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Author Topic: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 11-1-2006  (Read 43639 times)

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Offline AMG Coordinator

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AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 11-1-2006
« on: September 25, 2006, 10:16:21 PM »
We are interested in three key things with regard to location when you submit your suggestions for where AMG ’07 could be held. First, we want to know where. Second, we want to know why you believe the location you are proposing makes sense. And, third, very important, we want to know what your expectations are in attending AMG ’07 as this aspect, we believe, will direct the final location when we tally all the information.

For example, do you want the event to be only recreational, part recreational/part educational, all educational, etc. Please be as specific as you wish.

If you've already suggested a location, please don't hesitate to post again with regard to your expectations. We don't think too much information can be submitted at this point in order to fairly and creatively consider all options.

We would ask that you post your suggestions by October 31, as we will use the month of November for voting and tallying. The reason for this method is to help ensure we have a definite plan for those who must submit for their vacation plans by year’s end. Some of you will be more concerned with when as compared to where and vice versa. Thank you for taking the time to post and if you wish to submit more than one, please know you are not limited. Be sure to include the reasons you are suggesting it because that will likely include features and benefits of the location as well as links to websites, etc.

Ric and Anne
Co-Coordinators
« Last Edit: November 01, 2006, 11:52:02 AM by AMG Coordinator »

Offline livingpositively

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 11:31:32 PM »
To be 100% percent honest, it makes no real difference to me where AMG is held.  I see pro's and con's to the "city" thing and to the "remote" locale as well.  What I DO think should be, simply out of fairness, is that AMG should be on the West coast.  To that I would put in the suggestion hat either:

1) Seattle
2) Vancouver, B.C.
3) Whistler, B.C.
3) San Francisco
4) Lake Tahoe

Those are in NO particular order of preference for me.  I enjoy them all.

Jeez, I'm getting excited already.   :D
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
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Offline Lisa

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 11:41:55 PM »
I'm good for anywhere, but I know Jan is gonna say Vegas. I like the idea of Vegas too.
(better group rates, tons of stuff to see, and do)
I will show up anywhere. I don't have a real care where, I just want to be with all of you. It really did rejuvenate my soul to be together with everyone this year.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2006, 11:49:46 PM by Lisa »
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Offline anniebc

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 12:30:52 AM »
Hi

I agree with Shane somewhere on the West coast would be good.

I would love to visit the US..and as long as the next AMG is not held at LAX I will be happy...but I'm sure outside of LAX there will be some wonderful places to visit.:D

Ah Lisa, you know me so well... ;)

So my suggestions at this point in time would be:

Las Vegas (for purly selfish reasons..it has always been my dream to go there)
L.A
San Francisco.

Hugs
Jan :-*



Hugs
Jan

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Offline Razorbill

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 06:24:07 AM »
All the suggestions thus far seem good. (Whistler? - I'll have to google that one Shane).  Las Vegas would be amazing - but somehow it doesn't really seem a fit, I'm not sure why.  San Francisco is lovely, but can be pricey.  Seattle sounds great - or Vancouver - both are supposed to be beautiful.  Could probably get a whale watch boat out of Vancouver - that would be a fun event.  Developing this will be fun.

Offline Iggy

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 09:46:19 AM »
.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 08:54:09 PM by Iggy »

Offline Moffie65

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2006, 09:52:03 AM »
San Francisco CAN be reasonable, as is the case for all the sites listed so far.  One of the things we need to remember, is that out here in the WEST, many of us have connections that can eliminate the need to pay exhorbitant prices for any of our meets.  We have loads of members here in the WEST who are willing to help plan such events, as many of you live east of the Mississippi, and don't have the experience dealing with WESTERN networking.  

I care not about the location of the next event, but I would love to see something in any of the sites mentioned above.  

If we choose Las Vegas, it would behoove us to think very seriously about centering the event in the "Old Downtown" around Fremont street.  The reason is simply cost, cost, cost, and more cost.  Fremont street has been completely renovated and covered with a mall type enclosure, and many of the "Old" casinos have been restored instead of destroyed.  Now, getting to the "Strip" from Fremont street is simple and there are connecting busses 24/7 to the strip and when you get to the strip, there are monorails, busses, taxis, limosines, and just about any form of transportation you could immagine.  

San Francisco is a simple one, and many of us still have connections that would make a visit to this city very "CHEAP", compared to many other choices.  We can even find rooms for under $100 that are clean, safe, and comfortable.  You just have to know who to "connect" with to find such places in one of the most expensive cities in the world.  I would caution however, that when you come to the WEST, you are going to be confronted with Gays, Straights, Bi's, and anything inbetween, and you will find them EVERYWHERE, as the cultural differences in the WEST, have pretty much integrated the society to an extent that will be remarkable to anyone coming from anywhere else in the world.  

"Go West Young Man!"

In Love and Anticipation.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline aztecan

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 11:22:07 AM »
Go West, I say.

I like all of the suggestions so far, with the exception of Whistler, which I also will have to google cause I have never heard of it.

Personally, I like the idea of Vegas. If we go in September, it will be cooler, usually in the 80s or 90s. As Tim said, downtown is great, reasonable and they also have those delightful food specials like prime rib and king crab for $6.95.

Things are a bit more pricey on the strip, but it is easy to get there if we wish (and we probably would, if only to see the sights, or see a show.)

I've never been to the Pacific Northwest, so I can't really say much about Seattle or Vancouver, except I wouldn't mind going there and seeing them.

Jan suggested L.A. That can be fun too! I lived there for a number of years and still have friends there. It can be done reasonably, I think, and there is much to see and do.

San Francisco - perhaps one of my favorite cities. I have always adored it, just never could afford to live there. As Tim said, it is very cosmopolitan, full of things to see and do, great restaurants, boat trips on the bay and to Alcatraz, the list is long.
Since I haven't  been there in many years, I can't really suggest any particulars, but I know there are others who can.

Basically, I think the West is the way to go and I would be happy with any of the above or perhaps other locations not yet mentioned.

I am also already getting excited.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline JohnOso

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2006, 01:04:53 PM »
Count my vote for either Vegas or San Francisco in the US (go West young man!).

The Fremont Street area of Downtown, while not as flashy as the Strip, is a good place to HQ any gathering.  As Tim said, a rooftop has been constructed over a few blocks, and the entire area is VERY clean and safe.  It's cheaper to stay here than @ Strip hotels, and several casinos are within walking (stumbling?) distance (unlike the Strip).  I stayed at the Golden Nugget this past year, and it's a nice hotel, although undergoing renovations currently (would probably be done by next September I would expect).  Transport to the Strip hotels/shopping is quite easy, either taxi (pricey) or the Deuce Bus.

I'll recuse myself from the SF discussions for now,  ;) although the possibilities for side trips from here are practically limitless.

If people would feel more comfortable outside of the US, then Vancouver would top my list.

John, up-n-coming member of C.O.W.S.

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2006, 02:34:08 PM »
San Fran because I've never been  ::)  but I'm in favor of west coastish or perhaps a bahamas cruise.

Anwhere we go should have a very wide range of activities to do

Offline Basquo

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2006, 07:13:46 PM »
Vegas--I've been there twice, once was really good and once was really bad, but if we did (as suggested) HQ in
downtown I'd be willing to give it another go, especially in such grand company!

Seattle--I went there as a juvenile and I think it's a good destination, too.  I remember going to the salmon locks (sp?) and the Carnation Research Farm, and maybe going down by the warfs(?) well someplace where we had really good seafood...

San Francisco--One thing I've never done is ride a trolley, so we could do it over and over and over again! I'd love to see Alcatraz, the GG bridge, that bitchin' pyramid building...

Vancouver...never been there, but my folks have, and it's supposed to be beautiful...

As for a cruise, I would have to meet you all at one of the ports, as I have terrible slow-motion sickness and can't find my sealegs on anything larger than a ferry.  Well, I guess my vote right now would be for somewhere west!

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2006, 07:17:56 PM »
I'll throw my vote in for Vegas.  However, I would rally for staying on the strip.  Excellent group rates can be had right on thes strip, especially with the increasing number of hotel rooms that need to be filled.  Hotel like NYNY, Aladdin (soon to be Planet Hollywood), Treasure Island, and Excalibur offer excellent rate year round.  while it is true that Downtown is typically less expensive, I think the strip is where most of would spend most of their time.  Transporation is abundant, but traffic can make it a bit time consuming depending on the time day.  I think a group rate could reasonably be had on the strip comparable to staying downtown.  Of course those options could be researched if Vegas is the winning destination.

I might aslo add that for those who have never been to Vegas, it is a party town.  If you were offended in Montreal by anything you may have seen, I can just about gte that Vegas will not be any better.  There's a reason their motto is "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".  The city has a way of tempting even the most innocent angel into doing things they typically wouldn't do.

I also want to throw Phoenix into the mix.  The have some lovely resorts that would serve kind of like the retreat some have mentioned in other threads. 

Offline Cliff

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2006, 07:57:47 PM »
At the moment, my top pick is probably Las Vegas.  But I have to agree with Dennis, I would rather stay on the strip.  And I don't wanna stay in a motel that hasn't been renovated since the Rat Pack were still together.  If not the strip, then maybe a resort/retreat outside of the city....where we could do resort type activities and then have planned outings to the strip for a couple of nights.  Also, LV is about 4-5 hours from the Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam.  I think that would make an excellent side trip.  Everyone must see the Grand Canyon before they die.  But expectations would be need to be set upfront because Dennis is right...you don't go to LV to have church revivals.  That's not to say that we should expect the worse, but if people are going to have an issue with drinking, gambling, etc... then LV is not the spot.  I personally don't like to gamble and I imagine that there are others in the same boat...the key is to convince folks that there is plenty to do in LV, besides gambling.

San Francisco would be nice, but the cost would be a big concern there.  One option may be to have it somewhere else besides the city and only go to SF for an outing or two.

Seattle would be nice as well.  More economical than SF and probably more variety of activities than LV, but the travel issue would be a big concern.

Offline greatcyber

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2006, 08:34:59 PM »
Well, since Jan would like to visit Las Vegas, I'd love to return there.  Have been several times and always had a good time.  Don't forget it's a dessert and it's HOT during the day.  Fall should be a good time, tho.  After LV, Vancouver is someplace I have wanted to see for some years as is San Francisco.

To the AMG coordinators, you might want to check out Legendaryjourneys.com for some incredible packages, as well as vacationstogo.com for cruises up to 70% off.  When rooms/cabins are booked by one individual, first as a block, then with names provided, normally a hospitality suite (or more, depending on total rooms booked) is comped and can serve as a great place for folks to hang out.

edited to correct "Jan" for "Ann"
« Last Edit: September 26, 2006, 08:48:29 PM by greatcyber »
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Offline DingoBoi

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2006, 08:42:47 PM »
I know we are considering US locations, and that's gone against the grain of prior events.  Perhaps it would be wise to consider those attending from foreign countries who would be likely to attend and perhaps the coordinators could check with them privately about their comfort level coming to the US.  International travellers are few, but I would hate to exclude any of the people who attended prior amg's because of a US location.  Continue the US location suggestions, but it would weigh heavy on my mind if some loved ones abroad could not or were fearful of attending because of that.

Do I think it's really an issue with those who have attended the canadian gatherings?  No.  Accomodations can be made and meds can be provided for the duration I would think amongst a big group like this.

Just something to consider.


Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2006, 09:32:23 PM »
I agree, cruises are a great value for the money.  No other vacation I can think of gives you unlimited meals, accomodations, entertainment, and multiple destinations for the price.  It didn't seem to get much of a vote in Cliff's survey though. 

Regarding the free cabin (tour conductor credit), the policy is pretty standard throughout the industry.  The only cruise line that I can think of at the moment that is deterring away from this practice is Carnival.  Usually, one full tour conductor credit is is earned for every 16 full-tariff guests, based on double occupancy.  That means 16 cabins with at least 2 people per cabin would need to be booked to earn a free cabin.  The value of the credit is based by the category most sold within the group.  Again, all this can be negotiated.


Well, since Jan would like to visit Las Vegas, I'd love to return there.  Have been several times and always had a good time.  Don't forget it's a dessert and it's HOT during the day.  Fall should be a good time, tho.  After LV, Vancouver is someplace I have wanted to see for some years as is San Francisco.

To the AMG coordinators, you might want to check out Legendaryjourneys.com for some incredible packages, as well as vacationstogo.com for cruises up to 70% off.  When rooms/cabins are booked by one individual, first as a block, then with names provided, normally a hospitality suite (or more, depending on total rooms booked) is comped and can serve as a great place for folks to hang out.

edited to correct "Jan" for "Ann"

Offline livingpositively

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2006, 10:07:06 PM »
Before I start, I want to clarify that this is in no way meant to be a grandstand-ing thread in support of Whistler.  It seems that some people are completely unfamiliar with Whistler, B.C. so I was going to give a bit of "background", if you will.

I am too lazy to go find a link for Whistler to post.

Whistler is best known for it's skiing, which is simply FANTASTIC.  It is about 2 or so hours northwest of Vancouver, B.C. and a beautiful drive to get up there.  Aside from skiing, it is also a mountain resort-ish type town.  There is shopping, horseback riding, plenty of bars, a tennis center, bike rentals, hiking trails, spas etc etc.  It would definitely fall into the "more low key" category of places to have AMG, but it is a great place and very beautiful.  Is there a "gayborhood"?  No.  Are there gay bars?  No.  But everyone is accepted everywhere up there.

http://www.tourismwhistler.com/   Ok, dammit, there's a link.  Laziness isn't becoming.  hehe ;)

Ok, so that's what Whistler is about.

 ;D
Shane
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
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Offline allanq

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2006, 11:25:38 PM »
I live in the Bay Area, and I've been to Las Vegas several times. In a few weeks I'll be going again, this time for a nephew's wedding, which will be performed by an Elvis impersonator.

My opinion of Las Vegas is that it's fun to see the extravagance of the hotels along the strip, and there's a beautiful state park about ten miles from town (Red Rock State Park). But if the goal of these gatherings is for people to get to know each other better and to "bond" as a community, I don't think Las Vegas is a good place to do that. There's so much background noise that it's hard to just have a quiet time to enjoy each other's company. Casinos are pretty much the same all over--smoke-filled rooms with no natural light, and the shows are very expensive. Casinos and shows are not good places for conversation.

When I'm in Las Vegas, I can't help but think that this is a desert, but water is used as if it were a tropical rain forest. To me, Las Vegas represents American overconsumption at its worst.

If it's decided to "go west," I think San Francisco would be a much better choice. Castro Street is a famous gay neighborhood, but there is so much more to San Francisco than its being a magnet for gay people.. There are many wonderful walks through the neighborhoods, including a spectacular climb up Telegraph Hill. I would be glad to act as a guide on such a walk. Golden Gate Park is great all year round for walking or bicycling. Alcatraz is a short, beautiful ferry ride away. Shoppers will love the vibrancy of Union Square. To see the beautiful coast, you can go to the Marin Headlands, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Embarcadero is a waterfront area that has been transformed into a beautiful urban space that's great for the views and for just hanging out. San Francisco has something for everyone--magnificent scenery, parks, culture, shopping, and partying (if that's what you're into).


Allan

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Offline Lou-ah-vull

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2006, 12:04:45 AM »
As luck would have it, I leave for Las Vegas on Sunday for vacation.  This time I am staying on the Strip at Luxor (the pyramid) and got a great $79 a night rate for a Sunday through Thursday stay.  Vegas would be great fun and I doubt that it would have the same "issues" that bothered Trish and John.  I have stayed before at the Golden Nugget (downtown and currently under renovation) and it is always a bargain.  Rental cars are quite cheap in Vegas so it would not be difficult to get out to the Strip if we were to stay downtown.  I imagine a group our size could negotiate a deal with any of the mid price hotels in town or on the Strip.  The key would be having a meeting room where we could do some optional "meeting and bonding" away from the noise and distractions.  And...then the noise and distractions would be literally at our feet when we are ready.  Vegas would be top choice for me.

I also love San Francisco and again feel it has much to offer our group.  Any place would hold out its arms for our kind of gathering and there would be prominent local experts who could enhance the optional talks.  This is America's most enchanting city and I would move heaven and earth to attend if we go there.  With effort  and help I am sure we can locate affordable accomodations.

One city not mentioned here, but a favorite of mine out West is Santa Fe.  I can't say enough good things about it.  Beautiful, wonderful places to browse and eat and drink.  Again, the issue of affordable accomodations would take some work, but this city would appeal to most eveyone. 

Ditto for Portland, Oregon (Rocky's backyard), Seattle, Washington, or Vancouver, B.C.  In the second tier, i would throw in Reno and Lake Tahoe (again wondering about affordable accomodations.)

Most importantly, I would like to see everyone again, make new friends, do a better job of being less shy and more sociable. 

Gary (wish me luck in Vegas!)
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
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Offline anniebc

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2006, 01:36:10 AM »
Hi Gary

I know you will have a great time...I just wish I was going with you.. :(

(Jealous) hugs from NZ

Jan :-*
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Offline david25luvit

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2006, 02:05:36 AM »
My vote........San Francisco.
I've only been there once but I loved it............
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I miss him terribly..........

Offline cmhjeff

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2006, 09:18:10 AM »
We have been to Vegas many times and we normally stay on the strip. We've stayed at and enjoyed San Remo's just off the strip but it is now a Hooters Hotel & Casino. There are many options just off the strip. The Downtown area is nice for a visit and to see the night light show but we wouldn't feel safe downtown especially at night. My father was recently out there at a bowling convention and someone in his group was followed after cashing in his winning.  The Stratosphere is at the far end of the strip so good rates can be found there and is not far from the Monorail station at the Sahara The Sahara also has a GREAT Buffet.

Offline MSPspud

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2006, 09:40:40 AM »
Personally I'm not a fan of Vegas; however, it's not about the place so much for me.  I've been to all the places suggested.  At least Vegas has excellent food and is a bargain!

1.  Vegas
2.  Seattle
3.  Vancouver
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 09:43:32 AM by MSPspud »

Offline newt

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2006, 03:59:07 PM »
Houston Gulf Coast area? (or in near reach...)
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Dan J.

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2006, 04:41:17 PM »
I am reposting here at the suggestion of Anne. I called the camp today and spoke to the director of the facility. She is going to be sending me more detailed information via email sometime Thursday Sept 28th.  Here is some info she gave me over the phone:

Cabin rentals in the off season (Sept) are 24.50 12 people to a cabin meals are 8.50 per person and they have a full salad bar.
Maximum capacity is 150 people

There are 2 events already scheduled at the camp in Sept 07 a wedding party  Sept 8-9th & the last weekend Mn. Pride will be having a function there.

There is a Trail of Hope at the camp, an outdoor amphitheatre, places for bonfires etc. Sal, the director said that various other HIV organizations have used their facilities in the past and she will be sending me comments about the camp & facilities by them.

Ms Sal will also be sending me better photos than the ones I included in the orginal thread. I will post those as soon as I recieve them.




Camp Heart land is a camp for children impacted by HIV?AIDS. They have facilities available for adults year round. I don't know about the rest of the forum but if I had a choice I would want to give my $ to an organization that helps other people affected by HIV?AIDS.



http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/vieworgpagelink.asp?orgkey=979&linkkey=6119

Click on the Camp Rental tab at the top right of the page...


Camp Rental | Facility Information

Retreat to Nature for Your Next Gathering
Camp Heartland Center is a year-round modern retreat and meeting facility in a serene, rustic setting.  Located on 80 beautiful wood acres adjacent to three sparkling lakes, Camp Heartland is only 100 miles north of the Twin Cities and 50 miles south of Duluth.  Our Center is uniquely situated to provide an “up north” experience without venturing far from the city.

Our facility includes a Main Lodge with full service kitchen, 150 seat dining room, three spacious meeting rooms, fireplaces, and an infirmary.  Food and linen services are provided for groups of 25 or more.

The highlight of our Lodge is The Argent Retreat Center.  This luxurious facility includes five elegantly decorated guest rooms with private baths, a spacious common area with fireplace, and cabin sleeping on the lower level for up to 24 people.

You couldn’t find a better place for team-building or simply relaxing together!  Our experienced staff can help plan the right combination of activities during your stay. 

Our facility includes: the Paul Molitor baseball field, basketball courts, sandy beach and volleyball court, access to three lakes for boating, fishing, swimming or ice-skating, hiking trails, ropes challenge courses, climbing wall, and a playground for family fun.   
 
Camp Heartland’s twelve cabins sleep 10-14 people each.  Eight of our cabins are heated for year-round use and modern bathroom and shower facilities are nearby.


Personally, I am not interested in going to Las Vegas. Seems like there would be a lot of distractions and would be expensive for some of us on tight budgets.

Offline greatcyber

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2006, 07:45:30 PM »
I posted this yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared, guess I messed up.

Since Jan has traveled about 60 hours the past 2 years going to AMGs, why don't we all go down to visit her slice of heaven in New Zealand?  Just think of the fun we could have with the alpacas and goats.  Not sure how Jan's hubby would feel about having their little rolling knoll descended upon like locusts by the likes of us, but...

Sounds improbable doesn't it?  But what a fairy tale.

Stephen
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Offline Iggy

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2006, 07:46:53 PM »
.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 09:07:00 PM by Iggy »

Offline anniebc

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2006, 07:59:02 PM »
Dearest stephen

A fairy tale indeed..but what a beautiful one... all I need to do is find an airline that will fly you all here for a couple of hundred bucks a head..and then you can all start packing your sleeping bags... :D

I would be a dream come true to have some of you visit me one day, I know you and Joe would love this part of the world...I'll add that to my wish list.

Love and hugs
Jan :-*
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Offline Quarter Horse

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2006, 09:48:31 PM »
1. Vegas
2. San Fran
3. Vancouver

I think Dans suggestion is great also. I didn't participate in the Montreal gathering, but will be glad to see yall again wherever it is held.

Brian
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Robert Frost

Offline Jerry71

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2006, 10:35:16 PM »
San Fran so I can get out of the east coast for awhile.

Offline David_CA

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2006, 05:57:49 AM »
If we choose Las Vegas, it would behoove us to think very seriously about centering the event in the "Old Downtown" around Fremont street.  The reason is simply cost, cost, cost, and more cost.  Fremont street has been completely renovated and covered with a mall type enclosure, and many of the "Old" casinos have been restored instead of destroyed.  Now, getting to the "Strip" from Fremont street is simple and there are connecting buses 24/7 to the strip and when you get to the strip, there are monorails, buses, taxis, limosines, and just about any form of transportation you could imagine.  

That's exactly what I had just typed... before I read Tim's comments.  Downtown is the way to go.  We always stay downtown when we go to Vegas.  There's LOTS to do away from the city, too.  Lake Meade, Mount Charleston, the Valley of Fire, etc are all fun and beautiful.  Of course, San Francisco, Seattle, or Vancouver would be great, too. 

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
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08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
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05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Razorbill

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2006, 06:34:33 AM »
I'm still not sold on Vegas.  Somewhere quieter and more beautiful where people can connect.  AMG is about being with other poz folks for support - I'm not sure what casinos, glitzy shows, neon etc. have to do with that.  Las Vegas is great for one's private vacation.  SF for me or Vancouver.  Or Whistler!

Offline David_CA

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2006, 03:01:51 PM »
There are a lot of other things to do in Vegas besides casinos... the desert is beautiful, as re the mountains, canyons, and Lake Meade.  The bigger problem I see is the temperature; the average temp for the time we were at AMG '06 was 90, with a daytime max of 103.  Granted, it is very dry, so it's not as bad as the same temp here in the South, but I still wouldn't consider it comfortable.  FWIW, we were in Vegas back in '98 at the end of June.  The last two days we were there were HOT - it was around 109.  If we did want to do Vegas, it would need to be sometime in mid-late October or no later than mid May, in my opinion.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Cliff

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2006, 06:55:49 PM »
I think the place to start is nailing down what exactly AMG is suppose to be about.  Expectations of what the event is suppose to be, is probably driving some of the differences in location suggestions.  Me, I thought it was just an event for folks to gether and have fun (more vacation than retreat).  So for me, Vegas is okay.  But I can see how someone who has a more support goal for AMG will be hesitant to go to Vegas.  It's probably not the place for folks to connect and provide support for each other.  But David is correct, there is more to do in Vegas than gambling and bright lights.

I'm at a resort for a friends wedding and these places are awesome.  The price you pay includes everything, room, meals (5 or 6 restaurants on the property), drinks (numerous bars on the property including a couple in the pool) and tips.  It's on a beach in Mexico (Baja Pennisula), great location for hiking, riding around ATVs, horseback riding, snorkling, windsurfing, riding jet skis and more....I don't remember how much it cost, but given that it includs all food, drinks and hotel accomodations, it's probably not that much more than what I forked out in Montreal.

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2006, 08:09:12 PM »
cliffy...once again, you NAILED it... (i won't define 'it' but use your imagination)

It truly is about expectations of what people want.

I like a casual affair... a few planned events, group things... but I also want to be able to go out and get my boa on.

Perhaps THIS should be a new thread.  I would encourage you or the amg organizers to start one about what our EXPECTATIONS from the next gathering are.   That seems to have been the root of the problem with '06.  Some people want to party and/or vacation with other hiv poz people... some people want a retreat type setting, which is fine, but may exclude those who think of this more as a vacation and good times with people we 'know'... even if only online.

I think somewhere we can reach a happy medium.. perhaps more planned events for the evenings for those who do not wish to partake in any festivities... like bowling, movies, whatever... hell, if it sounds fun to me, I might even go to one of those.

I am certainly not opposed to a day retreat where we are all together, but, since this is my vacation too... i want to go out and have fun as well.

PLEASE post a new thread about this.. I will not do it as I am a bit biased.

oh.. and cliffy, that sounds AWESOME to me... a whole resort typish place with lots to do for everyone... maybe post some links to it... I don't think we've ever considered mexico, but perhaps we should with a fun resort like that.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 08:16:32 PM by DingoBoi »

Offline David_CA

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2006, 08:37:09 AM »
A really rural, casual retreat would likely work better for smaller groups for a shorter period, I think.  It could be more of a regional gathering.  Some people travel a pretty good distance (or very great distance in the case of AMG '06) to attend these gatherings.  If you have a lot of attendees and a really structured gathering, you'll certainly not please everybody.  There need to be alternate activities, even if that consists of walking around in town, eating out, shopping.  It's certainly much harder to please a large group of folks, and the last Gathering was getting to that size where an intimate setting (like a retreat) might not go over as well.  Of course, something like the 'resort' that Cliff mentioned is a different story!  :) 

Where we camp is really rural.  One can go into town for groceries, ice, or supplies, but it's not a fun kind of town.  The camp environment is totally unstructured, which allows everybody to do what they want, when they want.  There are a few planned activities, but very few participate.  People seem to truly thrive and enjoy the freedom that they don't have in normal, day-to-day life. I'd like to see this aspect continue on for the AMG's.

As to expectations, I think that was the problem for a few attendees of AMG '06.  I didn't really have any, except to  meet other poz people from here, see a nice city that I hadn't been to before, and have fun in general ('cause it was our vacation for this year).  Honestly, I think I can ask HIV related questions here.  I can read information on HIV here and on other websites.  What I can't do online is connect face to face, which I think is about the ONLY expectation one should have from an AMG.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline greatcyber

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2006, 05:21:54 PM »
All of these ideas are sounding pretty good, with the exception of a campground.  The LAST thing Joe and I are ever going to do is share a "bunkhouse" with a bunch of other people.  I don't want to be that intimate with anyone other than my husband. 

While I wouldn't mind something like a dude ranch or a resort, keep in mind that resorts that are all-inclusive are also quite a bit more costly, making it a real problem for many wanting to attend.

There needs to be comfy accommodations as well as private facilities for each room for us.  Don't do well with sharing a bath, especially if one of us happens to fall ill while on the trip.

Just some food for thought.

Stephen
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Offline Eldon

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2006, 11:14:12 PM »
America's BEST kept secret place is Vancouver, B.C.

The place is beautiful! and it is on the west coast!

Offline MSPspud

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2006, 02:54:44 AM »
Camp Heartland may not be the place for most people's tastes when it comes to AMG 2007; however, I can definitely see a regional event based in this setting.  I think it would be an incredible experience. 

Does Camp Heartland or any of these places have a pre-season?  Would it be possible to have two events - one in May and one in September?  The only problem with Minnesota is...  unless it's July or August you're playing a crap shoot with the weather.  It can be mighty nipply outside of those two months, seriously.

I don't' know...  I'm just throwing ideas out there. 

Or perhaps, in 2008 we all lobby/protest the Republican Convention in Minneapolis/St Paul, MN for two days and then bus up to Camp Heartland for a two day retreat.  With that we get the best of both worlds, urban and rural (maybe even arrested  ;)).

Offline AMG Coordinator

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2006, 06:37:54 PM »
Please note: We revised the thread introduction and are adding this post to ensure that everyone sees our request for one other vital piece of information that will affect the final location selection. The revision is as follows.

We are interested in three key things with regard to location when you submit your suggestions for where AMG ’07 could be held. First, we want to know where. Second, we want to know why you believe the location you are proposing makes sense. And, third, very important, we want to know what your expectations are in attending AMG ’07 as this aspect, we believe, will direct the final location when we tally all the information.

For example, do you want the event to be only recreational, part recreational/part educational, all educational, etc. Please be as specific as you wish.

Ric and Anne
Co-Coordinators

Offline anniebc

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2006, 10:05:21 PM »
Although I have put forward three locations, the locations are not that important to me..having never been to the States I have no idea what any of them can offer us as a group.

I had no expectations in Toronto or Montreal..I took everyday as it came and enjoyed every minute of it...the only expectations I have for our next AMG is I expect to meet my old friends again, to meet new ones and to spend as much time as I can with them all.

I would like to see a Part recreation/part educational event take place..but with more of a round table discussion with Q&A than structional, and if Tim can do this for us it would be even better.

Sorry I haven't been much help, but it's all I have at the moment.

Hugs
Jan :-*

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Offline livingpositively

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2006, 11:01:03 PM »
I completely agree with Jan in that I would like to see a "structured" even be more along the lines of a discussion.  Also, that the overall experience should be about the "fun" as well.

I do believe it is all about expectations.  I had none going to Montreal.  Actually, I was a little...ummm...scared, if you will, as I didn't know what I would encounter.  I just went as if it would be an adventure (not knowing anyone, etc) and it was all I could have wanted and more.

At this point, I would say that I am not really in favor of Las Vegas.  While yes, it can be a fun place and yes, there is lots of stuff to do off "the Strip" and outside of the casinos, it is noisy and LOTS of people and I don't find that it's easy to be mobile there.  I find the cabs there to be quite expensive - to get from the Strip to the downtown area (Fremont St) is a good $12 - 15 each way.  If cars are involved, there is free parking everywhere, but you then must park in the self parks at the casinos, which are a gazillion miles away from the casino and even farther from anything else you might want to do.  You always get deposited into a casino somehow - afterall, that is how they make their money in that town.  If you do valet service, yes, it is free, but the wait for your car can seem interminable sometimes.  I just find Vegas to be a VERY, VERY difficult place to go with a group.  I have done so a couple of times with friends and it always ends up being a nightmare trying to coordinate people.  Just my thoughts.  If the "vote" ends up putting AMG 07 in Vegas, I'll be there with bells on.   ;)

Shane
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
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Offline Iggy

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2006, 10:20:01 AM »
.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 08:44:31 PM by Iggy »

Offline sailorboi8993

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2006, 08:56:08 PM »
My suggestion would be to go to San Fran, CA. Because I was in the Navy for 4 years spent over a year in the gulf and the rest of the time on the East Coast, and I have always wanted to see California.
Later Brad

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Offline whizzer

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2006, 09:46:01 PM »
The Place:  San Francisco, CA....at a hotel in the Union Square Area -  Great shopping, cable cars, trolley cars, fantastic food.
The Time:  The last weekend of September


Up and over Nob Hill lies the Presidio, Golden gate, and that premier heterosexual tourist gathering spot, Fisherman's Wharf.

Down the hill and south of Market, the Folsom Street Fair, with more perversions and vile pleasures than Team Cornhole (thank you, Matty)  could ever enjoy in a single day.  And it's several blocks away, so the faint of heart will be in no danger of accidentally stumbling into Homo-erotic Heaven.

In other words, the best of BOTH worlds.  A compromise I hope all can enjoy.

The agenda I'll let others decide, so long as you leave Sunday, SEPT 30 open for the boys to attend the fair.

Offline Razorbill

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2006, 04:51:27 PM »
What I gleaned from Iggy's post is a good idea.  How about a discussion of what we're doing at the gathering - then find the proper place to suit our needs.  Also, Shane's observation of Vegas mobility issues is an important point to consider - but Razorbill is not a Vegas fan, hence he points it out.

Offline cayucosguy

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2006, 01:55:52 PM »
I, too, am all for Vegas.  Talk to the right people and we could get a block of rooms on the strip that are as inexpensive or less so than Fremont area.  Whistler is great, but way too out of the way...  I would just like to get together with some of the great folks' on this site!  I haven't been able to afford to attend in the past, but if we can keep it close to home, I'm all for it!  BTW, if SF or LA are final choices, I can see what I can do to facilitate a trip to Hearst Castle (work there P/T) on the cheap.

Offline carousel

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2006, 09:53:32 AM »
.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 12:18:45 PM by carousel »

Offline RAB

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Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2006, 10:36:24 AM »
Dear Ric and Anne:

First, thank you for stepping up and offering to do this.  I know both of you will provide whatever you can to help make AMG 07 another successful event.  So I just want to say THANKS

LOCATION

I'm open to any of the suggestions that have been made already.  If the members vote to come West for next year's gathering, I'll be happy no matter what.

Las Vegas has the advantage of nice accommodations for a great price and is reasonably cheap for many in the U.S. to get to.    LV has a lot of things to do besides gambling.  It's worth the trip just to see the spectacular resorts. 

The concern about the glitz and glamour being a distraction which could impact the intimacy of AMG is a very valid point.  If members elect for LV, we'd have to try really hard to overcome that.  I just don't know if we could.  (unless we found someplace really special)

San Francisco has the advantage of also being reasonably cheap for many in the U.S. to get to.  Their transportation system makes it very easy to move around the city. The city is beautiful and there are lots of things to do.  Their HIV history is obvious which might give us access to some additional activities (like our visit to the AIDS memorial in Toronto and the Visit to Hope Chapel in Montreal) that we wouldn't likely find in LV.

Hotels are not cheap, the city has a broad variety of options, but from my experience we'd likely have a difficult time finding the quality of accommodations we've had in the past for anywhere near the price we paid.  If members vote to go to SF, there would have to be the understanding that we'd likely be faced with that.

Vancouver BC would be an awesome choice as far as I am concerned.  But I don't think it's realistic.  The cost of travelling there is big. For example, Lisa was checking how much it would cost her to come to AMG 07 from NC, I think she found that airfares to either LV or SF would be about $300.00, but the cost to go to Vancouver would be about $600.00.  YIKES!  I don't know if other members have checked out what it would cost, but Vancouver will definitely be expensive to get to.

We've got some great suggestions already and I'm sure we're going to get even more, I'll look forward to the whole array of possibilities. 


Edit to add (this damn brain fog is killing me   >:()

Another possibility that some members have mentioned is the Russian River.  (50 miles North of SF) It's advantage would be to offer more of a "retreat" like setting.  So there's that kind of option to consider also. 

Edit to add:  Having an Ambassador or two is really important.  Gregory Scott/Canuck/SAE were invaluable in the first two AMGs.

EXPECTATIONS

I really don't have any specific expectations, other than reconnecting with old friends and making new friends.  Seeing smiling faces, hearing laughter, watching people who share a virus come together and enjoy themselves.  It's amazing how just being together and doing things with other HIV+ people has given me the chance to experience so much nurturing/fulfillment/ and reassurance.

I would love it if Tim gave another presentation at AMG 07.  I'd like to see the addition of other options that members feel would expand on the potential for making AMG 07 something appealing to all.  (like maybe a forum dealing specifically with women's health issues.  While we share the same virus, gender differences present different struggles)  Perhaps  the cost of these forums/seminars whatever you may want to call them could be underwritten by outside sources.  Renting conference rooms is not cheap.

The one thing on which my attitude has not changed is that I think AMG should be primarily a social event, driven by members desires and input.  These trips are not cheap for me, in fact they are my sole travel experience each year.  I cherish them because they are my vacation.  I really do believe I get all the HIV information I need here and through other sources like my doctor.  I would be less inclined to spend that money to go if AMG wasn't primarily social.  I do believe that the two can be easily melded together, providing a options from which people can pick and chose.


Good luck to both of you, I'm already feeling excitement and a sense that "gee I wish this wasn't so far off", because I know AMG 07 will be a great time.

RAB

(Who is so looking forward to being a cat and not a cat herder!   ;D)

« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 11:11:35 AM by RAB »

Dan J.

  • Guest
Re: AMG '07 - Location Suggestions - REVISED 9-30-2006
« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2006, 03:40:06 PM »
I am going to just throw this suggestion out there but would anyone be interested in going to Salt Lake City Utah? It's a beautiful town, & easy to get around in.  Just a suggestion...

I have no expectations about the next gathering, wherever it is going to be held will be fine with me. I just want everyone to be happy about the location & that it is affordable for everyone. I also want it to be in a place where EVERYONE will be comfortable straight or gay.

As soon as the location is chosen & we decide on a theme for AMG 07 I would like to try and come up with the next t-shirt design so we can start selling them to raise $ for the grants committee to use those funds for helping those that are on limited budgets to get there or use the $ for a group outing while we are all together. I'm no graphic designer & will need help with the design of the shirt. Hopefully we can use Nightsweats & T Cells as the screen printer again. They did a fantastic job on the AMG 06 shirts. Anyone wanting to help with the t-shirt would be greatly appreciated... Maybe we could have a design contest with submissions by various members... Just an idea. That way we can all have a say in what we want on the shirts..

 


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