May 19th, 2008

Niko - Angry - Murtalize ya!

Califur Hotel Rant

Before I make a proper con report I figured this subject deserved its own entry.

I really really hated the hotel Califur was held at and I hope we change, or go back to the Holiday Inn. I'd rather deal with the space conflicts there than come here.

When we arrived, we were really confused as to how to get where we needed to go and ended up walking through a boxing match/black tie party...that was pretty embarrassing. Cool, but embarrassing. There was no signage as to where Califur was supposed to be held save for the screen in the lobby.

The lighting in the dealer's den was absolutely HORRID. Glen tried to turn it up to the highest he could but it was still mood lighting, not optimal for drawing. In fact by the end of the con my vision was so blurry I'm still trying to recover. There was nothing the con staff could do I don't think, so its not like it's a matter of "oh NOW you tell me" it's just the setup of the hotel. The lighting conditions also made it very difficult to determine what colors I was using and I ended up accidentally coloring things that should not be GREEN a very bright forest green, because the light made it look brown. For the record, I'm not colorblind at all. It was not just me this happened to either, I noticed the things I saw in the dealer's room vs. out in regular light looked /way/ different. For a convention with art being one of the main draws (no pun intended) in attendance, it sure made it difficult on us artists to see what the hell we were doing.

The hotel staff, while not directly rude, was less than helpful. I know at one point there was a non-furry guy peeing on the front lawn of the hotel and harassing the furry group and Con Ops tried to get rid of him by asking for help from the hotel, but they did nothing. In fact the hotel staff didn't really do much aside from assist in the shutting down of room parties at midnight. Lame.

Then there's the black curtain. A very elaborate wedding was booked at the same time as the convention, and I understand wanting to put up black curtains to make the wedding look nice and not give the wedding guests views of furry creatures while they're trying to have a black tie affair, but the black curtain, come to find out, was put in place to separate the other guests from us. Okay, furry cons are weird as all get out, i get that, but to cover up your paying guests with black sheets and tell them not to go past the black sheets? What the heck is that about? That, was really shitty. Kind of makes me wonder if they cover up their other less-popular conventions.

Then there's the $13 a night parking which I didn't find out about until later. And the $10 internet that /doesn't work/. I seriously have to keep logging into their internet if I want to navigate to another page because it keeps cutting out. So, pay out the ass for the hotel, /then/ they're going to charge you a ridiculous amount for parking, and charge you for crappy internet.

Oh, and no soda machines. You /have/ to use that minibar and drink your $3 Pepsi or $8 water and LIKE IT.

I also didn't care for the fact that there was nowhere to hang out. That little room with the tables..okay, but it just wasn't set up very well due to the hotel's design, that and the fact that we weren't welcome in the lobby.

And yes, I found it incredibly hypocritical that we weren't allowed past the black curtain but the other hotel guests could come and go as they pleased and harass the suiters (I heard an account of some drunkard trying to steal someone's fursuit head? What the hell, man?)

I was also really annoyed that there were people filming us against our will. Signs, which I thought were for the ATM saying "you are being photographed", I guess alerted us to some TV cameras filming the event, but I don't remember signing up for wanting some to film me while I'm eating my goddamn fish burrito >:(

I really /really/ hope the con isn't held at this Hotel again. There's no food places within walking distance except for the Soupplantation (Which, if there's a need for a sneezeguard over the food, I will not eat there, people are nasty.) the hotel is a total Labyrinth (I somehow ended up in the servers area accidentally trying to avoid the boxing match and get to my room), and the "throwing a black sheet over the furries" thing, while understandible for the wedding, just seemed really lame, especially because we paid for the venue just like everyone else.

So yeah, /not/ thrilled >:(
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