Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
We will now start a block of rooms at an alternate hotel to be announced very soon. This was done for SWI, II, IV and now will be repeated for SW VI. We do expect some attrition of the reservation list, it happens every year, plans are made to attend but life pops up and interrupts those plans for some of us.
From the beginning we expected a lower attendance for SW in Canada, compared to SW V in Texas. The committee knew that there would be folks that would not want to leave the U.S. for a myriad of reasons. We are very pleasantly surprised with the numbers so far.
I have also been asked about campgrounds nearby by a few individuals and have responded to them with a few excellent locations located close to the host hotel but right in the mountains. It looks like there may be few folks travelling up with their toy haulers and staying a little longer to tour farther north up to Jasper.
Regarding hotel selection. I began soliciting hotels in early 2015 in the Canmore and Banff area. There were only a handful of hotels that would accommodate our group. Most of the hotels in Banff start at 180.00/night up to ridiculous and are setup for tour groups from Asia and Europe, their parking and meeting room capabilities are very limited.
A couple of hotels are setup for meeting/convention/weddings. Room rates are not bad but you are paying for the ambiance of the Rockies in a high class setting (Banff Fairmont Springs Hotel)(looks like a castle) Banff and Canmore are very much tourist destinations, they have two busy seasons, ski/snowboard and spring/summer/fall. The shoulder seasons are very short. The ski/snowboard season has been known to extend into May overlapping the start of golf/hiking/summer tourism.
Canmore is the cheaper sister of Banff but runs on the same premiss for tourism. The best time of year to host a SW is August, the week before Sturgis. This allows for the most people to make the trip and make two great events. We solicited the larger hotels in Canmore for hosting the event. One location was perfect, more rooms, great parking, close to the microbrewery. Unfortunately their prices for rooms began at 164$/night and they were non-negotiable in their banquet space at 1500.00 just for the room to host the banquet. Their banquet meal prices were very high as well. I felt they were gouging us a little bit on purpose and not negotiating in good faith. When I approached them about putting a tent up in the rear parking area and cordoning it off for motorcycle only parking, they starting putting up all kinds of roadblocks.
The next choice of hotel had the number of rooms require, ok banquet space that they would negotiate on the cost, ok menu but were located right next to the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline, literally a board fence in between the rail right of way and the hotel parking, I could envision the bike alarms sounding throughout the night as several freight trains rolled thru town keeping our group and other awake all night. The last thing I want is tired grumpy riders each day. While their room pricing was not bad at 146/night, the parking situation and no possibility of a hospitality tent ruled out the venue.
The Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino bid on our group at 104$/night Canadian. They have banquet facilities, a casino, huge parking lot where a tent won't be a problem, shuttle service to Canmore and while not ideal, fuel is only about 5 miles away.
As stated earlier we are pleasantly surprised at the number of rooms booked and the folks that want to come. I believe that this SW in Canada will most likely be a one time occurance and that all future SW's will be held in the U.S.
My purpose from the start was to invite the members that like to ride long distance and experience the area they are riding too to come and visit my backyard but to do it affordably. I don't like to compromise but we had too to keep the trip affordable for the masses.
Yes the event is growing and I do believe that future events held in the U.S. will see larger attendance. The need for larger venues will become the norm and will definitely have to be taken into consideration. The problem being that some of the best places to see and ride are in smaller locales and the local trading area will just not support such large hotel complexes to make them viable locations year round.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
2019 FLTRU, Tiggr
2016 FLTRU, Ruby, in the pasture waiting for a new owner
2012 Road King Police, rain bike/teaching aid
2011 Suzuki WeeStrom, Great Pumpkin, gravel rider.
2008 FLTRI, Miss Louise, moved on to greener pastures