Rosen Shingle Creek - Orlando - Location of Conclave 2009
Commentary by Euripedes
Having read the critiques of the location selected by the Conclave Committee for the 2009 event, most of which were very critical of the not yet year old location, I decided to make a personal visit to the site to get my own personal impression of the location. Hopefully they have worked out the problems with double billing people and letting strangers into your rooms.
As we drove up the drive to the impressive facility my mind kept going ka-ching $ each tenth of
a mile up the well manicured entrance. Lets just say it registered $$$$$. The setting is in the middle of a golf course which is part of the property. Nothing nearby except the highway you arrived on. Good choice for those few who play in the golf tournament.
Next sighting was 12-15 long black SUV limousines. Looked for flags on any of the front bumpers to see if George was inside, but alas no flags.
Walked in to a beautiful facility, tastefully decorated, with several staff moving about the lobby. Conclusion - nice place. Huge conference wing. Should be able to find enough space for our doings.
Checked out a couple of in-house restaurant menus - again it registered $$$$$ on the bling scale. Certainly not priced like a McDonalds. Cheeseburger plate 15 times the McDonald's cost for double.
OK - facility scores well on the initial impression scale. As we drove away all of the people in my car were asked to note other restaurants, fast food joints or places undergrads could grab a bite to eat. Score ZERO. There is a new Publix (grocery store for the unitiated to Florida) being built across from the property - remember 1/2 mile from the entrance. There was no fast food place to be seen in the near vicinity.
Conclusion: If you are flying in you will have to bring your own suitcase deli to eat cheaply. Remember airline regulations for whole bottles of pickles, catsup and mustard cannot exceed 6 oz. if you are carrying it on board.
If you are driving you may have hope for finding a place down the road; otherwise, the planners need to make some inexpensive meal arrangements for all of us who do not want $$$$$ hamburgers, $$$$$ breakfasts, and $$$$$ meals not included in the Conclave package. Nothing like Hotlanta with hundreds of eateries within footsteps of the hotel door at any price you wanted to pay.
You will be stuck on the property without wheels and captive to the $$$$$ costs, so get a BIG piggy bank and start saving your money now. You will need $$$$$$ and more!