotel will give the local team some photos and videos
> that we can use for our presentation in Bosnia.

Yay \o/ That's always good to motivate people to come!

> ** The Crowne Plaza Hotel will have a free shuttle service from the hotel to
> Zona Viva (shopping center/entertainment district).

I don't think that's needed... Of course, people will go out, and
having this facility can be appreciated by many, but OTOH few people
go out every night, and for those nights that any one decides to go
out, Nicaraguan taxi fares are quite cheap and should not be a
hassle... And give you more freedom of deciding which time to go back,
and so on. Of course, I'm not opposing this idea on principle, but
-even if it's stated it's a free shuttle- resources are always charged
in some way ;-) And I'd prefer to have a freebie in some other
form. Going to the city can be decided by individuals without a

IIRC this is a standard service they offer all their guests. But, yes, taxi fares are *very* cheap and we can do fine without this.

We're thinkin, for a cheaper service, to rent a taxi cooperative only for the event. This mean that there'll be taxis DC12-dedicated.

Not really. But we'll suggest the attendees (for their convenience) to use the taxi cooperative that is 200 meters away from the venue. They work 24/7 and it will be possible call them in order to arrange a cab.
> ** The hotel can arrange for some tour operators to give information during
> DebConf.

Can we use this operators as a group aid for the daytrip? That helps a
lot logistics-wise.

We intend to go directly to the Ministry of Tourism (INTUR) and ask for help. It's going to be cheaper and they have their main office (and tourist information center) less than 200 meters away from the venue.

I think it could be better to arrange with INTUR for the day-trip. They have better preparation and we could get more sponsorship on that way.
> 2. Food
> ** Restaurante Los Continentes (at the hotel) can only accommodate 60
> people.
> ** We could have lunch at the convention center instead (buffet style) - No
> extra charge for the additional spaces.

Looks like a very good way out :) But I guess this will need renting
an additional room, or arranging for table-setting logistics..?

No. They will take care of everything and it won't cost us extra.
> (...)
> ** Denis (from the DC12 team) will be the point of contact between the hotel
> and the local team.
> ** Denis will present several options for "special meals".
> ** Denis and Raúl will work on a menu for DebConf12.

Very good choice :) Not only is Dennis aware of all the "special food"
issues (he is a vegan), but he really knows his way in the kitchen ;-)


Yep, cooking is one of his hidden talents. :)
> 3. Network connectivity
> (…)


> 4. Accomodation
> ** We don't need to pay in order to make the reservations.
> ** We can block a minimum quantity of rooms and upgrade (block more rooms)
> as needed.
> ** Professional and sponsored atendees can make reservations via web (with a
> DebConf code).

Very good! Specially the availability to block more rooms as needed
has proven important in the past.

> ** The hotel has two rooms ready for handicapped people.
> ** The hotel has ramps and elevators and all of the common areas are
> accesible (lobby, restaurants, business center).

Perfect. Now, handicapped people does not only mean
motion-handicapped, but otherwise - Vision-impaired carries a very
different set of needs… I cannot really think of other disabilities a
hotel must be prepared for, but other people will surely give

There was a study +20 years ago on the accesibility in the city of Managua. They concluded that Managua was one of the most dangerous cities for handicapped people. It has improved a lot since then, but we have still a long way to go. Public transportation is a no-no. There are ramps for motion-handicapped, but the sidewalks are so broken that most people ride their wheelchairs in the middle of the street. Same goes for the vision-impaired. We have only one traffic light for vision-impaired pedestrians in the whole city and all the natural and artificial obstacles (bumps and cracks on the sidewalks, open manholes without the cover, etc.) makes walking in Managua an extreme sport for people with disabilities.

Having said that, we made sure that the venue was located in an accesible building. Of course, we will check and double check everything. Right now I can tell you that there are ramps and elevators, but no tactile/visual warning signs or sound devices for the vision-impaired.
> 5. Venue
> ** We made a pre-reservation of 2 hacklabs, 2 conference room + 1 additional
> (bigger) room for Debian Day.

If it's possible, I'd much prefer having a third conference room... or
at least, to know the cost to add it and the time we have to book it
beforehand. This year, as one of the possible talk rooms was at a
non-accessible place, we had to discard it and... The schedule is
quite cramped :(

Ok, I will look into this.
> ** Wine & cheese party: They don't really like the idea of people bringing
> their own food/drink. Basically, they don't want any liability if something
> goes wrong (someone gets food poisoned and decides to sue the hotel).
> ** We'll probably have to sign a document in order to have the Wine & cheese
> party at the venue and pay a small fee.

I understand it's for the industrial size of the thing. People always
bring their own food and drinks to hotels, in small quantities. But
yes, it is sensible for them to tell this beforehand. We can of course
sign we promise not to en-masse die that night ;-) If it's possible,
we could even hold the party outside the hotel building, i.e. at a
tent in the garden or something like that? At Norman's all-welcoming
house? :-)

Plan B is the Hotel Mansión Teodolinda for the Wine & Cheese Party. We can bring in all the food/booze we want, and the rent is really cheap.

You're welcome! :)

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Rodrigo Isaac Rodríguez Borge
Nòmada: el artista de la multitud
Linux user # 471524 | Ubuntu user # 23047

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