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Califur Hotel Rant - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
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 >:(

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

37 comments or Leave a comment
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tarnac From: tarnac Date: May 19th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
"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."

I was outside when that happened. He wasn't a "non-furry" guy. I'm pretty sure he was there with the con at some point. He was not registered with the convention, though. He didn't harass us, he just stumbled around until his cab showed up.
vantid From: vantid Date: May 20th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
He did harass me, but that's what some drunk dudes do, part of cons or not.
kuniopt From: kuniopt Date: May 19th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my that must have sucked

no wonder when I asked some folk "oooh so how was it" they didn't talk much about it
kuniopt From: kuniopt Date: May 19th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn Astolpho was lucky in not going there
raptonx From: raptonx Date: May 19th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree wholeheartedly, this place did suck. Though I was not surprised, Irvine is full of elitist assholes anyway, and if your not dressed in a suit and tie they seem to look down on that, but won't really say anything directly.

They reptile segment was halted before it could even start because the hotel manager said there were not animals for sanitary reasons, but went on about how he loved animals too but could not allow them, right.....

Though there was one fur who did get drunk and crashed the wedding as I heard.
alexf0x From: alexf0x Date: May 19th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sucky con then? And I thought the Youth hostels in Germany where bad.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: May 19th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its a great hotel for the scientific conferences I've attended there, and 6ix is definitely a fantastic place to eat, but I agree with you that it wasn't very good for a "social" con like this. Not real keen how they segregated the hotel from other functions as well. I blatantly ignored the "curtains" for the wedding, once completely ignoring some con staffer saying "I couldn't go that way". That's a hotel exit and only the hotel had the authority to stop me from using it.

I really am NOT cool with being filmed in random hallways... even Anthrocon has a good discipline to respect privacy this way.

I found it ironic that I *could* have gotten away with parking for free if I didn't listen to the parking attendant... the gates were open most of the day anyways!
turbinerocks From: turbinerocks Date: May 19th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't it a fire code volation to prevent people from using marked exits?

Also, anytime you get filmed without your consent, flipping the bird generally renders the footage less than ideal. :D
eski From: eski Date: May 19th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's uber lame... I was planning on attending califur next year, hopefully they do this in a different hotel then.
arbeywolf From: arbeywolf Date: May 19th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow this is the 3rd con report in a row with virtually identical issues.
That sounds pretty damn crappy.
demonfur From: demonfur Date: May 19th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Worst Califur Ever.
dustmeat From: dustmeat Date: May 20th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh I would not say that...Califur has never been a slam-bam con.
From: windancer_ifus Date: May 19th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh they better not have it when I go to fly out there for Califur when I do (I live in Michigan so it's a far way for me to travel). Man, that's just outright stupid. The people at the wedding should have been told about furries and what they are and told of the con AS THEY REGISTERED FOR THEIR WEDDING. Because these cons are booked like almost a year in advance, and so there should have been no need for the black curtain. That's what makes the world a horrible place, people that don't accept each other's differences.

I'm sorry you had a crappy time. ):

And on the lighting part, man that SUCKS. I hope I don't ever get caught in a Artist Alley or Dealers Den with bad lighting. X_x

Did you write a complaint to the hotel? Or maybe mention it to one of the people that run the con?
calicatmerlin From: calicatmerlin Date: May 19th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
The wedding was booked before the con actually.
westly_roanoke From: westly_roanoke Date: May 19th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad I didn't go.
xianjaguar From: xianjaguar Date: May 19th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
At first, I was kinda bummed for missing Califur.
Now I'm happy I didn't go. Sounds like the new hotel is awful.
dustmeat From: dustmeat Date: May 20th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was a swanky rich hotel, but wrong for conventions.
calicatmerlin From: calicatmerlin Date: May 19th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
This hotel was pretty clueless as to what a furry con would be like and from what I gathered, this convention was a first for them in regards to any type of *fandom* based con.

I found it most unfortunate to have to be 'corraled' behind black curtains and discouraged from chilling in the common areas. However, personally I didn't experience any ill-will from the hotel staff or any of the other hotel guests attending the other functions there.

I must note also that the hotel staff I dealt with from the front desk, cafe, bellhops and bar staff were quite pleasent and were helpful and attentive to my questions and needs.

However, I did notice others who were not treated pleasantly by other hotel guests and the wedding party in particular. The things I heard were simply awful to hear about.

I still enjoyed my time at the con, but would have had a much better experience had the hotel had a better idea what it was they had undertaken when booking the con. Planning it alongside four other events and having us butted up next to a wedding was just a fiasco waiting to happen. The con staff did a lot to make sure that everything would still go as planned and it took a lot of communicating on their part with the hotel to mediate what they could.

Everyone who had an experience that was less than tolerable or pleasant should send their comments to the con staff. Listing the pros and cons of the experience and leaving any inciteful suggestions as well.
turbinerocks From: turbinerocks Date: May 19th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was some dickage a few years ago when Conifur crossed paths with a wedding party, they acted like they owned the hotel.
turbinerocks From: turbinerocks Date: May 19th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Parties shut down at midnight? What kind of limp shit is that? Parties START at midnight!
From: firewire Date: May 19th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I yern for the days of cramped quarters at the holiday Inn
From: astolpho Date: May 20th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, sounds like we didn't miss much!
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