Mike Willmoth (mwillmoth) wrote,
Mike Willmoth

Trip 2015-05 Spokane WA Review

We scheduled an All Hands Staff Meeting in Spokane, WA, for Sasquan (Worldcon 2015 Spokane). After soliciting availability from staff we settled on the last weekend in May. I coordinated the itinerary with the Spokane CVB, Visit Spokane, and the Sasquan team.

Jean and I drove up from Phoenix, AZ, and stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel attached to the Spokane Convention Center. We arrived Thursday night, joined some of the executive team for dinner, then Friday met with the CVB along with the Chair and another Vice Chair. After lunch with them we were dropped off at the Spokane Liquor Board for a meeting to discuss what we plan to do with our Worldcon parties. We explained what we usually do regarding parties and the rep there was very comfortable with what we were doing, noting that we explained we were self-policing. Apparently, they've never heard that from any other group. Add in the fact that we were using the Davenport Historic Hotel and we got a green light to hold our normal room parties with no bureaucracy required. The CVB picked us up and delivered us to the Davenport Grand Hotel for a during-construction tour. We then broke off for dinner with other staff members. After dinner we met with the team to discuss final plans for Worldcon.

Saturday we did breakfast before touring the SCC, DoubleTree and Davenport Historic. Lunch was in there somewhere. Dinner was after the touring, then we met at the Red Lion at the Park for our Division Head Budget meeting. It was pointed out that many of our budget items still had Reno's (Worldcon 2011) budget amounts and this should not be. So, within 2 weeks we had all fixed that. We hung out at the Hospitality Suite in the Red Lion's Presidential Suite before calling it a night.

Sunday we did breakfast, then met at the SCC for our final Division Head meeting. We broke for lunch, then continued until late into the afternoon. Overall, we got lots done which was the intent of the weekend. Some of us did dinner, then I got online.

Monday Jean and I departed for Yellowstone National Park. Last year we had tried to visit there, but timed it poorly because of the sequester of the federal government. We could not enter and had to drive around the park. This time we entered from the west gate on Tuesday, visited Old Faithful, then around through the park and exited via the south gate. Wednesday we continued our drive south and Thursday we arrived back home.

Overall it was a great trip. We resolved the alcohol policy for the convention despite all of the warnings from western Washington about the draconian liquor control board there. We answered a lot of questions about at-con stuff and we met many of the staff members whom we had not met yet. Additionally, most of the team's staff got to see the facilities in person. This led to a very successful event in August. More on that in a later post.

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