This is a draft proposal for holding Flock 2014 in Colorado Springs, CO.
- 1 Colorado Springs
- 2 Staff
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Venue
- 5 Lodging
- 6 Evening Events
- 7 Pros and Cons
- 8 Other Notes
Situated on the front range of the rocky mountains and near the base of Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state of Colorado, and the 41st largest city in the USA. It is home to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), Colorado College, the US Olympic Committee, the US Olympic training center and provides easy access to many outdoor activities and historical locations. Colorado Springs is not a small city but also isn't so big as to be overwhelming.
- Major local airport(s)
- Colorado Springs (COS) and Denver (DEN)
- Distance from airport(s) to proposed lodging
- exact distance TBD - waiting on venue. COS is ~ 20 miles south, DEN is ~ 60 miles north
Transportation from Airports to Venue
There are no public transportation options available from either COS or DEN to the venue.
Estimate from shuttle company for transportation of 250 people
- from DEN - $25/person each way (after talking to companies about COS shuttle, I'm not 100% confident of this quote)
- from COS - $175 per trip for 14-passenger, $90 per trip for 10 passenger
- from COS - $790 for 5 hours of a 56 person bus, $133/hour after 5 hours
Given my memories of previous Fedora events in the US, I suspect that a 15 passenger van rental would be useful, if not required. A quote for that was ~ $150/day not including fuel.
|Origin||To DEN||To COS|
All flights found through orbitz, rounded up to the nearest USD 50; departing Aug 4 and returning Aug 9.
Colorado Springs does have a bus system but it can be difficult to get from place to place in a timely fashion. The bus schedule is also somewhat limited at night.
There are taxis and Lyft does run in Colorado Springs.
Venue is still TBD - waiting on phone calls and emails.
- Proposed venue, including:
- Cost of venue
- Room availability for keynotes and capacity (assume 250 attendees)
- Room availability for sessions--number of rooms available, capacity of each, and configuration (classroom style, conference style, etc.) -- we need 6-8 of these, each with a capacity of at least 40
- Internet availability
To keep everything convenient and reduce daily transportation costs, lodging would be co-located on the UCCS campus. Yes, this would involve dorm rooms but before you run away screaming, keep in mind that UCCS is a newer campus and the student housing is also relatively new and it's less than a 5 minute walk away from the venue.
Notes and Caveats
One requirement of using UCCS housing is that at least one meal needs to be purchased. It's not yet clear if this is one meal for the entire stay or one meal per day but that question has been asked.
As with the venue, this is the maximum price. Since we'd be coordinating pretty much everything through UCCS, they've said that we can negotiate a discount when we have more specific dates and times.
This quote assumes that housing would be paid for as a lump sum instead of each person being responsible for their own housing. With this setup, we'd have to collect money from each attendee paying for their stay. I don't know if it's possible for people to pay UCCS directly for their lodging or if so, what that would do to the cost.
4 Bedroom, shared bathroom floor plan in Summit Village. There are other options available if we decide that we want something nicer/fancier.
The quote for housing and meals for 250 people is $39.47 per person per night after tax.
|Meal||Cost Per Person per meal|
|Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner||$ 27.95|
We've listed several options - some of them are going to depend on events out of our control and thus, we've listed more than 2 or 3.
With the exception of a catered event (no transportation cost) and Cripple Creek (different arrangement), the other events would require some form of transportation to get folks from lodging to the event.
The quote we got is for 56 passenger buses and those are billed on an hourly basis ($789 for the first 5 hours, $133/hour after) so the most efficient method would be to have 2 or 3 buses make trips back and forth between the event and the lodging instead of trying to get all 250 people to the event at the same time.
Assuming that 5 hours would be enough, that would be a transportation cost of $1578 for 2 buses or $2367 for 3 buses.
Sky Sox Game
The Coors Picnic Terrace can be rented for Sky Sox (minor league baseball team in Colorado Springs) games. Assuming that there is a home game during Flock and the terrace has not already been reserved, they quote $25 per person for ticket, full bar (drinks from the bar are not included) and "All you can eat buffet of: BBQ pulled pork, fried chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, macaroni salad, potato salad, chips, cookies and Pepsi products".
Transportation Costs: see above
Brunswick Zone XL (bowling, laser tag etc.)
Brunswick Zone XL has bowling, video games, laser tag, billiards. They also advertise "teambuilding event" options which might be interesting.
Event Cost: TBD, waiting on estimate Transportation Cost: see above
Catered Event in Lodging
Since any offsite event would require transportation, reserving a room nearby lodging is a good way to have an evening event while keeping costs down. Instead of traveling to an event, rent out a large room within walking distance of lodging and have food brought in.
Event Cost: TBD, waiting on venue Transportation Cost: $0
Cripple Creek is home to several historical sites as well as Casinos. It hosts several community events throughout the summer which may be at the same time as Flock.
- Food would have to be handled by the individual (however, as this is a casino town, they tend to price food cheaply)
- Transportation costs include:
- Bus (~50 people at a time): $400
- 5 Buses (assuming 250 people go): $2000
- Each person on the bus would be given a $25 token to use at the Midnight Rose Casino.
Flying W Ranch
The Flying W Ranch (warning, autoplay audio on website) is/was a working cattle ranch in Colorado Springs that hosts old west style chuckwagon dinners.
While this would be a great event, the ranch was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon wildfire in 2012. The ranch is being rebuilt but at this time, there is no way of knowing whether reconstruction would be complete before Flock 2015. There was hope that the ranch would re-open for the summer of 2014 and it is possible that it would start hosting the chuckwagon dinners in the summer of 2015 but we'd have to wait to see if that actually happens.
Pros and Cons
- In the Mountains
- Colorado Springs is surrounded by wonderful scenery in clean, mountain air
- Altitude (6250ft/1839m)
- With 250 people, it's not unlikely that someone would suffer from altitude sickness. While it would probably not be a severe case given the altitude here, it would still be unplesant.
- Public Transportation
- With few public transportation options, costs in general can be higher and getting to/from airports is a bit more difficult
Since this will come up at some point, it's worth mentioning the fact that recreational marijuana use is mostly legal in the state of Colorado. There are no recreational dispensaries in El Paso county (where Colorado Springs is) and the available venues do not allow the use of marijuana on their premises (at least partially due to federal laws, the details of which are out of scope for the discussion here).