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Smoking Outside the Hyatt

#1 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:30 PM

Because of a feedback I sent to Hyatt's HQ (As a guest, not as an ACen staffer) I've been having discussions with the Hotel Manager.

One of the things I spoke to him about was the smoking section being in such a high traffic area, and made the suggestion of moving it, at least for our weekend, across the driveway. That way, people with respiratory problems and allergies will finally be able to walk out of the hotel without choking and struggling for breath. He promised that he will be discussing this issue with our execs during the planning meetings.

I'm posting this not only to demonstrate that we do indeed listen to your complaints, and do everything we can to correct the situation, but also to give the higher-ups advance notice that this issue will be brought up for discussion, and to urge them to do whatever they can to make sure Hyatt follows through. The health of so many of our members depends on it.
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#2 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:44 PM

Thank you sir.

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

Ive done the same thing. :) (As a guest, not as staff.)
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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

Finally!!! If the smokers do get moved the side walks will be less crowed and I don't have to smell their smoke when I pass by them outside. Walking outside to the Hyatt is a lot faster then taking the mile long sky bridge.
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#5 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:00 PM

Smokey and KungPowKirby, thank you so much for this information. I know for myself it really stinks when you have to wade through the many smokers, while I understand the need to smoke for many the place to smoke is rather off putting. I know a friend that does smoke and he even thinks that that's a bad place to light up. So thank you for this. I hope the hotel does us the favor and moves it just for a while. I'm sure normally there's not that many smokers in the same area for other events.
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#6 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:33 PM

This is wonderful news to hear, especially considering I am STILL coughing violently and sick from that (my doctor confirmed the sick & lung trouble I have had since con was from all that, and I am lucky it has not turned into pneumonia). Knowing next year I should not either have to avoid outside, or have to wear a mask to survive outside like IRT suggested would be the highlight of my weekend, even if crapsicles galore were to rain from the sky. Breathing shouldn't have to be so complicated!

Oh! If at any time anyone (Hyatt or con) needs a drawing or idea for better location, I have a ton of free time, a strong interest in this, and I can doodle too *fine arts major plug*. Heck, even for testing ideas out, I do have a roundabout means of testing (with digital humans) how the change in layout might affect pedestrian traffic flow, clustering, and other little details (namely via a heavily modded version of The Sims 2 with 50-odd moar realism mods, but better than nothing & guesstimates, right?).
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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:21 PM

View Postchainedbyroses, on 09 May 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

This is wonderful news to hear, especially considering I am STILL coughing violently and sick from that (my doctor confirmed the sick & lung trouble I have had since con was from all that, and I am lucky it has not turned into pneumonia). Knowing next year I should not either have to avoid outside, or have to wear a mask to survive outside like IRT suggested would be the highlight of my weekend, even if crapsicles galore were to rain from the sky. Breathing shouldn't have to be so complicated!

Oh! If at any time anyone (Hyatt or con) needs a drawing or idea for better location, I have a ton of free time, a strong interest in this, and I can doodle too *fine arts major plug*. Heck, even for testing ideas out, I do have a roundabout means of testing (with digital humans) how the change in layout might affect pedestrian traffic flow, clustering, and other little details (namely via a heavily modded version of The Sims 2 with 50-odd moar realism mods, but better than nothing & guesstimates, right?).


Wow, they really suggested you wear a mask? That's really insensitive if nothing else. I too think moving the line of smokers would be a great thing! I tried to avoid being outside at all this year to steer clear of the haze that surrounds the doors, but despite being on time for all main programming lines we still had to wait outside for the masquerade when the entire line was shifted outside until the Iruma concert was over. This caused a major problem when the person behind me decided to light up, and I was forced to hold my breath with limited success until they were done smoking. IRT was busy with crowd control, otherwise I would have asked them to intervene. Perhaps in addition to moving the smoking area, IRT could use the card system that they use for bathroom breaks to direct smokers waiting in the main programming line to the new area until they are done? Thank you for your efforts Smokey, they are truly appreciated!
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#8 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:15 AM

View Postchainedbyroses, on 09 May 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

This is wonderful news to hear, especially considering I am STILL coughing violently and sick from that (my doctor confirmed the sick & lung trouble I have had since con was from all that, and I am lucky it has not turned into pneumonia). Knowing next year I should not either have to avoid outside, or have to wear a mask to survive outside like IRT suggested would be the highlight of my weekend, even if crapsicles galore were to rain from the sky. Breathing shouldn't have to be so complicated!

Oh! If at any time anyone (Hyatt or con) needs a drawing or idea for better location, I have a ton of free time, a strong interest in this, and I can doodle too *fine arts major plug*. Heck, even for testing ideas out, I do have a roundabout means of testing (with digital humans) how the change in layout might affect pedestrian traffic flow, clustering, and other little details (namely via a heavily modded version of The Sims 2 with 50-odd moar realism mods, but better than nothing & guesstimates, right?).

View Postvika838, on 09 May 2012 - 11:21 PM, said:

Wow, they really suggested you wear a mask? That's really insensitive if nothing else. I too think moving the line of smokers would be a great thing! I tried to avoid being outside at all this year to steer clear of the haze that surrounds the doors, but despite being on time for all main programming lines we still had to wait outside for the masquerade when the entire line was shifted outside until the Iruma concert was over. This caused a major problem when the person behind me decided to light up, and I was forced to hold my breath with limited success until they were done smoking. IRT was busy with crowd control, otherwise I would have asked them to intervene. Perhaps in addition to moving the smoking area, IRT could use the card system that they use for bathroom breaks to direct smokers waiting in the main programming line to the new area until they are done? Thank you for your efforts Smokey, they are truly appreciated!

I think the mask thing was meant as more a friendly off-hand idea or suggestion/advice thing than just being rude, really (& that does remind me to post my reply to that post still). As a kid my mom and sister suggested the same, had me cover my mouth with my sleeve (even now that's a nervous habit when I see people smoking nearby) but it didn't work and eventually my sister moved & my mom learned/saw how bad I got around smoke & just wouldn't do it right in front of me. Good plan in theory, not so hot in real life practicality.

The smoking in the lines is -precisely- why I never, ever, ever, ever, ever EVER go to main programming events, unless you're allowed in after the lines have moved (last time maybe Masquerade in like '08 I think, and Anime Hell '09?), and maybe if you're lucky get to sit/stand in the back. It would be nice to be able to just line up and go, but with countless people smoking in line, and in front of the doors (and if it's a dance INSIDE the dance too)....... Just doesn't work as it stands/stood. :/
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#9 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:09 PM

What would really help make sure that Hyatt doesn't "forget" to discuss this with us at the meetings (Oh, how I would love to be able to attend those meetings, but that's MAPS and con executives only,) would be to add your support by filling out the feedback form. Be coherent, mature and courteous. And double check your spelling, too. The more you impress them, the more weight your opinions will carry.

Here's the link for that form.
http://www.hyatt.com...recent-stay.jsp
Make sure you select the correct property from the drop down menu, the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. We don't want any more innocent bystanders getting hurt.
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#10 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

Is there anyway outside form to let them know? I don't have the confirmation number anymore sadly. :(
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#11 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 10 May 2012 - 04:25 PM, said:

Is there anyway outside form to let them know? I don't have the confirmation number anymore sadly. :(

You don't need it. Just the dates were enough when I wrote.
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#12 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

Ah thank you, I'll have to send them a mention when I get home.
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#13 User is offline   Mistress of Ecclectia 

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:31 PM

View PostSmokey, on 09 May 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

Because of a feedback I sent to Hyatt's HQ (As a guest, not as an ACen staffer) I've been having discussions with the Hotel Manager.

One of the things I spoke to him about was the smoking section being in such a high traffic area, and made the suggestion of moving it, at least for our weekend, across the driveway. That way, people with respiratory problems and allergies will finally be able to walk out of the hotel without choking and struggling for breath. He promised that he will be discussing this issue with our execs during the planning meetings.

I'm posting this not only to demonstrate that we do indeed listen to your complaints, and do everything we can to correct the situation, but also to give the higher-ups advance notice that this issue will be brought up for discussion, and to urge them to do whatever they can to make sure Hyatt follows through. The health of so many of our members depends on it.

Thank you for acknowledging this issue, as it is the one thing I forgot to mention. Walking through a crowd of smoking people just to enter the Hyatt was a living nightmare. Moving it elsewhere would be very considerate of our lungs.

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

There should be a policy against smoking in line. I remember before this state when smoke-free at Six Flags you couldn't smoke in line.

I smoke on rare occasions, so I'm not against smoking. I just don't understand why smokers have to smoke in line. You're waiting like everyone else. It's not something you have to do to live, but for some breathing is difficult or causes reactions when they are subjected to smoke. You don't have to smoke, but you do have to breathe. Sorry if this comes off as harsh, but as an occasional smoker I know for a fact you don't need to smoke. You do need to be considerate of others.

Bottom line is: It is inconsiderate to subject people who are in line with you to your smoke; You can/should wait until after the event is over.
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#15 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:58 PM

View PostMistress of Ecclectia, on 12 May 2012 - 06:31 PM, said:

Thank you for acknowledging this issue, as it is the one thing I forgot to mention. Walking through a crowd of smoking people just to enter the Hyatt was a living nightmare. Moving it elsewhere would be very considerate of our lungs.

This is an issue that I've been trying to resolve for a few years now. The thing that always stopped me was that it's Hyatt's property, we can't dictate how they operate their property.

Now we've not only got the law on our side (What's illegal outside the con is illegal inside the con, right?) and I finally have a personal acquaintance with the manager, I'm optimistic that we can accomplish something this year.

Don't forget to send in your feedbacks as well. http://www.hyatt.com...recent-stay.jsp
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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

But guys...the best cosplayer and hottest girls are the one smoking. Quit hatin'!!:D But yeah no a serious note. Getting hit with a face full of smoke isn't cool when I was going to the Hyatt for the performs, panels, and etc. So where would we move them?
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#17 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:01 PM

View PostMasterHavik, on 13 May 2012 - 07:31 PM, said:

But guys...the best cosplayer and hottest girls are the one smoking. Quit hatin'!!:D But yeah no a serious note. Getting hit with a face full of smoke isn't cool when I was going to the Hyatt for the performs, panels, and etc. So where would we move them?

WE don't move them, Hyatt does. I'm trying to convince them to move it to a couple of those parking spaces across the driveway.
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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:16 PM

Could they move it to the entrance at the "dome" end of the Hyatt where the so-called "smoking balcony" is located? I notice that's the area that Hyatt employees seem to use.

Yes it would mess up some photoshoots...
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#19 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:44 PM

View Postobakasan, on 13 May 2012 - 08:16 PM, said:

Could they move it to the entrance at the "dome" end of the Hyatt where the so-called "smoking balcony" is located? I notice that's the area that Hyatt employees seem to use.

Yes it would mess up some photoshoots...

We'll be lucky if we can get them to move it to another location out front. I highly doubt they'd even consider moving it to a different side of the building, nor would the smokers cooperate in using that location exclusively. If they don't get an easy alternative, they'll make one.

And I suspect the reason you see Hyatt employees smoking in that area is simply because that's where the employee entrance is located.
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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:06 AM

View Postobakasan, on 13 May 2012 - 08:16 PM, said:

Could they move it to the entrance at the "dome" end of the Hyatt where the so-called "smoking balcony" is located? I notice that's the area that Hyatt employees seem to use.

Yes it would mess up some photoshoots...

If the Hyatt did move smokers over there, it would outright ruin the photoshoots in that area. We'd have to compete for space with those outside smoking; not to mention coughing while posing doesn't make for pleasant pictures. Hopefully a better alternative can be found.

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

View PostGenichiro, on 14 May 2012 - 05:06 AM, said:

If the Hyatt did move smokers over there, it would outright ruin the photoshoots in that area. We'd have to compete for space with those outside smoking; not to mention coughing while posing doesn't make for pleasant pictures. Hopefully a better alternative can be found.

then let's lose the area for photoshoots? Let's use other areas? Some people's health > a photo area being moved or a few photos being "ruined"
Though as stated, maybe people won't want to move all the way over there. I think the idea is to try and promote keeping the area by main programming as smoke free as the Hyatt will allow.

Smokey (who may or may not be a bear, and is totally doing this to prevent forest fires ;o), besides contacting hotel staff are there any steps attendees can take to help you guys?
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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:27 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 15 May 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

then let's lose the area for photoshoots? Let's use other areas? Some people's health > a photo area being moved or a few photos being "ruined"


We really don't have any other places to move those. The smoker's balcony is just ducky imo.

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:39 PM

How about we suggest the top floor of the Hyatt parking garage for smoking...
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#25 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 15 May 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

Smokey (who may or may not be a bear, and is totally doing this to prevent forest fires ;o), besides contacting hotel staff are there any steps attendees can take to help you guys?

I'm not really a bear, I just sound like one when I sleep (I always put out a jar of industrial ear plugs for my roommates.) But I did earn that name by putting out camp fires.

As I stated before, it's Hyatt's property. If they choose to disregard the law, about all we can do is go over management's head and complain to Corporate, and maybe the cops too.

Someone suggested "dropping" your water or other drinks on the smokers set up in doorways as you succumb to the coughing and choking fits they cause. I don't recommend doing that, of course. I'm just mentioning something someone came up with.Posted Image

View Postobakasan, on 16 May 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

How about we suggest the top floor of the Hyatt parking garage for smoking...

Amusing, but let's keep the suggestions realistic.

This post has been edited by Smokey: 16 May 2012 - 03:01 PM

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

View PostSmokey, on 16 May 2012 - 02:55 PM, said:


Amusing, but let's keep the suggestions realistic.


Aww, you're no fun.

But really, moving the area to the "dome" entrance may be the best option, despite the interference with some photoshoots. It's not only the clouds of smoke one deals with at the main entrance, but the crowded sidewalk which always interferes with normal con (and hotel) traffic, as well as event lines. It's hotel property. It's out of the way of traffic. And not really all that far removed from the hotel activities themselves. And the so called "smoking balcony" is right there too so the general area is already being used for that purpose (not to mention that's also the employee entrance that hotel staffers use for smoking breaks). IIR I've seen quite a few ACen smokers out that way anyway, especially at the planning meetings.

As for the argument that it intrudes on a photoshoot area: There are probably a lot more options for photoshoot locations to be moved to than smoking locations. Are there areas around the Hyatt parking lot that can serve as alternate photo spots? Are there spots that can be negotiated located at other nearby hotels?

It's going to disrupt *somebody* no doubt, but we have to consider the alternatives. And finding more photoshoot areas may also relieve the congestion and time restraints we've been seeing at those shoots as a side benefit.

(I also note that the Expoteria "Garden" location is used both for photoshoots and as a smoking area.)

If the Hyatt doesn't want to make a permanent smoking area change is it possible to just move it during ACen (part of hotel contract negotiations)?
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#27 User is offline   Genichiro 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:28 PM

View Postobakasan, on 16 May 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

As for the argument that it intrudes on a photoshoot area: There are probably a lot more options for photoshoot locations to be moved to than smoking locations. Are there areas around the Hyatt parking lot that can serve as alternate photo spots? Are there spots that can be negotiated located at other nearby hotels?

It's going to disrupt *somebody* no doubt, but we have to consider the alternatives. And finding more photoshoot areas may also relieve the congestion and time restraints we've been seeing at those shoots as a side benefit.

(I also note that the Expoteria "Garden" location is used both for photoshoots and as a smoking area.)

If the Hyatt doesn't want to make a permanent smoking area change is it possible to just move it during ACen (part of hotel contract negotiations)?

I'm all for opening up other areas for photoshoots; I can accept that as a fair compromise.

#28 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:08 PM

View Postobakasan, on 16 May 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

Aww, you're no fun.

But really, moving the area to the "dome" entrance may be the best option, despite the interference with some photoshoots. It's not only the clouds of smoke one deals with at the main entrance, but the crowded sidewalk which always interferes with normal con (and hotel) traffic, as well as event lines. It's hotel property. It's out of the way of traffic. And not really all that far removed from the hotel activities themselves. And the so called "smoking balcony" is right there too so the general area is already being used for that purpose (not to mention that's also the employee entrance that hotel staffers use for smoking breaks). IIR I've seen quite a few ACen smokers out that way anyway, especially at the planning meetings.

As for the argument that it intrudes on a photoshoot area: There are probably a lot more options for photoshoot locations to be moved to than smoking locations. Are there areas around the Hyatt parking lot that can serve as alternate photo spots? Are there spots that can be negotiated located at other nearby hotels?

It's going to disrupt *somebody* no doubt, but we have to consider the alternatives. And finding more photoshoot areas may also relieve the congestion and time restraints we've been seeing at those shoots as a side benefit.

(I also note that the Expoteria "Garden" location is used both for photoshoots and as a smoking area.)

If the Hyatt doesn't want to make a permanent smoking area change is it possible to just move it during ACen (part of hotel contract negotiations)?


Obaka-sempai,

We're not trying to get them to move it permanently, I've been pushing for the change for only our weekend from the beginning.

And as a smoker myself, I can guarantee that nobody who wants to light up on the front side of the hotel is going to hold off until they walk all the way through or around to the side of the building, especially those waiting in the lines for Main Programming (I also intend to pester IRT this year about issuing smoking passes so we can eliminate smoking in the lines.) If they want to light up, they will. We're just trying to get them to do so away from the high traffic areas.

That's why I'm pushing for some kind of "Smoking on East side of Driveway Only" type of arrangement. All Hyatt would have to do is cone off one of those double parking spaces, drag the butt receptacles and maybe a trash can over there, and we can print up some temporary laminated signs to tape over the existing Smoking Area signs. It's far enough away from the entrance and the crush of pedestrians to bother anyone, there's that concrete retaining wall to use as a long bench, and it's probably even just far enough from the tree area to avoid smoking out photo shoots. Small effort, big results.

The hard part is going to be getting Hyatt to make even that small effort. That's why we need to keep extremely vocal about this issue. Let our HCSR wizard know just how many of you this affects, and how badly. The address is hcsr@acen.org Maybe even start calling our Hyatt's Customer Service Dept a few months before the next con and remind them how important this is.

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The point is that everyone who is negatively affected by cigarette smoke needs to make their voices heard. Tell it to the property owner, tell it to those who do business with the property owner. Maybe we can start selling Take The Smoke Out Of The Crowds T-shirts along with the Got Soap? ones. Let's keep our demands, and expectations, realistic. Keep the solution simple and inexpensive, and be adult about it. I'm probably going to lose a lot of popularity among the other managers and upper staff over the coming year because I'm NOT going to let this go. I don't care, I just know that our members are being hurt by the apathetic attitude toward this problem, and it has GOT to stop.
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#29 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:49 PM

Smokey, et al:

Okay, I see what you are indicating. The parking spaces within the driveway "loop" are indeed all not much farther away from the entrances (for main programming), yet far enough away to make an impact on the crowd. Although we'll still be having to deal with people walking back and forth from one side of the "loop" to the other. That may be a point of resistance for approval as far as the hotel in concerned as the foot traffic would be going right across the part of the driveway that the shuttle buses, arriving/departing guest, etc use. Safety concerns being a major one of those reasons. Another reason is that is also the side of the entryway where the doorman's outside station/desk is located and they may not be happy about a smoking area nearby (you'd need to use the parking spaces farthest away from the entry).

I haven't kept up on the hooka situation. If those are still a problem in terms of taking up space, could it at least be suggested they move elsewhere? There is a difference between wanting a close area for a quick smoke and a "social gathering" smoke.

Would it be viable to ask that "social group" smokers locate themselves somewhere else and for the rest of us to campaign to have a temporary (ACen weekend only) parking lot spot?

Another "catch" here is just who is using those parking spaces... If the hotel has some sort of vested interest in reserving them for someone specific or not. Plus the resident duck that hangs around those spaces may not like it either. Quack.
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#30 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

Honestly, Id be happy if they just moved the smoking up that sidewalk a ways. that way, we could have a relatively smoke free entrance/exist.
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