ADS/LSA hotel rates: my mistake

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Sep 30 15:16:28 UTC 2003

In a message dated 9/29/03 10:23:12 PM, AAllan at AOL.COM writes:

> It is a new situation, as a matter of fact, brought about by the increasing
> availability of hotel discount websites. And the volatility of rate changes.
> It's a problem, if not a crisis, for many many organizations and hotels. How
> it sorts out will probably be decided by much bigger players than LSA, but
> we'll all be affected. - Allan Metcalf

Thanks for the correction. Since I normally stay at Hiltons (or other hotels
in their "family"), it has been my normal practice for several years to check
with them whenever I have a conference to attend. I travel quite a bit, and it
is often worth it to me to pay even a slightly higher Hilton rate because of
the perks I get by staying within the system.

I hope that my earlier message doesn't end up costing LSA money! I agree with
others that Maggie Reynolds does an outstanding job of negotiating hotel
rates years in advance. In fact, Maggie is an all-round wonderful manager of the
LSA enterprise. (So, for that matter, is Allan Metcalf a wonderful manager of
the ADS enterprise.)

I don't agree with those who suggest that Sheraton is a "slightly nicer"
hotel chain than Hilton. As a chain, they are in my experience quite comparable.
Or maybe he was comparing only the Boston Back Bay Sheraton with the Boston
Back Bay Hilton? It is certainly the case that the *Seattle* downtown Sheraton is
quite a bit nicer than the Seattle downtown Hilton. Maybe this is the case in
Boston Back Bay as well.

In any case, we would be living in a dream world if we believe that a simple
appeal to organizational loyalty will solve this problem. We live in a
marketplace world, and hotels and organizations willl have to come up with a solution
in future years that reflects the normal workings of the marketplace. I
realize that we academics are supposed to be knee-jerk socialists, but I doubt very
much that Congress will any time soon seize the hotels of America to solve
this problem--or even institute price controls. Perhaps a good socialist answer
to this problem, given that wet live in a capitalist society would be to
insitute a sliding scale of membership and registration fees. Professors who make
more than $100,000 a year [note that that is a RESTRICTIVE relative clause]
would pay far more for both than an assistant professor or instructor making far
less. LSA already does this to a limited extent for retirees and graduate
students; MLA (as I recall) and the Law and Society Association have a rather
elaborate sliding scale for membership (though not yet, as I recall, for
conference registration).

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