Saturday, January 22, 2011

SLIG 2011 ~ Where To Lay Your Head

Wow!  I have been to the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy (SLIG) before and thought lessons previously learned would help me during the week.  Some things I got right, others I got wrong ~ but, all in all, it was a great week with lots of learning going on.  Although I originally planned to blog each day while at SLIG, I found that the time got away from me and that I needed a bit of time to process it all (and catch up on my sleep).  So a little late, here are my "day by day recap" posts of my 2011 SLIG Adventure.

~ Some Thoughts on Accommodations~

Always give some thought to whether you should stay at the "conference" hotel (in this case the Radisson Hotel) or somewhere else.  In Salt Lake City and certainly around the Temple area there are a number of other places to stay, many of them are within walking distance and/or TRAX stops away from the conference.  Realize that you may be able to getter the same amenities for less somewhere else and choose your accommodations based on what works for you.
  • The SLIG classes are held at the Radisson and it serves as the "conference" hotel.  It is a beautiful hotel, the rooms are lovely, and there is something to be said for staying at the same hotel at which the classes are held. 
  • The downside to staying at the Radisson is that it is an extremely large hotel with a diverse clientele (business people, skiers, weekend tourists, event/concert stayers, and airline employees, as well as all those genealogists).  As a result I found the hotel "standard American business-oriented," a bit impersonal and unnecessarily spendy. 
    • The gift shop and restaurant are nice but cater to tourists and expense accounts. 
    • Room service is great but pricey. 
    • The four elevators are always slow and, since most of the SLIG classes take place on the second floor at similar times, always crowded. 
    • The first year I attended SLIG, the Radisson offered take away coffee or tea from their restaurant for $1 per cup, available on an honor system from large pump carafes ~ great for those of us who indulge in the caffeine habit and easy to get between classes.  Once they revamped their gift shop (to include a coffee bar) drip coffee is almost $4 a cup and the one employee is so busy making speciality drinks that waiting on line for a simple cup of coffee is torture. 
    • On both occasions I stayed at the Radisson I found that the airport shuttle service offered is simply a shuttle service that books through the Radisson.  The shuttle service return trip (booked and paid for in advance) to the airport was quite late and neither the front desk nor I could light a fire under them to get them to show up anywhere near the scheduled time. 
Last year, I decided to check out the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel as an alternative to the Radisson.  The Plaza is located approximately 100 steps from the Family History Library and is one block from the Radisson. 
  • I noticed that a number of conference attendees and instructors stay at the Plaza. 
  • The rates are usually $10-$15 less per night that the conference Radisson rate.
  • The Plaza is going through a process of upgrades (with more to come in the next year).  The rooms are large, well-maintained and have all the standard amenities.
    • The rooms have coffee makers, refrigerators and microwaves ~ a real plus if like me, you like to make/have coffee or tea in the morning or evening and like to have some of your meals or snacks available when you want them.
    • The rooms now have ergonomic desk chairs ~ another plus if you are doing any work from your room.
  • A complementary shuttle service (with Plaza employees who could not be more helpful) is available to pick you up from the airport (use the call phone at the airport) and can be scheduled from the front desk for return trips to the airport.  I like the fact that the luggage lockup is a simple procedure and the driver will always help with your luggage.
  • My driver mentioned that the shuttle service will take you to the restaurants, shops and grocery stores in the area if you call the front desk and set it up.  I had a great guy take me to the grocery store and wait for me while I picked up essentials like VIA (Starbucks) instant coffee, half n half, fizzy water, Crystal Lite Lemonade, yogurt, fruit, cheese, deli meat, crackers, Egg Beaters, and Zone bars (yum!).  I like being able to have snacks and meals on my clock.
  • The gift shop has a variety of pretty fairly priced snacks.
  • The restaurant has great breakfasts, a good salad and soup bar, and an excellent tuna melt!  The restaurant is pretty speedy, always welcoming, and inexpensive.  
  • If you need anything ~ the front desk is always happy to help and quick to respond.
  • I like walking to the Radisson each day for SLIG ~ it is a short walk and I get some fresh air.  It also makes me be more organized as I put my stuff together the night before so I am ready to roll in the AM.
  • On those days when it rains or snows (and in January it sometimes does) you are no farther than 100 steps from the FHL, close enough to make a run for it (in rain).  No matter with snow as the street crew in SLC has the roads and sidewalks cleared almost as soon as the snow falls!
  • The TRAX stops right outside the door and one stop later you are at Gateway Mall with a numbers of shops and restaurants.  Additionally, numerous restaurants are close at hand in the Temple area.

(A place to lay my head ~ and plenty of space)

My room at the Salt Lake Plaza

Setting up my work area (computer & printer)
The Utah Genealogical Association (who put on the SLIG) gave all attendees a handy map of the area as well as a list of services all within walking distance of both hotels in our course packet.  In summary, it pays to check out a variety of accommodations and find the one that best suits your needs and your budget ~ don't feel you have to stay at the conference hotel!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome - thanks for sharing - just so you know, all comments are moderated.