Hotel reservations: What to expect, Part III (UPDATED)

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Unclekage's picture
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Location: RTP, North Carolina
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We are getting very close to February 1.  Rest assured that both Anthrocon's staff and the staff at Passkey are doing everything in their power to make things run as smoothly as they possibly can once we open hotel reservations at 11:00 AM EST that day.  About an hour ahead of time this web site will go into a read-only mode, and at 11:00 sharp the URL for hotel reservations will be published.  Simultaneously, we will publish the link on our various social media pages as previously described.

I can already anticipate one frantic question that will come flooding in to my mailbox that morning:  "I don't see a listing for the hotel that I want!  Is it sold out??"  If it is the Courtyard or the Westin, then probably; however, it is also possible that it is only sold out on one of the nights for which we have rooms blocked (most commonly Wednesday and Sunday).  If you do not see the hotel you were hoping for, try shortening your stay and see if it pops up.  If it does, then it means that there's plenty of rooms on the peak nights and we just don't have enough on the earlier or later nights.  For that, there are three options:

1)  You can make the reservation anyway and then email VisitPittsburgh Housing Services (the folks who are running the Passkey service for us) at housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com to see if the stay can be extended.  If rooms are available, the hotels will generally be amenable.  Please do not email the request to us; we are not able to help with that and will simply refer you to the folks at VisitPittsburgh.

2)  It is possible that the hotel cannot extend a stay because it is already booked for other functions.  In that event, you may need to move to a different hotel for the first (or last) day of your stay.

3)  The folks at VisitPittsburgh Housing Services encourage people to make reservations online if at all possible, rather than by telephone.  There are only a limited number of operators available to take calls and your chances of getting into the hotel of your choice are 91.4% greater if you use the online system!

 

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Chanur's picture
"What's a hani, anyway?"
Posts: 48

Oh come on, by now I was sure we would have all the kinks and bugs worked out? Or are we just living up to the Anthrocon motto of New and Greater mishaps, each and every year! Just wait till I start moving the zeros arround in our accounting!

 

All kidding aside, Kage and the Reg department do a huge amount of planning for the rollout every year. Trust me, no one likes to see the server go belly up when 10,000 furs all hit the refresh button in the same milisecond. Good luck everyone!

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Is it just me, or is this little white room getting smaller?

Chiaroscuro's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
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With Kage as our chairman, there will always be new kinks for the bug to work out.

*RUNS*

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barkerjr's picture
Location: Hartford, CT, USA
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Posts: 29

Last year there was an issue where Chrome didn't work. Are there any thoughts on browsers for this year?

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charlieg's picture
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Location: Alexandria, VA
"If only stupidity were painful..."
Posts: 2000

Since Passkey is a company external to any specific hotel or chain, they should be set up to accept input from any browser that follows the rules.  If you're worried about it, it would be virtually certain that both Firefox and IE would work.

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barkerjr's picture
Location: Hartford, CT, USA
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Well, good news so far.  Chrome worked for me Smiling

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zlucas1's picture
Location: Bel Air, Maryland, USA
"When life gives you lemons, make grape juice"
Posts: 14

Well you know when they build a new stadium and all the plumming is done they put a person in every bathroom for every toilet. Then by radio they have everyone flush all the toilets at the same time. It's called "The Big Flush"... I think I had a point there but the thought of 10,000 toilets flushing distracted me Smiling

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Warning: This Post May Contain Lethal Doses of Sillyness

pudgeyredfox's picture
Location: New York
Posts: 13

Will there be a post detailing how many rooms are left in the Westin on Thursday after the supersponsors get first dibs?

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
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We understand the curiousity over that, but I don't know if it's going to help the stampede mentality that's already formed.

What we can say: There will be rooms open in the Westin, Omni, Marriot, Doubletree and Hampton when general booking begins on Friday. There will very likely NOT be Marriot Courtyard rooms available.

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pudgeyredfox's picture
Location: New York
Posts: 13

Are king rooms in the Westin likely to still be there at 11am on friday when it opens? This is my first year going to Anthrocon and I dunno what to expect as far as hotel reservations here, all I know is people tell me the Westin sells out completely within about an hour every year.

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Unclekage's picture
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The double rooms will go very quickly.  The kings will go more slowly, and usually we still have a few available even an hour or more after opening.

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furrydeadlocked's picture
Location: Smyrna, TN
"Furry's = Awesome , still single"
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will the passkey system popup on the main page or somewhere else 

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howwwwwwl!!!! love being a wolf and can't wait for the next furry convention

Chiaroscuro's picture
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The URL will be posted ont he main page, yes. As well as twitter, facebook, and all the things listed above.

 

 

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furrydeadlocked's picture
Location: Smyrna, TN
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Thanks so much appreciated greatly  Smiling Can't wait for this con will be my first time up there 

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howwwwwwl!!!! love being a wolf and can't wait for the next furry convention

Hallow_Fox's picture
Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
"The Walking Glowstick"
Posts: 17

Haven't gotten the SS email yet, but seeing as normal registration starts ar 11am on the 1st, I'm guessing it's probably 11 or after today as well.

 

My question is, though, what's the facination with the Mariot Courtyard?  I'd figure the big rush would be for the Westin, the main hotel that's actually attched to the con.

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Tyrrlin's picture
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The Courtyard by Marriott is attractive to some people because it tends to be much more low key.  It is also close to the DLCC so Dealers, and some Staffers, prefer it. Many of the artist Dealers take "homework" every night and prefer the quieter atmosphere to concentrate on their work.  The Courtyard only offers a limited number of rooms, so they go fast.

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~Tyrrlin

Ron Bauerle's picture
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 1019

Also, no (or minimal) elevator lines with CM.

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Icewerewolf's picture
Location: Somewhere, NC, USA
Posts: 29

There is also a curtesy type thing going with the Westin, where a lot of furs will allow the Westin rooms to go for fursuiters, so that they don't need to drag the suits back and forth, and have a place to rest that's uber close.

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Timoran's picture
Posts: 18

That's how it SHOULD work, but that's not how it ACTUALLY works. Many fursuiters end up in the half-mile-away overflows because of lazy, able-bodied furries filling up the Westin. Furries and courtesy don't mix.

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Icewerewolf's picture
Location: Somewhere, NC, USA
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Not ALL the time, no, but you can't lump all furries into that category.  I know some people that would lay down their suit head for others if needed.

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Stode's picture
Location: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
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I am sorry, but I have to disagree. I have seen so many courteious furries around, far more than non-courtious ones. I don't think its in any way shape or form fair to say that all furries are lazy and non-courtious because of a hotel choice. I have watched so many people give up their spot in line to a fursuiter for many things, to offer their seats to suiters and to make sure suiters are ok when they look 'down and out'.

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Anthrocon 2013, you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. Anthrocon 2014, you are anxiously anticipated and wished a speedy arrival!

Nyomi's picture
Location: Delaware County, PA
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Posts: 155

Sorry, what? Just because some people choose to spend thousands of dollars on a costume does not mean they have also purchased rights to be roomed in the most convenient hotel for any given convention. An attendee's choice of hotel does not reflect on their corteousness or laziness; a truly lazy person would do better to stay in a nearby hotel rather than the Westin to avoid standing in elevator lines that sometimes extend out of the lobby.

I'm not sure why you're even using the term "able-bodied" here, because 1. The temporary impediments one accepts while performing in suit are not comparable to disability, and 2. there are actual disabled people who attend the convention, some of whom have "invisible" illnesses. You are doing them a discourtesy by assuming they have no reason to want to room close to the action.

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Grimno's picture
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I personally prefer the Westin.

Cause of the gyro shop across the street...I LOVE ME SOME GYROS! *starts spinning*

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Timoran's picture
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What's to stop you from eating at the gyro shop if you're in an overflow?

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MeowthRocket's picture
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Who doesn't love Gyros?

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Hallow_Fox's picture
Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
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What's a gyro?  I've never seen this shop.

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Grimno's picture
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To get an idea, a Gyro is like this http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/content/gyro/gyro0128.jpg pita shell wrapped around your choice of meat, tomatos, lettuce, etc. Think of it like, a lunch version of a chalupa/barrito with everything cept the meat being cold. They usually come with a cucumber ranch sauce and they are really tasty~ Cory's Subs is now where the Gyro Shop #5 is and I went there twice last year. If you are a supersponser, chances are your package will come with a coupon for it and I recommended stopping there for lunch at least once. Mostly cause, Gyros are sorta hard to find outside of places that specialize in them. Heck I live in a college city with tons of strange restraunts, and the only place that actually sells a wrapped gyro like in the image is a shop in the mall's food court! The other location, "Hot and Cold Diner" sells the "authentic" Indian version, which isn't the same. Came out like a salad. A popular flavour of Gyro is lamb, though I prefer chicken... and despite the fact it's pronounced "Euro" like the spanish coin, I say Gyro. Since Euro in places is commonly spoken and can be confussed as such, and since noone really uses the term Gyro is everyday conversations, lol. More info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyro_(food)

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MeowthRocket's picture
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It's like a big sandwich.

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Icewerewolf's picture
Location: Somewhere, NC, USA
Posts: 29

Kage - you, or someone else, might want to forewarn people that as they book their hotel room through passkey, it's going to show the total booking price for all the night's they want the room for, but in the e-mail, it will tell them only one night's charge will be incurred in the beginning, so people don't panic when it shows the total room booking fee, instead of the one-night's fee right off the bat.

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Grimno's picture
Posts: 99

Where does it say only one night will be charged? In my confirmation email it reads this

Nightly Rates:
Date Guest(s) Status Rate
04-Jul-2013 1 Confirmed 152.00
05-Jul-2013 1 Confirmed 152.00
06-Jul-2013 1 Confirmed 152.00
07-Jul-2013 1 Confirmed 152.00
Additional Person Charges:

Additional Guest Rate
Second Guest 0.00
Third Guest 0.00
Fourth Guest 0.00
Fifth Guest 0.00

Total Room Charge: 608.00

The current tax rate is 14% (subject to change). This is not included in the quoted rates.
Cancellation Policy:

A non refundable prepayment of one night's room and tax will be charged to your credit card. Your deposit will not be refunded if your reservation is canceled. Anthrocon strongly recommends to its members to hold off booking a hotel room until reasonably certain that your plans will not change.

In the cancellation policy here?

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Icewerewolf's picture
Location: Somewhere, NC, USA
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Yeah, in the cancellation policy.  It's telling you that right off the bat, you're getting charged a non-refundable price of one night's stay.

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Salem Wolf's picture
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Received the supersponsors email at 11:27am EST and the link to the Hotel reservation system.


On the passkey system right now. Very easy to navigate through and select the hotels/dates/rooms based on entering the dates you want and the number of people.


Checked available rooms based on July 2nd check-in to July 8th check-out; everything is available for the DoubleTree, Marriott City Center, Omni and Westin,except the system is saying the Courtyard is sold out for Sunday, July 7th but all other nights are available there.


Clicked on Book and to the guest details page and the fields for each guests include full-real-name/bade-number/email-address, plus additional info for guest #1 of mailing address and phone number.


Since I already reserved a Suite at the Westin, no need to fill out the Guest info page and go beyond there to Payments Details.


Everything seems to be working great from what I can tell.....good luck to everyone on getting their rooms for the con' when it opens up to the world on Friday, February 1st!


Salem

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

Salem Wolf's picture
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One other note: For guests 2-4 there is a tick-box for each that says Use same address and phone number (assume would be for Guest #1) and if you un-tick it for each guest, you also have fields for mail address and phone number for each of them.


 

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Salem Wolf Banner Anthrocon

Hallow_Fox's picture
Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
"The Walking Glowstick"
Posts: 17

GOT MY ROOM! (Westin)  Yay!  Totally worth the supersponsor price having the piece of mind!  And I totally loved waking up all non chalant, sauntering over to my pc and casually clicking a few buttons.  No hectic race, no time for reviews.  No booking and correcting later.  I even had time to read the anthrocon thank you letter first =p  But now i'm just bragging.  Good luck to folks on the first, and see you in July!! 

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Unclekage's picture
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Yes.  Not hectic.  No hecticness at all.  Shocked

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Icewerewolf's picture
Location: Somewhere, NC, USA
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No hecticness?!  WHAT IS THIS BLASTFOAMY?!  OMG, what have you done with the real Kage that LOVES furry chaoticness D:  lol XD

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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We have taken all the hecticness for ourselves as Anthrocon staff. You can't have any of it.

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Icewerewolf's picture
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Well maybe I'll just have to join staff then!  <.<  /causes chaoticness

Lol XD

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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*folds his fingers together* Eeeexcellent. Smiling

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Icewerewolf's picture
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PSH, you're funny Chef XD  I ain't gonna join staff!  /dodges incoming flying objects XD

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Lionman's picture
Location: NorthWest Ohio
"Star Trekkin' across the universe, only goin' foward cause we can't find reverse"
Posts: 65

I am not ashamed to admit that I still flew over to the oly window that gets any kind of reception in our factory (metal roof) and made the reservation anyhow, out of force of habit. 

 

It really did surprise me last year when I couldn't get a Westin room because the block I was looking for was sold out when I got to it an hour and some minutes after registration had opened. I thank you Uncle Kage for making it eaiser and less stressful for me to get a room this year.  Smiling

 

Lionman

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DakotaMalamute's picture
Posts: 2

Two general questions. I apologize if these are covered elsewhere, but I did not see them.

 

I understand that the room downpayments are non-transferrable; however, if I make a reservation and am unable to attend, am I able to transfer the room ownership over to another person in my party?

 

Second, along the lines of extending stays after reserving a room, are we able to shorten our reservation if the need arrises without penalty, so long as we don't completely cancel?

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Mutt's picture
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Posts: 73

You can just add the other person's name to the reservation. The hotel itself won't refund your deposit so you'll have to get that 1 night from the person you gave the room to.

 

I'm not sure about the second part.

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charlieg's picture
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1)  As stated above, the hotel will not care who pays for the room.  As long as the other person's name is on the reservation, the hotel will gladly take their money to pay for the room.  The disadvantage to this is that the person who reserved the room is still responsible for any damage to the room.

2)  If it's a later arrival, you need to notify the hotel as soon as possible to change your arrival date.  If you don't do that, the hotel may feel you're not coming and cancel your reservation, leaving you roomless.  Leaving earlier than anticipated is less of a problem, at least from the hotel's point of view.  They'll just charge you for the nights you've been there and rent the room to someone else, if they can.  The (possible) problem here would be that anyone sharing the room with you would then be roomless as well.

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DakotaMalamute's picture
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Thank you for the responses. My concerns have been less about the logistics and more as to whether or not these are possible/allowed since the reservation process has become more of a regimented program.

I'm a recent graduate and my attending friends are college students, so our schedules are less certain this far ahead of time, which makes reservations difficult; but by the time we'd know for sure, we don't want to risk the hotels selling out as we've had happen in the past.

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Mizuhiro Neko's picture
Location: New Hampshire, USA
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Posts: 161

I reserved my room on my phone when I got the E-Mail, but it didn't give me a place to put my badge number...

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Mizuhiro Neko's picture
Location: New Hampshire, USA
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Okay, I tried to add my badge number in the modify reservation page, but it won't let me. I sent an E-Mail to the E-Mail address the modify reservation page lists for if you can't modify it on the site and gave them my name, confirmation number, and badge number and asked if they can make it happen. If they can't, will there be an issue? My supersponsor status should also be searchable by my name and E-Mail address, yes?

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almightytora's picture
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"For that, there are three options:

1)  You can make the reservation anyway and then contact Passkey to see if the stay can be extended.  If rooms are available, the hotels will generally be amenable.  Please do not email the request to us; we are not able to help with that and will simply refer you to Passkey.

2)  It is possible that the hotel cannot extend a stay because it is already booked for other functions.  In that event, you may need to move to a different hotel for the first (or last) day of your stay."

So, what is option 3 for the attending people, Kage?

I got the Supersponsor e-mail four times today. That was a good wake up call (while on break at work) to get my room.

 

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HixbiFox's picture
"Furs For Life"
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Got to get ready...

*Puts on a pot as a helmet and watches the clock*

I'm going in! Cover me rubber ducky!

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I like pies. ^w^ my favorite flavor is banana cream with real bananas, If you do not like pies then I'm sorry we just can't be friends ._.

...GET THAT CAKE AWAY FROM ME! >:C

vinc's picture
Location: Newport, Michigan
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Posts: 8

Sounds like all the staff member's are working really hard. Just wanted to say thank you very much to all the hard working people that are making this possible and to wish everyone good luck with there hotel reservations. ^^

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zlucas1's picture
Location: Bel Air, Maryland, USA
"When life gives you lemons, make grape juice"
Posts: 14

I second that notion! Smiling

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