After class I went to book the Ramada we talked about, not even having realized in class that the price had jumped from $45 a room to $80 a room. Obviously, with the cost having doubled since I looked at it (the day before!!), the new total would have put us well over our $1100 budget (of which we really only have about $900 to spend on hotels). Actually, fwiw, here’s our estimated budget:
- ISU van rental: ~$50
- gas for van: ~$300
- hotels: ~$985 (5 rooms)
- registration: $480 (waived)
- per diem (meals): $1350 (~$115 per student for 3.5 days)
Actually, for 12 students (averaged), this is a prety cheap trip! 🙂 The school is not covering your meals, so you will need to bring money to eat. (The hotel I’ve booked includes a continental breakfast.) The school is covering $1100 of the rest of the expenses ($1335), so we’re almost covered and I’ll worry about any overage we may have. (The school may help some more, or the other grant I’m applying for may help. Or there’s still kegger/bakesale fundraisers 😉
OK, so for the hotel: The Ramada would have been over $1300, so I spent some more time looking for an alternative that would satisfy my and your requirements: clean, safe, as close to the U as possible, cheap, free wireless, breakfast, parking, pool/fitness area, and possibly an onsite restaurant. After weighing some pros/cons — like distance vs. pool :: cheap — I found the Howard Johnson’s right by the Expo Center/Six Flags. It’s about 3 miles (driving distance) from the conference building and the public bus system goes right by it (in case you don’t want to wait for Andrew to drive you back). The only drawback I could find is that they don’t have a pool. Sorry Tom. 😉 There’s also no restaurant on site, but there are plenty of restaurants in walking distance of the hotel. They also have an airport shuttle, so you may be able to ask the driver if they’ll go to the U (and maybe tip him a few bucks…). (Oh, and I see from the conference schedule that they also have breakfast and lunch available. It’s part of the registration fee, so those are meals you don’t have to pay for. Also, any “Reception” held at night will have hors d’oevres. So there won’t be too many out-of-pocket expenses for you on this trip.)
OK, so good news/bad news… it all works out in the end, eh? See y’all next week.
UPDATE 9/25/08 — As discussed in class today (re multiple vehicles), our budget has exponentially increased. I’ll post a revised copy after I’ve finished writing up the CTLT grant I mentioned in class today.