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Avoiding The Smoke Outside Hyatt Yes, again.

#1 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

Hi all,

There's been considerable turmoil in the past concerning attendees with respiratory difficulties, smoke allergies and other similar ailments being forced to walk through the smoking area while entering or leaving the Hyatt. I've been trying to come up with a solution for a few years now, and may have finally found the answer.

We're designating the Ballroom entrance of the hotel as the smoke-free entrance. We'll be actively complying with the fifteen foot law (which extends just past the big, square columns,) and will be asking attendees to refrain from smoking along the section of sidewalk connecting that area to the street. If we can get everyone to cooperate, you'll be able to avoid the smoking area entirely and breathe freely as you enter and leave Hyatt's property, .

I'm still trying to iron out all the details, like how to make sure all the smokers know about this without being able to put up any signs, but I'd like to hear what you all think about it. Do you have any suggestions or questions? Want to be part of the solution? Want to string me up like a dried squid? Your feedback is welcome.
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#2 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:31 PM

So I'm assuming you mean IRT are going to be stationed there and enforcing this? If so why not use no smoking signs... on the IRT. You can't hang them up on the property, but you can hang them on people. Does that break any rule? Or perhaps they can hold a sign on a stick?
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#3 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 14 November 2012 - 09:31 PM, said:

So I'm assuming you mean IRT are going to be stationed there and enforcing this? If so why not use no smoking signs... on the IRT. You can't hang them up on the property, but you can hang them on people. Does that break any rule? Or perhaps they can hold a sign on a stick?

There will be no enforcement, not beyond 15' of the doorway anyway. since this is not an official convention policy... yet. Cooperation will be voluntary, but compliance will be strongly urged.

I will not be asking IRT to patrol this area, nor am I expecting them to. They've got much more important things to do. I will however be requesting some volunteers to post there. Again, not for enforcement, but just to convey the intent of this plan to anyone they might spot walking into this zone with a lit cigarette.
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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:46 AM

I'm all for it, if we can get volunteers to make it work. If there's no one there to remind people, it's a given someone is going to light up over there.

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

Honestly, even with volunteers, I can see people just ignoring them and lighting up anyways unless there are figures of authority. Only other issue I see is people moving to smoke on the sidewalk between the ballroom entrance and the main entrance..meaning more people congregating on the walkway..meaning people having to walk around the group and getting talked to by IRT to stay on the sidewalk. Appreciate the effort on this issue but there just isn't much you can do.

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

Given the age group, congestion, and no authority figures or official signage I don't think this will have any impact or effectiveness. :/
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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

I'm all for this idea, but like the others have pointed out, if the area already has "Smoking signs" or obvious ashtrays out there then that's where people will smoke. The only way I can see it not being done is if there's something really smelly or nasty there that makes it impossible for people to smoke there. Also, the benches, this is why people go there, to sit and smoke.
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#8 User is offline   kotomichi 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

Resident idiot chiming in, but can we move the ashtrays around?
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#9 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

View Postrondo, on 15 November 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:

Only other issue I see is people moving to smoke on the sidewalk between the ballroom entrance and the main entrance.


What's wrong with that? It's where people are supposed to go to smoke. That's why it called a Designated Smoking Area.


View Postrondo, on 15 November 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:

.meaning more people congregating on the walkway.


Not necessarily. Right now the problem exists because the majority of pedestrians are funneled through the Main Entrance only. Freeing up the Ballroom entrance lets people leave and arrive without being forced through that route. If cigarette smoke affected you physically, wouldn't you rather use the door that doesn't have that huge cloud hanging there?

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#10 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 15 November 2012 - 09:28 AM, said:

Given the age group, congestion, and no authority figures or official signage I don't think this will have any impact or effectiveness. :/

Maybe not, but not making any effort at all doesn't really accomplish too much, does it?



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#11 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 15 November 2012 - 01:13 PM, said:

I'm all for this idea, but like the others have pointed out, if the area already has "Smoking signs" or obvious ashtrays out there then that's where people will smoke. The only way I can see it not being done is if there's something really smelly or nasty there that makes it impossible for people to smoke there. Also, the benches, this is why people go there, to sit and smoke.


I think you're missing something here. The stretch of sidewalk I'm referring to doesn't have any smoking signs, ash trays or benches. If they want to smoke up there in the designated area, more power to them. As I stated before, that's where I go to smoke. I'm not trying to stop smoking there, just that one little length of sidewalk between the Ballroom entrance and the street. The smoking area is the other direction from that.



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#12 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:03 PM

View Postkotomichi, on 15 November 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

Resident idiot chiming in, but can we move the ashtrays around?

Already tried that... several times in fact. Hyatt doesn't want to cooperate in that regard. Leave the ashtrays there where they belong, I'm talking about a different place.
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#13 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

View PostSmokey, on 15 November 2012 - 01:50 PM, said:

What's wrong with that? It's where people are supposed to go to smoke. That's why it called a Designated Smoking Area.




Not necessarily. Right now the problem exists because the majority of pedestrians are funneled through the Main Entrance only. Freeing up the Ballroom entrance lets people leave and arrive without being forced through that route. If cigarette smoke affected you physically, wouldn't you rather use the door that doesn't have that huge cloud hanging there?


If I could draw a map, maybe I could make better sense of myself here.

In the area between the main and ballroom entrances is a natural chokepoint. It is where most of the foot traffic in and out of the hotel occurs with grass on one side and the pavement on the other. Right now, most of the smokers congregate in and around that section of walkway(benches) and all around the ballroom entrance and some near the main entrance.

The proposal is to push people away approximately 15 feet from the ballroom entrance [outside of the awning]. In theory, this should push people in all directions with the exception of the pavement. People already naturally lean towards the side where the benches are so I expect the smokers, if they adhere to the suggestions, to move moreso into the walkway. By moving the people over to the walkway, you thereby create a point where more people will sit around, blocking foot traffic moving along the walkway (it is not very wide). This where all the foot traffic will naturally spill onto the roadway, something I'm sure IRT doesn't want.

If smokers can be kept away from the ballroom entrance, those who wish to use it should be good to go (already use it when walking into the hyatt), generally speaking. I just worry about the issues folks may have getting around the smokers area and how it will affect IRT's management of the walkway. Also, because of the proximity of the main entrance to where most of the average foot activity takes place in the hyatt, I still believe most people will continue to use the main entrance, particularly when the ballroom entrance has to perform double duty for largescale ballroom events.

If the grassy area behind the benches was concrete instead, that would be a great place for smokers to be and not be in the way of general traffic. But that's just a dream I guess.

Just some observations on my end, nothing more really. At least something is being tried, that I am glad to see.

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:38 PM

:x I'd say also have those IRT that are enforcing the area let smokers know about the area by the top dome entrance thingy. It's so out of the way that I don't think most smokers notice it and because it's off the beaten path less people will have to deal with smoke.

See if the con can enforce hookahs to not be allowed in high traffic areas either, that would be awesome.
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#15 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

View PostSmokey, on 15 November 2012 - 01:59 PM, said:

I think you're missing something here. The stretch of sidewalk I'm referring to doesn't have any smoking signs, ash trays or benches. If they want to smoke up there in the designated area, more power to them. As I stated before, that's where I go to smoke. I'm not trying to stop smoking there, just that one little length of sidewalk between the Ballroom entrance and the street. The smoking area is the other direction from that.


I get it, but I can still see issues cropping up from this, particually if it's raining and people don't want to get wet. Shame we can't designate a walking path for people around the smoking area.
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#16 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

OK, I can see that there's still some confusion here. Let me draw a mental diagram for you.

Stepping out of the main entrance, you have a sidewalk to your right. As you walk along that sidewalk, away from the doors, you encounter an ever present cloud of smoke known as the smoking area. As you continue through that cloud, you pass from the smoking area to the ballroom entrance area. By law, there is to be no smoking within fifteen feet of that doorway, regardless of the weather. There are large signs posted there stating this, and are no ashtrays. Continuing past this entrance is a one hundred foot stretch of sidewalk leading to the street.

The current scenario is that you enter and exit the hotel through this main entrance as use of the ballroom entrance is usually discouraged by crowds waiting to get into Main Programming. Using that main entrance, and keeping to the sidewalk (as required to keep the less intelligent members of our species from wandering into the path of large, heavy vehicles that could easily render them into quivering puddles of stupid,) you are routed directly through the cloud of smoke. If you have Asthma, Bronchitis, allergies of myriad of any other respiratory conditions, this is the point in which you reach for your inhaler or other medication in a desperate attempt to remain breathing.

Under the new plan, you will not be forced into the cloud, but rather are given the choice of using the main entrance, therefore enduring the smoke, or bypassing it all together by going around it via the inside hallway, and using the ballroom entrance, in which IRT will be making an effort at keeping less crowded. This gets you around the smoke, but if people are smoking in the section between there, on that short little stretch of sidewalk, and the street, then those that have breathing difficulties are still being exposed to the toxins. My intent is to eliminate smoking only on that one little strip of sidewalk, so attendees will be able to commute between the hotel and public property without being suffocated.

I'm not trying to move or eliminate the smoking area (It's my lounging spot too, after all,) just to give all of you the chance to come and go as you please without getting choked in the process. Smokers have the smoking area, the street, the sidewalks along Bryn Mawr and River, the parking lot and miles of other places to light up. All I'm asking for is one little, tiny strip of sidewalk so that you can enjoy the convention without choking. Is that really so much to ask?
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#17 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 15 November 2012 - 03:38 PM, said:

Shame we can't designate a walking path for people around the smoking area.

By George, I think you've got it! That's exactly what I'm shooting for here.



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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

For smokers also.. the Ballroom entrance also has the balcony on the second floor. Remember that those flagpoles are also a very popular cosplay meeting spot and will be pretty busy during the day. Best to go upstairs and get a front row seat~

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

View Postcactusmomma, on 15 November 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

For smokers also.. the Ballroom entrance also has the balcony on the second floor. Remember that those flagpoles are also a very popular cosplay meeting spot and will be pretty busy during the day. Best to go upstairs and get a front row seat~

There is no balcony over the Ballroom Entrance. You're thinking of the east entrance on the other side of the building.



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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:35 PM

Curious, and I'm not sure if this addressed was openly, but what are ACen's plans for advertising the secondary entrance?

If this can continue year after year and it is constantly pushed as an alternative to the main entrance, you should be able to win over a decent amount of people. You'll still have people hitting that main entrance but making something more viable for those who have breathing concerns/allergies (right here) and it works/sticks, then all the better.

This post has been edited by rondo: 15 November 2012 - 11:37 PM


#21 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:51 AM

View Postrondo, on 15 November 2012 - 11:35 PM, said:

Curious, and I'm not sure if this addressed was openly, but what are ACen's plans for advertising the secondary entrance?

If this can continue year after year and it is constantly pushed as an alternative to the main entrance, you should be able to win over a decent amount of people. You'll still have people hitting that main entrance but making something more viable for those who have breathing concerns/allergies (right here) and it works/sticks, then all the better.

If I can get the cooperation of the people in charge of these things, I want to publicize it on the web site, in the newsletter, on Facebook and Tweeter, and hopefully, in a prominent space in the convention guide. Word of mouth also works pretty well too. You tell two people about this, and they'll tell two people and they'll tell two people and so on.

If this works, i'm hoping to get it made into an official convention policy, since this could also relieve much of the congestion from the smoking area by simple virtue of people preferring to use the Ballroom entrance anyway, since it's closer to the street.
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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:07 AM

View PostSmokey, on 15 November 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

There is no balcony over the Ballroom Entrance. You're thinking of the east entrance on the other side of the building.


I was! Apologies for the misfire!

#23 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

View Postcactusmomma, on 23 November 2012 - 02:07 AM, said:

I was! Apologies for the misfire!

No worries. Lots of people get the different entrances mixed up.
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#24 User is offline   cactusmomma 

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

Indeed. I'm hoping that with this way of people being able to largely avoid the smoke, it'll help cut down on foot traffic through the tree patch. Long shot of wishful thinking, but it's a dream~

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

What about designating the garden area across the street as the smoking area?
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#26 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

View PostShinamura, on 11 December 2012 - 10:17 AM, said:

What about designating the garden area across the street as the smoking area?

I wish we could, but it's not our property. We have no say so at all about where the smoking areas are located. The best that we're able to offer so far is to provide a bypass around it.



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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

I'm wondering if it would be possible to put up canopies of some sort off the path along the ballroom windows or to the right of the east entrance where the tree is located? That way the smokers are protected from weather and the sidewalks are clear. I know that come rain or shine smokers will smoke (I should know, my roommate smokes) but maybe those that have canopies not in use could maybe bring them and it will help encourage people to smoke there instead of near the doors. Benches and portable ashtrays could be set up in the new designated areas as well.

To help with informing everyone it could be printed in the program guide/rules book/posted in the emails that ACen sends out?
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#28 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

View PostKamisets303, on 27 December 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

I'm wondering if it would be possible to put up canopies of some sort off the path along the ballroom windows or to the right of the east entrance where the tree is located? That way the smokers are protected from weather and the sidewalks are clear. I know that come rain or shine smokers will smoke (I should know, my roommate smokes) but maybe those that have canopies not in use could maybe bring them and it will help encourage people to smoke there instead of near the doors.


I like the idea. I'm a smoker too, and would love to have some cover out there. Unfortunately for us, the Hyatt's real picky about things being erected on their property. They won't even let us put up signs, so I highly doubt they'd approve of anything like a canopy. We tobacco addicts are just going to have to get into the habit of carrying umbrellas if we want to smoke out there during nasty weather.

View PostKamisets303, on 27 December 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Benches and portable ashtrays could be set up in the new designated areas as well.
What new designated areas? Are you referring to the new smoke-free hotel access? There's no smoking there.

View PostKamisets303, on 27 December 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

To help with informing everyone it could be printed in the program guide/rules book/posted in the emails that ACen sends out?

That's the plan. I'm attempting to get the word out through ALL available media outlets. After that, the only option left is attendees like you telling their fellow con goers who don't read what we publish.
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#29 User is offline   xSaria 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:32 AM

As someone with a severe tobacco allergy, I really like the idea. I just can't see it feasible without people enforcing it. Still, a step is better than doing nothing at all.
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#30 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

View PostxSaria, on 02 January 2013 - 03:32 AM, said:

As someone with a severe tobacco allergy, I really like the idea. I just can't see it feasible without people enforcing it. Still, a step is better than doing nothing at all.

Then you're one of the people we're doing this for. Yes, enforcement WOULD be ideal, but since this isn't an official policy yet, we're going to have to depend on voluntary cooperation for the time being. Although I am still hoping that IRT can spare an op or two for this area.
The Special Needs & ADA Compliance Department is dedicated to making sure that nobody has to miss anything that ACen has to offer because of a physical challenge or medical condition.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Compliments? Complaints?

Visit us at http://acen.org/cont...-ada-compliance or send an email to adacompliance-dh@acen.org

Number of ACens attended: 15, Number of years on staff: 6, 2010 Staff MVP Award

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