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Smoking Outside the Hyatt

#31 User is offline   jsieczkar 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:31 PM

View Postobakasan, on 16 May 2012 - 06:49 PM, said:

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.

Those spaces are in use and there is a need to keep them.
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#32 User is offline   KnitChick 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

Frankly why can't the Hyatt remove the smoking receptacles from by the door, where they really do NOT BELONG anyway (15 feet from the door, it's Illinois LAW), and push the smokers to that nice little smoking bench they created a couple of years ago. I've seen people use it - I spied Nabeshin sitting out there on Sunday my first year staffing Acen, and I know Smokey uses that area. It's more than 15 feet from either door, and if all the smokers actually USE that area, those of us who are asthmatic and need to head to the convention center can exit the MP hallway doors and avoid that smoking area.

I know I need to sit down and write the Hyatt a nice scathing letter for 2012 (since they really responded to my nice scathing letter of 2011 /sarcasm). Frankly that doorway has been a smoke cloud for too many years and it's time it stopped. Not just for Acen, really. They're breaking Illinois law by letting people smoke there.
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#33 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:47 PM

View Postjsieczkar, on 16 May 2012 - 10:31 PM, said:

Those spaces are in use and there is a need to keep them.


Well, there we go. An official word.(Thank you.)

Therefor it seems our options may be limited. Perhaps creating *two* designated smoking areas at Hyatt to split the crowds. One by the front entrance (currently existing) for Main Programming events and perhaps a second by the "dome" doors for "other" events (coming up from the basement panel rooms via the stairs/escalators or even from the Rosemont Ballrooms the walk to the dome entry wouldn't be too horribly far, although the dome photoshoot crowds may be a hassle to get through).
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#34 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:12 PM

View Postobakasan, on 16 May 2012 - 10:47 PM, said:

Perhaps creating *two* designated smoking areas at Hyatt to split the crowds. One by the front entrance (currently existing) for Main Programming events and perhaps a second by the "dome" doors

Way ahead of you there. Those already are the two designated smoking areas. That's the problem- those are also high traffic areas. That's what we're trying to change. BTW, the "dome doors" are more commonly known as the East Entrance.
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#35 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

View PostSmokey, on 17 May 2012 - 03:12 PM, said:

Way ahead of you there. Those already are the two designated smoking areas. That's the problem- those are also high traffic areas. That's what we're trying to change. BTW, the "dome doors" are more commonly known as the East Entrance.



I'm wondering how many people (especially once-a-year attendees) know that. That could be one of the reasons the area by the main entry is so crowded. They are not aware of the dome/East Entry location.

Off the top of my head I don't recall if there are any signs posted by the Hyatt to indicate where these areas are. I also note that there are no notations about smoking areas on the program book maps (pg 42 this year). Adding icons to designate the hotel-approved smoking locations may help in future. (Similar icons calling out other venue's locations may help as well.)
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#36 User is offline   Genichiro 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

I second the notion of denoting smoking locations on the maps; might help to keep people from crowding the smoking area near the main entrance.

#37 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:53 AM

View Postobakasan, on 17 May 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

I'm wondering how many people (especially once-a-year attendees) know that. That could be one of the reasons the area by the main entry is so crowded. They are not aware of the dome/East Entry location.

Off the top of my head I don't recall if there are any signs posted by the Hyatt to indicate where these areas are. I also note that there are no notations about smoking areas on the program book maps (pg 42 this year). Adding icons to designate the hotel-approved smoking locations may help in future. (Similar icons calling out other venue's locations may help as well.)


Really, two places arent going to help in my opinion. Even if you split the normal crowd in half, there is still going to all around there, its going to be just as bad for those of us with asthma and who are very allergic to cigarette smoke. Less smokers, is still going to be way too many.
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#38 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:56 AM

View PostGenichiro, on 18 May 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

I second the notion of denoting smoking locations on the maps; might help to keep people from crowding the smoking area near the main entrance.


Perhaps a mention to about the local laws and a request to please keep smoking away doors whenever possible.



I think itll help to get rid of those benches on either side of those doors. They are just asking for people to break the rules.
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#39 User is offline   Genichiro 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

View PostKungPowKirby, on 18 May 2012 - 05:56 AM, said:

Perhaps a mention to about the local laws and a request to please keep smoking away doors whenever possible.



I think itll help to get rid of those benches on either side of those doors. They are just asking for people to break the rules.

A mention of the laws might help, though, even if you put them up in bright, neon lights, there will still be people who will ignore them and later claim ignorance when accused of breaking them.

I don't know about moving the benches, though. I'm not sure how pressing it is for people to have them there if they need to sit while waiting on someone, due to disabilities and what not.

#40 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

Something to think about regarding humans, we tend to group when there's people of a like mind in one place. Let's face it the main reasons the smokers like that area is because it's right by the door way so they can just hang there for getting in a line, also it's become the cool place to be seen. I'm pretty sure that with smaller cons you probably don't have that many people there outside.

What might work to get people to not sit there is to maybe...rope it off. See if they will let you rope off that point that will make the smokers move over to a place where it's not by the doors?
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#41 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 04:13 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 20 May 2012 - 11:20 AM, said:

Something to think about regarding humans, we tend to group when there's people of a like mind in one place. Let's face it the main reasons the smokers like that area is because it's right by the door way so they can just hang there for getting in a line, also it's become the cool place to be seen. I'm pretty sure that with smaller cons you probably don't have that many people there outside.

What might work to get people to not sit there is to maybe...rope it off. See if they will let you rope off that point that will make the smokers move over to a place where it's not by the doors?

The trouble with the rope is that while it may contain the humans, it won't contain the smoke. Even if the mandated 15 foot law is actually obeyed, you're still going to have people getting choked simply from the way that smoke drifts. Even though nobody's smoking inside the hotel, the smoke still gets swept in.


Unless I'm missing something obvious here, there's really only 2 safe places out front of the hotel to smoke. The west side of the driveway, where the crush of pedestrian traffic flows, and the east side, where there is no pedestrian traffic. I say keeping our attendees safe and free from suffocation trumps parking a couple of cars. Am I alone in this?


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#42 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

View PostKungPowKirby, on 18 May 2012 - 05:56 AM, said:

Perhaps a mention to about the local laws and a request to please keep smoking away doors whenever possible.I think itll help to get rid of those benches on either side of those doors. They are just asking for people to break the rules.

1. Pretty sure the benches are Hyatt property and not something so easily moved
2. The benches ( the ones that are in the middle of the 2 entrances, are there any right next to the door? if they are , meh :/ ) would keep smokers in that area away from the entrances and within IL law

I second obakasan with the smoking icons.

maybe we can even ask the hyatt if we can place no smoking and smoking area signs ( just by the hyatt, nothing crazy :X). Which they really shouldn't mind as it is just enforcing law .
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#43 User is offline   Genichiro 

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:46 AM

View PostSmokey, on 20 May 2012 - 04:13 PM, said:

Unless I'm missing something obvious here, there's really only 2 safe places out front of the hotel to smoke. The west side of the driveway, where the crush of pedestrian traffic flows, and the east side, where there is no pedestrian traffic. I say keeping our attendees safe and free from suffocation trumps parking a couple of cars. Am I alone in this?

You're not; I like the idea, and if there's a way to get it to work, I'm all for it.

#44 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

View PostKungPowKirby, on 18 May 2012 - 05:56 AM, said:

Perhaps a mention to about the local laws and a request to please keep smoking away from doors whenever possible.



I think it'll help to get rid of those benches on either side of those doors. They are just asking for people to break the rules.

@bold -- I've been doing that for years, and the sole reactions are flicked butts/smoke plumes blown at me, and/or snark met with variations of "screw you b**ch", so I kinda doubt that would work unless it was a cop telling them that. Or rather , a cop with cuffs already out... :/

View Postlinlindesu, on 20 May 2012 - 07:31 PM, said:

1. Pretty sure the benches are Hyatt property and not something so easily moved
2. The benches ( the ones that are in the middle of the 2 entrances, are there any right next to the door? if they are , meh :/ ) would keep smokers in that area away from the entrances and within IL law

I second obakasan with the smoking icons.

maybe we can even ask the Hyatt if we can place no smoking and smoking area signs ( just by the Hyatt, nothing crazy :X). Which they really shouldn't mind as it is just enforcing law .

Sad thing is they already have them up, and signs pointing/leading to where smoking is okay. The problems is that nobody listens, and thanks to lax enforcement across the board, there is no threat or repercussions or anything whatsoever negative should they decide "F**k the system, F**k the police, screw the rules, the man, I do what -I- want loki'd, WHEN and HOW I want!!" ....which needless to say is in and of itself a problem. :/

Ideally, most effective would be talking with the head of the Hyatt and reminding that they are legally liable for the actions of their patrons per the smoking law. Whether or not that would actually be sufficient enough motivation to put up with inconveniences like moving benches and larger signs, well, who knows..

As for safe spots to smoke, what of the plant circle/island in the driveway? Not the biggest of gathering spots (unless my head has the size skewed), but it could hold some 15-20ish in a Smoking Circle per go, I'd imagine. I think this was actually suggested a few years back as an alternative spot to send smokers 15 feet from doors at all times (perhaps just before the smoking law went in effect?), though I'm not 1000%, nor whether that was actually formally considered/proposed/suggested anywhere. With a little common sense (and maybe a staffer/IRT/hotel person/cop on Crossing Duty So People Don't Get Hit And IRT Doesn't Have To Yell [More] At People), it could possibly work. *2 cents*
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#45 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:34 AM

So, let me get this straight. People's proposed solution to smoking near the entrance of the Hyatt is to force smokers to cut across the busy circle drive to the island and/or east side of the lot, impede traffic, and risk injury?

This post has been edited by Roark: 29 May 2012 - 08:34 AM


#46 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:12 PM

View PostRoark, on 29 May 2012 - 08:34 AM, said:

So, let me get this straight. People's proposed solution to smoking near the entrance of the Hyatt is to force smokers to cut across the busy circle drive to the island and/or east side of the lot, impede traffic, and risk injury?

Nope. You can use the sidewalk to get to said area.
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#47 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:50 PM

View PostKungPowKirby, on 29 May 2012 - 01:12 PM, said:

Nope. You can use the sidewalk to get to said area.


These are the two options I've read:

Smokey said:

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.


chainedbyroses said:

As for safe spots to smoke, what of the plant circle/island in the driveway?


Here's Google Maps satellite and street view of the locations:
http://goo.gl/maps/TlLH

The island is not sidewalk accessible in any way. Moving smokers there would interrupt the flow of traffic in the circle drive and pretty much destroy any landscaping on the island. It's a non-starter idea.

There are three parking spots on the east side of the lot. Only the one closest to the valet stand is accessible from the sidewalk by the Hyatt. The other two require that you either cut across the circle drive (if coming from either Hyatt entrance), cut across two driveways and/or jaywalk (if coming from River or the convention center), or cut across the grass (if walking west towards River from the back parking lots for some reason). Which of these is easily sidewalk accessible?

Also, even with ropes, smokers will likely flow out of any roped-off spots into the circle drive. Traffic hazard, again.

If your'e all so concerned about not walking through a cloud of smoke, why not just walk a bit extra, carefully cross the driveways, and enter the Hyatt using the east entrance? The current smoking area seems to follow the Frank Lloyd Wright school of design by being in the place people naturally want to congregate.

This post has been edited by Roark: 29 May 2012 - 01:50 PM


#48 User is offline   Genichiro 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:51 PM

There are more non-smokers than smokers, and several with allergies/disabilities that are not conducive to walking a longer distance. Forcing everyone else to walk around for the sake of a minority is not an acceptable solution.

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:05 PM

Correct. All we're trying to do here is get the smoke out of the crowd. That doesn't mean forcing anyone to use certain sides of a building exclusively, that simply isn't realistic. People are going to want to smoke wherever they are, and they will. That's just human nature, selfish and apathetic as it is. The thing we need to accomplish is getting them to do so in a way that doesn't harm others. If that means forcing Hyatt and IRT to begin complying with the law, then so be it.
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#50 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

View PostGenichiro, on 29 May 2012 - 05:51 PM, said:

There are more non-smokers than smokers, and several with allergies/disabilities that are not conducive to walking a longer distance. Forcing everyone else to walk around for the sake of a minority is not an acceptable solution.


I'm guessing that this most likely follows the 80/20 rule.

20% of the ACen population has a strong opinion on smoking, pro or con. 80% most likely don't care.

I think compliance with the law is the key to this issue. The current row of benches should be acceptable, since that's more than 5 yards from any entrance. So, the best solution here is strong demarcation of the 5-yard limits, moving the ashtrays away from the entrance in front of the grand ballroom, and not closing the grand ballroom entrance like IRT is prone to do prior to seating for large events.

Forcing smokers to move to potentially hazardous locations won't work, and really comes across as punitive based on the very vocal complaints of a minority. Again, I'm guessing 80% of attendees don't have strong opinions one way or another on smokers.

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

View PostRoark, on 30 May 2012 - 09:25 AM, said:

Forcing smokers to move to potentially hazardous locations won't work, and really comes across as punitive based on the very vocal complaints of a minority. Again, I'm guessing 80% of attendees don't have strong opinions one way or another on smokers.

I'm sure there are more with opinions than those who have posted; it's just that the majority of the attendees aren't familiar with this forum. It would be something hard to gauge, really. I'm sure it's not 20/80 for those who care/don't, but I wouldn't say it's more than 50/50, and that's stretching it.

#52 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:40 PM

Regardless of how many people have the complaint it is an issue. Illinois believes it is such an issue that there are state laws surrounding where you can smoke within certain buildings and entrances. So I don't believe it to be appropriate to discount the complaints on the forums due to the number of people on the forums. I do believe that Roark is trying to add a sense of practicality to the conversation, though it may not be coming across as such.

We know that this is a problem and I am sure that either the hotel or a group of people within ACen are already trying to see how we can address this issue. I know from experience that the hyatt has had no issues, that I have heard of, where smoking issues such as these have caused discomfort during regular hotel guest stays. That being said, with the increased population of Rosemont for 3-4 days due to the event, there are bound to be several issues with such an influx of people in an isolated area.
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#53 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 31 May 2012 - 12:40 PM, said:

I do believe that Roark is trying to add a sense of practicality to the conversation, though it may not be coming across as such.

And a sense of scale. To hear some people talk, you'd think the cigarette smoke in front of the Hyatt was like a dense fog, when it's really not. People are asking for reactionary solutions to a problem that's part reality, part perception.

The 15' laws should be enforced, simple as that. Since enforcement of those laws automatically pushes smokers into the benches area between the main entrance and the grand ballroom entrance, the grand ballroom entrance needs to remain a functioning exit/entrance to allow a bypass of the smoking area. This means it can't be closed down before blowing the doors on main programming events, or at least some walkway needs to be maintained.

All the fanciful island/driveway/east side of Hyatt ideas are pretty much DOA, since they are either dangerous or impractical. The problem isn't the smoking area. The problem is lack of enforcement to the current rules.

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:16 PM

Hey everyone. Just thought I would jump in here. This is an issue that I will be addressing with the Hyatt O'Hare. I understand the concern, and I promise that this will be addressed. However, I make no promise that it will change.


Most importantly, I ask that every staff remember refrain from contacting the hotel for any issue, in any capacity. Even though you tell then that you are not contacting them as a staff member, only as a guest. You are still a staff member and they know this. Please allow me to perform my duties as the HCSR. As I stated at the feedback session, " I will contact the Hyatt about this idea." you need to give me time to work and not contact them directly. Doing so, depicts ACen and a unorganized group that has no chain of command.



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