NOLOSE 2008 Conference
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
, Northampton, Mass.
Venue Selection Process
As you can imagine, finding and selecting a venue that works to meet our desires for privacy, accessibility, and affordability in key geographic locations near our constituents is a challenge!
This year, we hoped to have a retreat, largely based on organized feedback from our conference-going constituency. Some of our intrepid volunteers (thanks, intrepid volunteers!) scouted other locations, and found accessibility for our needs lacking. Many of us enjoyed the location of our last retreat, but wanted to find an alternative that was more accessible to more attendees. The locations we considered were: the SF Bay area, Philadelphia, and the NE (Connecticut-Massachusetts).
Two NOLOSE members recommended the NoHo Clarion, and our venue scouts gave it a very thorough evaluation, and found it to be a much more accessible solution for the funds, with additional perks (such as access to a heated private pool).
In the hopes of making our process moree transparent, we welcome you to read our surveys and result summaries.
1. Would it be worth it to you to travel one, two or three hours outside a major northeastern city to NOLOSE if it was in a retreat-style setting where we'd have the whole place to ourselves?
No, too far/prefer hotel/inaccessible: 22%
No preference: 4%
2. Would it be a feature of a flaw for you if there were several types/prices of lodging available (from less expensive, somewhat rustic to more expensive motel-type conveniences)?
No answer: 17%
1. NOLOSE is trying to make the best plan possible for our Fall 2008 retreat and we need your input. The event will take place in September or October. We are strongly considering the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in CT. However, we are aware that after Menla in 2006, many people were less than enthusiastic about the retreat center atmosphere. Therefore, we are willing to check out a large hotel as a comparison if folks prefer this option. That's where you come in. Please visit the IFC website and read the following pro/con list and as we've identified it, then vote on hotel vs. Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. Also, please check out these additional photos of IFC.
Keep in mind that we will not be able to get the deal we got at the Newark Marriot Hotel in 2005 and that several years have gone by which inflates the price. We expect that there will be *little cost difference* between the two options unless people choose either 1) the high end option at the retreat or 2) pack 4 or more individuals into a hotel room to save on housing costs.
- pros: privacy, possible nude swim, fresh/organic/local food, lake/scenery, independent center (as opposed to big chain hotel), most rooms air conditioned, beautiful space, more emotionally/psychologically comfortable environment for many.
- cons: more rustic, farther away from public trans/airports [some sort of shuttle could be offered as well as hooking folks up for carpooling], food might not be to some folks' taste, accessibility is more of a challenge, not all locations accessible which limits where we can hold events, play party less likely to occur officially, weather could be a factor.
- pros: more luxury/comfort, greater accessibility, likely to be nearer to public trans, could be cheaper if folks quadruple or more in rooms, heartier food options, air conditioned, bad weather will not be a factor as all events are inside, play party more likely to happen.
- cons: food more challenging for those who are vegan/vegetarian/have food allergies, corporate space, shared space with other guests, no chance of nude swimming, onlookers for swimming, no outdoor atmosphere, space less emotionally/psychologically comfortable for many.
*Keep in mind that we are doing our best to meet as many people's needs as possible and keep the cost down. However we cannot meet everyones needs as folks diverge on preferences for one vs. the other. We will use the data we receive here to make the best decision possible.*
I prefer the HOTEL 43.6% 24 I prefer the RETREAT 58.2% 32 answered question 55 skipped question 2
2. Is there anything else you want to tell us about a hotel choice vs. retreat choices? Specifically in regard to the following: food, accessibility, location, comfort (psychological, emotional or physical, or other?
Food 50.0% 20 Accessibility 52.5% 21 Location 60.0% 24 Comfort 60.0% 24 Other 70.0% 28 answered question 40 skipped question 17