Where to find the Anthrocon ZOO

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Unclekage's picture
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Flux - over there

No, not the Pittsburgh Zoo.  "The Zoo" has been Anthrocon's traditional social-gathering spot since 1999.  Furries are very social creatures and thus the Zoo has always required an increasing amount of room.  With our growth past five thousand attendees (and rapidly approaching six thousand), this year we're trying an experimental move to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

During Anthrocon's core days (Friday morning through Sunday afternoon), the Zoo will be located in Hall D on the ground floor of the Convention Center. As is traditional, it will be open all 24 hours, and we are currently negotiating the ability to have food service available in the late-night hours. Before Friday morning, and on Sunday evening, the Zoo will return to its old location in the Allegheny Ballroom of the Westin Hotel.

This move gives us a number of advantages:  More room for folks to spread out; More usable programming space in the Westin; Late-night noms (we're working on that!). It is going to be a bit different in many ways, so we are holding our breaths to see how it goes.

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Vulpes Rex's picture
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Quote:
...the Zoo will be located in Hall D on the ground floor of the Convention Center.

Good to know!

...Um...is that on the East side of 10th Street (The same side as the Westin and the DLCC Parking lot), or the West side (The same side as the Marriott Courtyard and the MegaBus bus stop)?

Puzzled

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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It is on the West side.

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SnowQueen's picture
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What about the fact that the DLCC is not open 24 hours?

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Unclekage's picture
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We have gotten big enough that they are willing to be open 24 hours!

(Also I had to promise that I would not bring any of my wine into the building, but would instead buy it all from their caterer.  It was enough to make it financially advantageous for them to stay open for us).

 

 

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Tyrrlin's picture
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... and just how big *is* your wine bill that it's lucrative enough for a 24-hour zoo???   Jawdropping!

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~Tyrrlin

Unclekage's picture
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This is privileged information.

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Hiasaki_Kitsune's picture
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big enough to be tax deductable?

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animal16365's picture
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i cant wait to see the day anthrocon becomes pittsburghs largest convention Laugh

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Coyoty's picture
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Or Anthrocon becomes Pittsburgh.

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Andreus's picture
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Isn't it already in the top five or something?

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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Our position varies. but we are usually in the top ten, but not their top five. The DLCC hosts some very large events indeed.

The largest convention held entirely at the DLCC was the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting, which had over 60,000 people. As much as we like to think we're a big convention, that's more people in one year than have attended every Anthrocon ever.

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CyanTPC's picture
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Still, being the world's largest furry convention is definitely quite something, and it's going to keep getting bigger and bigger each year! There'll come a time where if it keeps growing, the attendance number will be five digits long! I think everyone involved in making Anthrocon the special weekend it is every year should be proud! Smiling

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Salem Wolf's picture
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I got word this is what the the Caterer is using....Eeyup, that's enough to stay open 24 hours!

Unclekage, if the DLCC is open 24 hours, does that mean you'll be drinking wine....24 hours?

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

Vulpes Rex's picture
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UncleKage is a truly dedicated individual; if such sacrifice is necessary for the benefit of AnthroCon, I'm sure that he will bear that burden with steel-like resolve and determination, and never waver in holding out his wine glass when Duty requires it.

We should be grateful that he would do this thing for us!

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Sharky's picture
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LOL !!! BAD BAD WOLF

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talonsaurn's picture
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Had to read the post twice, had just glossed over it initally as a post made a few years ago being brought up again, but wow, I just know i'm going to wander into the old place and look around..where is everyone? did the Apocolypse come? at lesat once now. I get used to the old place and now its moving to the area i initally thought the con was going to be on my first time.

Positives are rather numerous of course.. for the insanely late night folks.. There is more space to use should the real night owls want to enjoy the convention center... I "SHUDDER" to think of folks trying to add programing to the 2AM to 6AM slot...leave a poor fellow some sleep time. And probally the old zoo will be well used by panels and events...(For some reason I feel a certain fish would like the fursuit games there.. but maybe i'm over thinking). The Idea of the DLCC being open at all hours is pretty impressive. A side benifit might be a clearing up of some of the congestion that naturally occures in the Westin lobby, can't see it hurting that situation in any case

The only negitive i see, and  small one is another set of elevators for the Westin crowd to head through if they want to get to the zoo from the hotel rooms(and not go outside for some reason, weather or whathaveyou), and i suppose making sure you have your con badge on you, think you could techincally get away with being lazy with the Westin, but assuming the door security  would be at the DLCC that would also likely be more strict.

Still all in all a very good idea to try, I'm always for trying new things as the convention grows and evolves, and this is one of them, that last bit of the Convention center claimed for furry kind...

 

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BlackJack's picture
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BTW,
people can THINK about adding to the 2am-6am timeslot all they want.

Doesn't mean anything will happen.
1) Even if it's added, who will be awake to attend?
Even us nightowls change our sleep patterns so we can be awake
during the day for the big events, and thus have to sleep
at night (and sometimes nap for 30 minutes-an hour during
the afternoon, which I like to do in addition to getting a
shower and change of clothes for the evening events.
I feel like I've gotten 2-3 hours of sleep after that.)

2) There's lots of talk about what people WANT to do,
but as soon as it's time for someone to step forward
and volunteer to do the work, most people will vanish.
Everyone has a reason for someone else to do the work
or suffer privation. So, if a few people mention the idea,
I suspect NONE will even submit a panel form. If a lot
mention it, I suspect 1-3 will submit one.

Really, no matter what the AC'ers think, everyone has to
sleep sometime-and at AC, that should be when there's
few events (that's especially 2am-6am.)

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BlackJack's picture
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If they're going to open only PART of the DLCC 24/7,
it makes sense to make it part of the ground floor.
Security can manage traffic to and from the outside,
as well as limit traffic to the other parts of the DLCC,
better from the ground floor.

I'm going to miss having at least A Zoo available in
the Westin in case I don't want to wander into the
DLCC, but I can see some definite advantages in effect
here, and I know the AC staff took everything into
consideration. It certainly will ease congestion in
the Westin, and lower accidental congregation.

Tigerden's internet room will stay in the Westin,
correct?

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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That's correct, there are no plans currently to relocate the Tigerden internet room. It's good where it is.

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K.P.'s picture
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Also keep in mind that this experiment will open up a new VERY large room in the Westin for events that have grown too cramped in the Westmoreland or Pennsylvania rooms, but were not able to be in the Main Ballroom due to configuration or other issues. This may give the convention more flexibility to handle different kinds of social and performance events in a far more accomodating environment.

There are many things that this will allow us to try, and it may save us some setup and costs as well...so we are going to give it a whirl. Remember, as the convention continues to grow and expand, there is only so much space that we have to work with...even with the amazing facilities that the Westin and the DLCC offer. We are trying to make the best use of what we have.

KP

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Andreus's picture
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Isn't it going to be loud and echoey if we're in Hall D?

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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No howling for you!

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Andreus's picture
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Aw Sad

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Salem Wolf's picture
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So if the DLCC handled 60,000 for the NRA, seems we can still grow a bit more then......the fursuit parade is gonna get really long!

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

Rick2tails's picture
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as long as its still 24 hours this is great news really. also to reply to the nra convention comment.I have a feeling we use much more event space then  that convention.Id think the dealers room selling guns and ammo would be much more the focus  then all the parties and events that go on at a fur con.But we shall see when Anthrocon hits 60,000 in 2034 Eye-wink

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Sonicgott's picture
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I'm absolutely excited for this upgrade. The Zoo deserves more space, and I think this will work out pretty well. Smiling

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sawblade5's picture
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I am wondering does the new location of the Zoo prevent us from bringing in outside food like Pizza's to the space? The old Zoo was good for being used for that it would suck to lose it if we can't bring in outside food or beverage.

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Victor Redtail

Coyoty's picture
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They're negotiating to have food service. If the hotel or convention center supplies food, I expect outside food would be prohibited. But then there would still be food.

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talonsaurn's picture
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I would assume that is the case, can't assume that the chairmans drinking habbit can pay all the bills... will have to have a bit of a captive audiance for the zoo. I don't remember how the prices were at the convention centers food area in the dealers room but would think the situation would be the same. Probally not to extravagant, and if it is 24 hour  food..well thats a perk.

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Istanbul's picture
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I'd like more information on this as well. The ability to walk into the Zoo, sit down with a meal, and relax for a few minutes has always been very calming, useful, and desirable. Could someone in-the-know please confirm that we'll still be able to do this in the new Zoo?

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Sharky's picture
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WOW... Anthrocon contiunes to push forward and make more wonderful changes !! I am so happy with the new Zoo location, that I will be swimming in circles with glee for the next 7 months !!!

 

 

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talonsaurn's picture
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Come clean now ya overgrown minnow, we all know the real reason behind that is your staking your claim for the old zoo room to expand your fursuiting empire.

Though honestly the first thing that came to mind was the possibility of not having to do the fursuit team games in the middle of the lines to get into the ballroom on sundays

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Salem Wolf's picture
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I would think part of the reason to move this zoo to the DLCC from Westin is there are plans to use that space for something else.....but if nothing is set, let's get first in line for the space if we really can use it for the games.

 

I want to add to what talonsaurn talked about and that my own thought on this was on the headless zones. You move the games from the DLCC to Westin and in the old Zoo, you will lose the use of the much larger headless zone at the DLCC for the smaller one (that I saw last year) at the Westin....would that be large enough for all the fursuiters participating in the games?

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

Salem Wolf's picture
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.....one more thought.....yea, it happens, sometimes....I think...

If you move the team games from the DLCC to Westin, I would think folks attending the convention that would see the games played while wandering around the con' may miss them or not even know they were happening at the Westin, at least without checking the pocket program guide and going out of their way a bit to the old Zoo room where we are having them.....

      ...I'll keep quiet and go lay over in the corner somewhere now.

 

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

talonsaurn's picture
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On the headless lounge Salem, Since not a suiter my words here are purely from an outsiders view(It does fit the secret socitey theme that us non suiters have no idea what goes on in there...probally planning a con take over). I think we still had quite a few folks in the recess games last year which were held in one of the westin rooms, I belive the largest one after the zoo. So i don't THINK there was a massive problem.. but again.. thats an outsiders view

 

Hmm the not in the middle of an active area does somewhat reduce its visiblity contrasting with not having folks walk through and disrupt the game...truth be told if I hadn't stumbled into it my first year i'd have never have found it, considered it, and still been my fuddy duddy old self in not really liking suits as a whole.. though i could see the earlier comers luring folks to watch/participate by saying its some sort of open lodge meeting for new initiates....((yes.. i'm loosely trying to think of ways to  make it fit the theme))

 

now i THINK this is probally violating the rules we can use at the con, but figured i'd mention it anyway... taped posters to pillars here or there with.. "the illumifurry wants you" and similar sort of theme tounge and cheak adverts to attend the various fursuit games. Since i don't think we are allowed to use tape anywhere a placard or two might also fit in the theme

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Sharky's picture
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Lets not put the cart before the horse here (or shark, or any other animal) I think we need to get the games and panels all set up first, and then worry about the spaces we will need to run those events.

 

Sharky

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Sharky's picture
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I wonder... how much sea water the old zoo would hold .......we could play games in there like Marco Polo and water Vollyball !!

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Unclekage's picture
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We are NOT going to put a predatory fish in charge of aquatic games. Period.

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Coyoty's picture
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I guess this means I can't organize an event for plumpness-oriented birds...

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Sharky's picture
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plumpness-oriented birds ??

 

Mmmm where ?  I feel like chicken tonight, chicken tonight !!

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talonsaurn's picture
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Fudge, Kage beat me to it, I was going to say Water Vollyball must be shark euphemism for playing Jaws.

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Sharky's picture
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Hey .. it was only a suggestion ... Evil

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foxears.joeac2011's picture
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This is nice news for Anthrocon!

I was going to ask how much larger the new space is. Then I remembered I was sitting in front of The Internet, and I might find the answers myself. Laughing out loud

According to the Westin's site, the Allegheny Ballroom is 11,000 sq feet. The DLCC website shows that Hall D is "certified" at over 38,000 sq feet. The usable space is probably less than that number, but that still means that Hall D is three times larger (!!!) than the Allegheny Ballroom. (Three exclamation points!) That's larger than the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom (which hosts the opening/closing ceremonies, Uncle Kage's story hour, etc.). That's wonderful!

Will we be able to use that entire space? If not, I don't want to be spreading misinformation about the Zoo itself being 3x (!!!) larger. Smiling

Do we know if there will be (more) tables and chairs in that space (or is that among the details still being negotiated)?

Thanks to the staff for negotiating this. I appreciate it.

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Curona's picture
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What are the chances of establishing some sort of Tabletop Freeplay area in the Zoo this year? I know there are dedicated tabletop rooms already, but they usually have some sort of schedule and limited space for those who just want to play games. Perhaps a (can be small) board game library available for checkouts? Having a Freeplay area in the Zoo would be awesome!

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Come join my merry band of idiots--for life is happy and bright when you have no mind to lose.

BlackJack's picture
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The Zoo's generally a "Bring Your Own" area concerning games.
On Thursday, you'll see lots of games brought out by conventioneers,
with some brought out all through the convention.
In fact, it's one argument for wandering into the Zoo even if your
friends haven't arrived yet. You can walk around, check out art,
and maybe join a game in progress for the next round.

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animal16365's picture
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this is just a stupid thought, with the zoo being over in the DLCC, if the convention center and or hotel wants to cater the zoo during the daylight hrs (this would be a negotiated issue) then one of the local pizzarias deliever pizza or subs from say 6pm to midnight or 1 am in the morning,  but of cource this could be a dumb idea anyway. just my thought

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BlackJack's picture
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Convention centers and hotels have OFFICIAL sources to supply food that they have CONTRACTS WITH. Technically speaking, it probably means, for example, that if you had brought in a sack-lunch to the old Zoo, that there was a hotel policy that said you shouldn't- but then again, there's also hotel policy against you bringing outside food into your hotel room, too. Generally, a hotel will take action if there's a compelling reason, since they don't really care if someone snuck a sammitch into their room or something. If someone starts wheeling up catering trays, then the hotel's pretty much obliged to do something about it. Likewise, if someone wanted a hotel function area or an area in the DLCC catered, they'd need to do it through the hotel or DLCC, depending on the location. Then the official site caterer would handle the food. (Meanwhile, if you had a concealed cookie in your jacket, officially it's not allowed, so don't go waving it around. You could actually get the convention in trouble if you tried hard enough.)

All that having been said, if the Board can manage some other arrangement SOMEHOW,
let's applaud them and be impressed. Smiling

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Ron Bauerle's picture
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Quote:
there's also hotel policy against you bringing outside food into your hotel room, too.

Cite?

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BlackJack's picture
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AFAIK,
that's standard policy for US hotels.
It's rarely enforced because it's not worth it for
a hotel to crack down on someone bringing leftovers
from dinner to snack on. If someone starts catering
in their room, the hotel may do something about it.
(I think policies concerning suites are different.)

I prefer to just let it go also because pushing the
subject on what hotels just let go is an invitation for
the hotel to stop letting it go and enforcing their rules
a LOT more strictly. I know we have posters who've worked
in the industry. If we can have one of them chime in on
the subject, I'd rather leave the subject to just them and
drop it once they give their input.

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Ron Bauerle's picture
Location: Erie, PA
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I don't want to drag it out either but out of curiosity, I googled it;
seems to be more an issue for foreign hotels than American,
but I did find this and one by a lawyer

From the latter:

Quote:
The short answer to your question is YES, a hotel can restrict outside food and beverages if it so chooses; however, enforcement can be somewhat tricky and may create thorny guest relation situations.
and
Quote:
Bringing in food and beverages from outside the hotel does not violate such protected-class status, as long as the "no outside F&B" policy is applied to all guests and not just some.

999 posts - do I get a prize at 1000? Laughing out loud

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