Steele Meetings in 2015?

When visiting http://www.firstchampionshiphousing.com/ and trying to navigate to 2015 events, I got the following message:

2015 Season
FIRST will be working with a new company to manage hotels for the 2015 FRC Season.

Please visit US FIRST Website for updates on when they will be opening housing for Regional and Championship events.

Does anyone know what company FIRST is going with or when hotel blocks will be available for events?

I haven’t heard anything, but its nice to hear that FIRST did make a change in the vendor that will be taking care of housing. I was never really happy with Steele meetings. Hopefully the new company, whoever they are, will provide a higher quality of service.

What were you not happy with? When mistakes were made I saw them working very hard to make it right.

by the way… no relation here

We had issue with our charge card getting charged immediately for hotels in St. Louis
(as in the fall when it opened up…) and having to wait weeks for them to give us money back… when rooms were cancelled… and others took the rooms.

Totally agree with this. Steele has always been fantastic for me. I wish they did cheerleading events too. I had an issue once and it was taken care of immediately.

The pricing wasn’t always great.

We’ve found booking through Steele is “convenient” but a lot more expensive compared to what we can reserve without using them as we found on several occasions.

I also prefer dealing with the hotel directly to avoid any mistakes that can happen going through a third party like what has happened to a few teams in the past.

Mostly our issues with them. We had to cancel some rooms, and we we’re being told different things from Steele and the hotel. It very well could have been a fluke for them, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Plus as Brendan said, prices haven’t been the greatest.

With that said, it seems I must have just had a case of bad luck as a lot of people both on CD and I’ve been talking to have had go success with them.

I just hope that whoever takes it over is still sympathetic to late qualifying teams (districts) and still reimburses any huge deposits required if they don’t qualify.

We all would probably prefer to deal directly with hotels. Problem for many of us is that every hotel closest to venue is 100% reserved by FIRST agency handling bookings…forcing us again into millisecond race to click mouse in time to access desired hotel on booking website.Still can’t figure out how Moe manages to book the Drury every year:D Hope the new agency website can handle the volume…and hope the date and time for the bookings is posted better than previous years. And yes, we did sign up for email notification…

Yes the monopoly on hotels within 20 minutes of the dome is a big frustration.

It was also an issue for regionals. We saw hotel prices increase by $20-50/night when Steele took over bookings for regionals, compared to when we booked the exact same hotels directly in the past. I’m sure the convenience factor of using Steele is very appealing for some teams, however there are many others who’d prefer just to work directly with the hotels and not pay the premium for Steele’s service.

+1

+1

We have had multiple issues, the biggest of which was showing up in Atlanta in 2010 and the hotel didn’t have our 22 room reservation (I still owe Joanne Pruniak for helping me through that).

To piggy back on many others, we have had problems with refunds, and most recently them mistakenly charging my personal credit card $11,000 because they made me put it in that information even though we were paying by check. The refund didn’t process before my statement came out and it was a huge problem for me.

I prefer to deal directly with hotels for all of our regionals, but they make this nearly impossible at worlds. I have been in contact with a few hotels in St. Louis and many are already 100% booked for FIRST which is frustrating.
I would hope a new company will solve some of these problems, but some of them are just the nature of these events.

Yep, we stayed at one of our events and because we booked in the fall we paid $30 less per night compared to the teams who went through Steele.

In 2013 we stayed 20 minutes outside the city. It wasn’t a bad commute but for $68 per night at a Hampton Inn it was well worth it compared to going through Steele.

Emails for district event hotels seem to be rolling out to main contacts today. However, I cannot find any information for volunteer lodging. Does anybody have information on this?

Volunteer lodgiing will be rolling out soon as well. (That’s what the FSM were told, because we need to book rooms too.)