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Author Topic: AMG..help needed  (Read 8078 times)

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Offline anniebc

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AMG..help needed
« on: January 12, 2007, 09:02:16 PM »
Hi everyone

Is there anyone out there who would be willing to step forward and help Anne out in organizing our next AMG?, if I thought I could do it I would, but I have so much going on with the farm at the moment, and being so far away doesn't make it easy for me either.

Dennis, Michael is there any way you could find out if there would be enough accommodation to cater for all who are thinking of going, how much it would cost, the best place for this kind of meeting, how do we get from the airport to Russian River etc, etc...we really need to get the ball rolling on this one, some of us need to organize holidays and start saving for our trip.

We also need volunteers to help organize the grants committee so we can help some of our members in joining us.

I don't want to see this fall by the way side, it's too important for us to just let this slide.. if you have any suggestions at all it would help.

One thought I had was if it's to hard or to much to organize accommodation in Russian River then we could make it San Francisco and do Russian River as a day trip, like we did in Quebec..this is just a thought I'm not trying to say this is how is should be done, but if getting enough hotel rooms in the city is easier then maybe we should think about that.

Please, please (I'm on my knees here. ;)) if someone, anyone can help in any way or has any suggestions please come forward, don't just let this trip fade away...this means a lot to so many people.

Sending hugs
Jan :-*



-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Robert

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2007, 09:15:39 PM »
Jan.....

Sorry I've beeen remiss here.  I should have said something as soon as I read Ric's message.  NO problem.  I have already sent to Anne copies of PM's that we COWS have sent among each other.  We narrowed it down to a list of 3 or 4 places.  I will start callihng this weekend for rates, dates, and availablitly.  I will have answers by Monday.

Now, when it comes to the Grants COmmittee well why not start a new TOPIC and give a list of nominations for the positions?  We can keep it open for 7 to 10 days then vote.  I will go ahead and start that with some possible nominations.


Not to worry our dear Newzealander.  Scooter is around somewhere keeping his eye on us to make sure we do our job and do it right.  I will not let him down.

robert
..........

Offline anniebc

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2007, 10:43:34 PM »
Dearest Robert

You and the rest of the C.O.W.S are absolute sweethearts...thank you all so much.

Hugs to you all
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2007, 11:28:30 PM »
I'd be more than happy to help in way possible. 

Do we have any idea on the aproximate number of rooms needed?

If I recall from previous posts, the two destination airports are OAK and SFO, correct?  I'll look into transfers also.

On the topic of air:  I realize we're all flying from different gateway cities.  If everyone would be so kind as to note where you are flying from I'll try to work something out with an airline or two. 

I'll give an update by sometime early Sunday evening.

Dennis

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 11:55:30 PM »
There was a story on the news this week... JetBlue will be servicing SFO beginning in May 07.  I have not traveled in about a hundred years, but from the article, this appears to be a cost savings. 

I live within 5-10 miles of all the resorts mentioned earlier in posts,  I could easily go to each of the resorts and see the management in person but, with Dennis in the travel business, he already knows how to wire deals and I am happy he is willing to do this.

What are the dates of arrival and departure of AMG 07?  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 08:44:54 AM »
Has a specific weekend in September been chosen or is everyone open.  After doing a quick search I found the following which is probably going to limit our choices.

Cajun/Zydeco Festival - Sept 9 & 10
Celtic Music Festival - Sept 21 - 24
Food and Wine Festival - Sept 24

There's also an art and music festival and antique fair which dates have not been announced yet.  Or at least that I could find.  But I wold imagine those events would be held on the alternating weekends than those above.

Can someone from the area give me an idea on how these events may impact the hotel occupancy in the area?

Dennis

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 10:37:27 AM »
Hi Dennis,

I do not think either of the two music festivals fill the resorts but they might.  The Food and Wine Festival is a big event and has been marketed heavily.  I believe the Sept 21-24 may be difficult but not impossible.  Somewhere in September there is also an "unofficial" women's weekend closing the season.  It is not on the web sites.  I am so glad you are doing this.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007, 12:09:31 PM »
I've called three of the resorts that came recommended.  So far, availability doesn't appear to be a problem at two of them, except for the weekend of the jazz festival.

What I'm learning about these properties is that they do appear to cater to couples.  I say that because the majority of the rooms only contain a queen or king bed.  No sure how this come into play for those looking to share a room with someone.  There are two bedroom units but of course the nightly rate is going to be higher.  Some do supply rollaway beds but not enough to accommodate a large group.

I spoke to the property manager at each location and each appears eager to work with us.  The rates below are just preliminary to give us an idea of what we have to work with.  Once a location and dates are decided upon I was advised to submit a proposal.

I think the Sonoma Inn and Spa would be great.  Especially if this years gathering is as large as the past two years.  We would be able to take over the entire resort.

Economically speaking, I think Ferngrove would offer the better rate of the two. 

Sonoma Inn and Spa
     Suites - $225 - $295
     Courtyard Units - $175 - $195
     Vinyard Units - $155 - $165
     Creekside Units - reasonably priced

Ferngrove
     Studios and 2 bedroom cottages ranging in price from $109 - $239

Dawn Ranch
     Waiting on a return call from the Events Coord.  Appears to be very moderately priced.

Inn at the Willow
     No enough rooms to accommodate the group.  Would have to split up among different locations.  I didn't enquire about room rates. 

Again, the rates above are based on their current rack rate for individuals, but give us some idea.

I've also spokent to American Airlines and Jetblue about sometype of group rate.  I should have some detailed information by Tuesday.
For those on the west coast, it looks like Horizon Air flies into Santa Rosa airport which is about 20 minutes from the Russian River area.  I'll
contact their group department on Monday.


« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 12:29:48 PM by Dennis »

Offline Lisa

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2007, 12:36:29 PM »
Hi Dennis,
I don't see the bed issue being a problem. Hell, I slept with countless folk at the Montreal gathering. ;)  ;D Ask Jerry, Dan, Herman, Danny,....jeez this sounds bad. :-[
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007, 12:49:41 PM »
Hi Dennis,
I don't see the bed issue being a problem. Hell, I slept with countless folk at the Montreal gathering. ;)  ;D Ask Jerry, Dan, Herman, Danny,....jeez this sounds bad. :-[


LOL !!  Phooey...you caught that before I had my chance to pipe in!  I was about to ride you hard for that comment!  (Jeez...that also sounds bad.   ;) )


Tim
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Online Dachshund

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2007, 01:36:02 PM »
Believe it or not I think Eldon would be a great candidate. His love of the group dynamic and organizational skills...this would be right up his alley.

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2007, 03:52:36 PM »
I spoke to the Events coordinator at Dawn Ranch and she is very eager to host our group.  However, their contract is very strict.  Typically, they require 50% of the total contract up front to hold the space.  I was able to talk her into holding space for up to two weeks.  What that means, is anyone planning on attending would need to book their room within those two weeks.  After that, unused allotment would go back into inventory.  Anyone booking after that two week window would be subject to current rate and availability. 

I'm afraid this is going to be typical since these are smaller resorts and their loss risk is greater than the larger resorts you all have stayed in the past.

Poolside
     Weekday  $79
     Weekend  $111
Non-poolside
     Weekday  $71
     Weekend  $87
1 room cottage
     Weekday   $79
     Weekend   $111
2 room chalet
     Weekday    $119
     Weekend    $159
2 room cabin
     Weekday    $119
     Weekend   $159
2 bedroom cottage with separate living room (Vera's Cottage)
     Weekday    $159
     Weekend    $260
Creekside Cabins
    Weekday     $143
     Weekend    $231

The tax would be an additional 11%   

Continental breakfast  $10
Full Breakfast  $15
Lunch $15
Dinner $22 - $35

« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 04:04:37 PM by Dennis »

Offline gerry

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2007, 09:15:15 PM »
Wow, Dennis, that is pretty impressive work for such short notice!

Not sure if two weeks would give people enough time to act and avail of the discounted rates.  The Grants Committee last year for instance booked 4 rooms (shared), but that was after having an idea how much the pledges would be.

Do you have any info on what type of cancellation policy they have?

On a side note, perhaps it's not a bad idea to contemplate on a "plan b" such as the one Jan suggested if Russian River is not feasible for a large group or if the planning would entail such strict time limits.

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2007, 11:49:06 PM »
The cancellation at Dawn Ranch was 30 days prior to arrival with a $25 non refundable fee per room canclelled. 

I think a plan B would be a good idea.  It is doable, but we would have to be completely organized as a group.  If everyone still wants to pursue Russian River, perhaps moving the event to a month that's in low season.  There's a lot going in the month of September and I was also advised by a couple of the resorts that they do a huge wedding business that time of year as well. 

Here are results of the vote.  2nd place was SFO.  I can't help but think that this destination wouldn't be cost effective, though.  I'd be more than happy to look into it though.

Location
Russian River Area - 78
San Francisco - 65
Vancouver - 53
Las Vegas - 14
Cruise - 5


Wow, Dennis, that is pretty impressive work for such short notice!

Not sure if two weeks would give people enough time to act and avail of the discounted rates.  The Grants Committee last year for instance booked 4 rooms (shared), but that was after having an idea how much the pledges would be.

Do you have any info on what type of cancellation policy they have?

On a side note, perhaps it's not a bad idea to contemplate on a "plan b" such as the one Jan suggested if Russian River is not feasible for a large group or if the planning would entail such strict time limits.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 11:54:00 PM by Dennis »

Offline gerry

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2007, 12:52:23 AM »
The cancellation at Dawn Ranch was 30 days prior to arrival with a $25 non refundable fee per room cancelled. 

And if the cancellation occurs within 30 days, how much is the person who made the reservation at risk?

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2007, 09:44:46 AM »
Full penalty.  There is a $25 cancellaton fee per room regardless of when the reservation is canceled.  I didn't try to negotiate any changes in the cancellation policy.  If this is something everybody decides to do than I'll try to get it relaxed some.  For individual reservations, the cancellation policy for most the of the resorts I've called is full penalty if cancelled within 14 days and a $20 - $25 cancellation fee regardless of when cancelled.

Another option may be to stay in Santa Rosa.  There are a few hotel chains there who's group contracts may not be as strict and still allow easy access to the Russian River.  Perhaps sonomabeach can chime in about this area.  The hotel I found Hotel La Rose http://www.hotellarose.com/ , Hyatt Vineyard Creek http://vineyardcreek.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?icamp=vineyardcreekredirect , and a Best Western Garden Inn http://www.thegardeninn.com/index.html.  There's also a Days Inn, Ramada Inn, and Extended Stay America along with some smaller non-chain hotels.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 09:59:57 AM by Dennis »

Offline gerry

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2007, 01:14:31 PM »
Thanks Dennis.  The 14-day full penalty is better than the 30-day.  Is there a clause that provides exception, such as if it's due to an illness?

Irrespective of what other deals you could swing to make this less strict, it's still looking like this would be more complicated than the past gatherings.  The time frame would be very difficult to work with.  It would also put some additional challenges to the Grants Committee (e.g., rooms with 2 beds are more expensive, booking rooms would be more risky with the time frame and cancellation policy in effect, etc.).  It's doable but quite challenging.

Anne (Emeraldize), what do you think?  It would also probably help to move this along if this thread can get more input from those expecting to attend, including considering Dennis' other suggestions.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 01:25:12 PM by gerry »

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2007, 01:39:18 PM »
I'm also looking into hotels in San Francisco.  I found quite a few with some attractive nightly rates.  I have half the day off tomorrow, so I'll try to contact as many of them as I can before going to work.  Grosvenor Suites appears to very nice, located on top of Nob Hill and have their own kitchenettes.  I checked rate for the weekend of September 20th for 5 nights.  They're averaging between $140 - $180 per night.  We could probably get a great group deal at any of them.

Ramada Plaza Downtown
http://ramadaplazasf.com/main/rpsf-home.htm

Grosvenor Suites
http://www.grosvenorsuites.com/index.htm

Powell Hotel
http://www.thepowellhotel.com/

Radisson Hotel @ Fisherman's Wharf
http://www.radisson.com/sanfranciscoca_wharf

Orchard Garden Hotel
http://www.sanfrancisco.com/orchard-garden-hotel/

Marriott Downtown
http://marriott.com/property/propertypage/SFODT

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2007, 01:42:07 PM »
No clause for death or illness.  This is usually what travel insurance is for.  However, some hoteliers are sympathetic.  It all depends on the person's mood that you speak to and if the cancelled room went unoccupied causing them to lose revenue. 

Thanks Dennis.  The 14-day full penalty is better than the 30-day.  Is there a clause that provides exception, such as if it's due to an illness?

Irrespective of what other deals you could swing to make this less strict, it's still looking like this would be more complicated than the past gatherings.  The time frame would be very difficult to work with.  It would also put some additional challenges to the Grants Committee (e.g., rooms with 2 beds are more expensive, booking rooms would be more risky with the time frame and cancellation policy in effect, etc.).  It's doable but quite challenging.

Anne (Emeraldize), what do you think?  It would also probably help to move this along if this thread can get more input from those expecting to attend, including considering Dennis' other suggestions.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2007, 06:11:04 PM »
The resorts on the Russian River have been living with HIV for as long as any of us with loss of friends, family and employees.  Dawn Ranch was known as Fifes until the flood of last year and was considered to be THE gay resort on the river.  Fife's (Dawn Ranch) was in escrow at the time of the flood (the buyer backed out) and since the remodel of last spring, Dawn Ranch has welcomed gay, straight and families.  I believe they would be more likely to honor a cancelation due to illness.  Have the best day
Michael
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 06:12:52 PM by Sonomabeach »

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2007, 06:52:03 PM »
Hi Michael.  You may be absolutely right.  I doubt we would be able to get a clause of this type in the contract though.  I did advise Heidi, the events coordinator, the type of group we were.  Therefore, I was able to get the 50% deposit at contract signing reduced to everyone calling in and booking their own reservations within a 2 week period at the group rate.  She advised she was a bit hesitant doing this at this time of year but stated she respected the type of group we were and what we were trying to do.  If the gathering remains as large as it was the last two years we would be taking up almost the entire resort.  They have a lot to lose if the gathering falls through, especially during high season.  I'll definitely try though should this be the route we decide to go.

The Russian river hotels seem to have the strictest cancellation policy of any hotels I've ever dealt with.  I've never seen what one could only relate to as a restocking fee.  Typically, on an individual reservation a cancellation fee can be disputed and easily won with your credit card company.  However, with a signed contract it becomes a bit more difficult to dispute.  Travel insurance can be had for as little as $15 and is well worth the expense.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2007, 07:13:36 PM »
Hey Dennis,

I am so happy you have taken on this task.  I have a house on the river and it is an easy drive to San Francisco so, I personally would not be renting a room at either location.  Right now, I am only 1 of over 4,000 members and the information you are providing is valuable to everyone.  It pays to work with a professional.  Thank you again, Have the best day
Michael

Offline Eldon

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2007, 08:25:29 PM »
Hi Jan,

Please PM me with the details and I will see where I can help out with the organization of this wonderful effort for all of us.

Offline RAB

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2007, 11:45:38 PM »
Hello Everyone   ;D

My personal thoughts on this are as follows:


1.  We need to begin narrowing the focus of our discussion to two or three specific dates/locations.

2.  We voted for Russian River as our first choice and San Francisco as our second.

3.  Both locations have difficulties that could present a problem

     a.  Russian River has the challenge of actually getting there and the challenge of finding a facility which will be able to accomodate all of us (based upon anticipated attendance--which who knows)

     b.  San Francisco has the challenge of the fact that hotels are VERY (sorry Dennis but that's just a fact) expensive and the room tax  adds considerably to the cost.

4.  All of that having been said, I would like to point out that if we know what the challenges and difficulties are going in, we can at least plan for them accordingly to the best of our ability.  I guarantee you of one thing, if any of you think we are going to find a location served by a major international airport, with convenient transportation, cheap rooms, hot men, strip bars, good food, easy cancellation policies, not too much neon, a touch of nature, the amenities of a big city, the casual laid back atmosphere of a more rural setting. . . . . .(need I go on?) well it just isn't going to happen.

What I would hope is that someone, anyone at this point, put together (and do it quickly) two or three specific proposals for the members to consider.

I would suggest the following:

Russian River--Sept. 12 - 18th (or that weekend anyway) at Dawn's Ranch Lodge.  Ask for an 8 week window to book reservations at our preferred rate.  Accept their cancellation policy of $25.00 30 days prior, and make members take responsibility for this.

San Francisco--Same dates (though let me tell you that changing the location from what the majority voted for is not something I support in any way what-so-ever--without a good justification) offer two hotel choices, specified cost (include the tax please) and the cancellation policy.

In neither case are we in a situation where a "contract" should even be considered.  We are an informal group where each member who elects to attend will have to take financial responsibility for their accomodation reservation.  If that means the Grants Committee is restricted in what they can do, then so be it, if they know these restrictions going in, they can work around them.

Those are just my thoughts.

RAB


Edit to add:  I forgot about the issue of conference rooms.  I don't know if we'll be needing them but suspect we might.  So that's something to consider also.

Dennis, for two years now you've done a fantastic job for us, once this band a yaahoos decide what it is they want, I hope you'll be willing to help us again.  We couldn't possibly do it without you.

RAB

(Who got out of bed to write this and forgot to put on his pajama bottoms!  But doesn't matter cause he took 1/2 a Perco. . .Preco. . .(Whatever---those lovely little white pill things.)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 12:35:01 AM by RAB »

Offline emeraldize

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2007, 12:39:53 AM »
Rocky and Dennis,

Thank you, both of you, for your contributions and suggestions. At this point, I would like to schedule, with those who are interested in moving this along as a team, a conference call. I will secure a conference call service, if we could agree to a time convenient for everyone. Hopefully, that call would include Rocky, Dennis, Robert, Gerry, David_NC and I've invited someone else to assist and hope to hear from her soon. This list can grow and I apologize if I've omitted anyone.

Rocky's made good points. There isn't one place that will meet everyone's expectations. Given the location in the western portion of the US and the recent allowance for admittance of HIV positive international visitors for short-term stays, we should be able to pull together an international event that is relaxing, educational and as many of us experienced in Montreal--friendly and supportive.

Will anyone who is interested in being part of a conference call, please send a PM to me stating your times available on Saturday January 27th. I'd like to see if we could strike a common denominator between times zones--say 10 a.m. Pacific/1p.m. EST? Or later that day would work, too. This will give us enough time to coordinate the call, the agenda, get answers to questions that remain unanswered at present, etc.  We can also determine what tasks could use one or two people dedicated to them and thereby share the energy required to put this event together.

I'll look forward to your replies.
Anne
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 12:41:29 AM by emeraldize »

Offline BubbaPat

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2007, 01:13:27 AM »
Hey kids,
Since I just moved FROM the Bay Area I'd thought I'd let you know something....
Fife's has been trying to go with more "family" values.   The San Fransico Gay Softball Leage has a tournament up in Russian River every every after their regular season and Fife's has been trying to NOT have the gays come in as much.

If you really want a good deal and people don't mind sharing, there are a number of houses that can be rented close together and are very commonly CHEAPER than renting hotels.  Plus, you have access to hot tubs and full kitchens.

Since I'm not sure of the number of folks going, I'd thought I'd throw that out there.  I'll see if my old team mates have any info you'd like.

Russian River is VERY beautiful anytime of the year.  Traffice getting up there can be a super pain in the rumpus anywhere near the normal traffic times.  Be careful.

Bubba hugs!!
Bubba Pat
Bubba hugs!
Patrick

Offline Robert

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2007, 11:55:47 AM »
Rocky.

Thank you for putting down in words what I had in mind.  I was starting to feel confused and lost and I didn't like it. 

I second your nomination of the Russian River, including dates and location. 

Quote
Russian River--Sept. 12 - 18th (or that weekend anyway) at Dawn's Ranch Lodge.  Ask for an 8 week window to book reservations at our preferred rate.  Accept their cancellation policy of $25.00 30 days prior, and make members take responsibility for this.
.

And Dennis, thanks again for doing my job.  You done good.

robert
..........

Offline Cliff

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2007, 05:39:34 PM »

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2007, 08:28:49 PM »
I just got off a conference call with the events manager and the general manager of Dawn Ranch.  I must say that they are 2 of the most pleasant people that I have ever spoken to.  They are eager to host our group.  Although they can't give us everything thing we've requested, like an 8 day booking window, they are willing to meet us half way.  Once I receive an email confirming all that we've discussed I'll present it to everyone.

Dennis

Offline Cliff

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2007, 10:02:40 PM »
Before it's selected is someone available to look at the property?  Don't we have some members located in the area?  Can they take some candid photos of the rooms and property to post in the forums?

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2007, 12:46:28 AM »
Hey Cliff,

You have had pictures available all along on the web sites.  I already provided the links of the resorts and vacation rental info at the beginning.

Hey Rocky,

You speak of "bad reports" on the property.  What bad reports have you heard?  I live here year round and have had many vacations here over the past 20 years.  I have heard no such "bad reports", please clue me in on this...

There was a flood last year, the water came up to the main parking area so, many of the cabins were under water and have all been restored and inspected.  The Redwoods and the river have been in their current location for thousands of years.  I drove by yesterday and they were all still there.

I was asked for information by a couple of other members who said there was discussion at Montreal over getting a mountain location w/cabins for AMG 07.  I provided such information and voted on location as everyone had the option to do.

Dennis is a travel agent and is doing all of this volunteer work w/ Dawn Ranch and other locations to make this AMG a special event for everyone.  I have offered assistance to Dennis, if he needs someone to go to the property in person.  If he needs my help, he will PM me.  He has been reporting in this thread.

To the best of my knowledge, I am the only forum member who lives on the Russian River and is participating in the planning of AMG 07.  There may be another forum member here, I do not recall ever meeting him.  I live on a disability iincome and such things as film and photo processing and not in the budget.  My hhoto dollars will be spent while you are all here in September.

Fife's Resort was gay and that is in the past.  Dawn Ranch Resort is owned by the same people, who have refurbished and welcome families with their children.  The Russain River is no longer THE gay vacation spot it was over the past 20 years, Palm Springs is now THE gay vacation spot in California.  The Russian River business community is hoping to attract a new upscale community in terms of tourist dollars.   This is not only 1 resort but the entire community.  For what members have said they were hoping for, Dawn Ranch is the best possible location.

So, the location of AMG 07 has been decided, Dennis is doing a great job in getting the resort and Anne has requested a conference call.  You all have a lot of work to do and I wish you the best.  I believe I have done my fair share.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Dennis

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2007, 01:07:32 AM »
Hi Cliff,

I read the trip reports you linked to.  I typically take these with a grain of salt.  We all know peopel are more likely to complain  when something goes wrong than they are to commend when something is good.  I also try to take into account the actuall content of the complaint.  I saw quite a few who appeared to be gay and went in there expecting the gay resort they once knew.  After speaking with Heidi and the Owner (who I originally thought was the GM) I can honestly say they are looking forward to hosting our group and making us feel welcomed.  A couple of things discussed tonight in my conference call were the option of a possible wine tasting to a camp fire one night.  I'm typically a big city person but the idea of a weekend retreat isn't sounding so bad.  I'll report more tomorrow on rates, booking options, and cancellation procedures once I get a confirmation email on what we discussed this evening.


www.dawnranch.com


That Dawn Ranch place is getting some pretty bad reviews....

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32465-d139173-Reviews-Dawn_Ranch_Lodge-Guerneville_California.html


ewww

Offline emeraldize

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2007, 01:10:31 AM »
Hi Cliff and Others,
Following the link you provided to Dawn Ranch, this visitor posted a very recent assessment.

Traveler rating:
Guerneville: Dawn Ranch Lodge: "Beautiful place to get away from it all..."
  Jan 10, 2007  tanyawhi, berkeley 




My experience with this property took place in:
October, 2006
Would I recommend this hotel to my best friend?  absolutely!
My ratings for this hotel are:

Value
Rooms
Location
Cleanliness
Check in / front desk
Service
Business service
I recommend this hotel for:  A romantic getaway, Girlfriend getaway, People with disabilities, Older travelers, Pet owners, Families with young children, Tourists

I do not recommend this hotel for:  Young singles, Families with teenagers

I selected this hotel because ...  Outdoor / Adventure, Great food / Wine, Other

My age: 25-34
Traveling group: Spouse / significant other
My visit was for: Romantic getaway
I just recommended Dawn Ranch to friends of mine and they pointed me to this website saying they'd read awful things about it. I must say I'm really stunned to read some of the terrible reviews below. Are we talking about the same place?? We stayed at Dawn Ranch Lodge in October of 2006 and it's absolutely beautiful. We stayed for two nights in a quaint little cabin that was spotlessly clean. Small - yes, simple and rustic - certainly, but very clean and charming. Having also stayed at the Camp Curry cabins in Yosemite, I can tell you that these cabins are very similar in style and amenities (wooden cabins with clean, comfortable bed, small clean bathroom, electric heat, no phone, no television) but are much brighter and cheerier. (Yes, I'm harping on the "clean" aspect, I'm very touchy about that sort of thing...) The grounds are very pretty, and we got to bring our dog (a rare treat, it's hard to find a place that'll take your pooch). She was in doggy heaven running through the orchards. Didn't try the pool, but it looks nice. The staff were pleasant and helpful. We ate at the restaurant on one of the nights and the food and service was very good. (We also ate at Applewood Restaurant not far from the Lodge, which was also excellent, so check that out too if you're in the area.) Wouldn't bother too much with the town of Guerneville, not much going on there, but it's not far from Bodega Bay and other nice places. We actually didn't bother leaving the resort except to go to dinner, it was a perfect getaway in itself.



This TripAdvisor Member:
Liked: The 15 beautiful acres surrounding it and the fact that I could bring my dog
Disliked: My mobile didn't work, but that was probably a blessing...

Offline Lisa

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2007, 07:17:21 AM »
Thank you for the link Dennis, it all looks, and sounds quite nice. I have a couple of questions, probably best answered ny Michael.
What if one gets hungry after 9:00PM, and what if one desires  a drinkie after 8:30PM? Is Guerneville within a reasonable walking distance? If so, are there establishments that remain open past 9 or 10(or later)?

The rates are the most affordable we have encountered in the past two events. I personally would welcome the opportunity to get to a peaceful setting with water nearby! If I need to rent a car, then so be it. Besides it will give three, or four more people a ride.
I'm just praying that my circumstances will have changed substantially by then, but I'm going to proceed as if that will be the case.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline RAB

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2007, 10:08:01 AM »

Posted by Michael:
Quote
Hey Rocky,

You speak of "bad reports" on the property.  What bad reports have you heard?  I live here year round and have had many vacations here over the past 20 years.  I have heard no such "bad reports", please clue me in on this...

I don't think I said any such thing.  If I did I certainly didn't mean to and will blame it on the Percocet   ;).  I also hope I haven't appeared critical of the efforts Dennis is giving to us.  As someone who worked with him before I can fully appreciate his involvement.

I just want to clarify that.

Whether we end up at the river or in the city will be fine with me. 


RAB

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2007, 05:57:47 PM »
Hey Lisa,

Guerneville is a small town with a year round population of approximately 1200 people.  We have 2 stoplights and the same parade twice each year.  The bars are open until 2:00 AM, one of them is on the Dawn Ranch property as well as fine dining with seating in the dining room or by the pool.  All services are within walking distance.

There is a taxi service (Bill's Taxi) and there are no fast food franchises.  I believe there is an ordinance which prohibits McDonalds, Burger King and other well known franchisees from opening up on the river.  There is a Safeway Supermarket which has just been remodeled, is open 24/7 and across the creek from Dawn Ranch.  Wells Fargo Bank moved their location out of Guerneville (inside Safeway) and a Starbucks has been put in it's place.

There is a Mexican restaurant across the street from Dawn Ranch, the prices are resonable and the food is quite good.  However, there is a lunch wagon belonging to the same family, with the same food and lower prices at the flea Market in the Safeway parking lot.

Other than Safeway, Union 76 (locally owned), True Value Hardware (locally owned) and NAPA (locally owned), everything else is Mom and Pop.

As for the "unfavorable" report found and posted by Anne regarding not recommending Dawn Ranch for families with teenagers.  That report was dated during the Fife's days, it was a gay resort and the bushes behind the resort were active at night.  Dawn Ranch (same owners) hired a security company to end the activities.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Cliff

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2007, 06:11:18 PM »
Michael, I think you are misreading messages.  Rocky never said anything negative about the Dawn Ranch and Anne has posted a favourable report, not an unfavourable one.  That report is dated October 2006.  You're saying that the resort was gay oriented only a couple of months ago?

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2007, 06:17:26 PM »
Hey Cliff,

I could be misreading messages, there are so many.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Robert

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2007, 08:18:01 PM »
I have never stayed at Dawns (or "Fifes" as I've always knows it) but I have been there.  It's been a couple of years.  Michael and I were staying at another camp but had dinner at Dawns.  It very nice.  I liked it.  As for being "gay" well I've always thought the whole town was gay.  True, maybe it's not the vacation destination it used to be, but  I just can't imagine it not being a popular getaway  for those dying to leave SF for the weekend. 

And I think it's a great choice because of its "family values"  Believe me, the AidsMeds Family will fit right in.

A great place for our rendezvous

PS....Michael, it was BubbaPat who mentioned something "family values" at Dawns.  And, like Cliff said, Anne's report was certainly a favorable one. 
..........

Offline Eldon

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2007, 10:19:13 PM »
Has anyone made a checklist of all of the needs for the event to be complete?

Offline emeraldize

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2007, 10:58:49 PM »
Hi Eldon,
There are several of us already working on AMG. Once we have tasks to delegate, we can let you know. Is there something you particularly like to do? If so, let me know via PM and I will note that in the folder of Volunteers.
Thank you.
Em

Offline Eldon

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Re: AMG..help needed
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2007, 08:41:02 PM »
I will PM you EM once all of the tasks have been specified.

 


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