TDIFest 2018 planning discussion

Growler

Got Soot Vendor
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Location
Millersport, Ohio
TDI
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
Color me excited. A road trip to Texas might be just the thing my boys & I need.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
In my short experience, what has been done at Fest locations may be a bit outside of what a major hotel chain may allow. For instance, vendors who attend usually set up tents and keep them up for the duration of the event. Also, that Embassy Suite shows daily parking fees and that would be a problem with all the cars and getting a spot for the judging of the various car entries. I'm not saying it can't be done at a large hotel, but a smaller, boutique place may give us more flexibility with events, breakout technical sessions, the silent auction, etc. A lot of the Fest activities are actually conducted outdoors, weather permitting, of course.
Just internet scanning the small resort places between San Antonio and Austin, I saw about two dozen smaller ranch type facilities that have accommodations for large groups. When Mike gets back from his trip later next week, maybe the three of us could meet somewhere (around Austin) and discuss possibilities? I'm OK driving up to meet you two anytime.
We have had success doing our thing at a Hyatt Regency (2009) and a Marriott with an attached golf club (2012). You'd be surprised what hotels will let you do for a three-day rental. Don't dismiss the big chains right off the bat. :)

That said, local boutique places tend to have a lot more character. Depending on how they're managed, the experience could be better or worse. Franchised chains often provide a known quantity. In my experience, some of the privately-owned places can be more challenging and require managing expectations more closely.
 
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Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Throwing this one out there. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Cedar Creek, TX

https://www.google.com/maps/place/H...7d16accedeb!8m2!3d30.164805!4d-97.44445?hl=en


Close enough to Austin but a more country setting. Seems to be plenty of parking.

Hotel details

Nestled on 405 acres along the Colorado River, this expansive resort is adjacent to the 1,100-acre nature park McKinney Roughs.

The rooms feature minimalist, nature-inspired decor and have minifridges, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. Some have private balconies or patios, and suites have separate living areas with sofabeds.

Among the many outdoor recreational activities are golf, horseback riding, tennis, archery and river sports. There is also a water park with a 1,000-foot river, 2 whirlpools and a sandy beach. A secluded spa offers water views. There are 9 restaurants and bars, some featuring live entertainment.

Free Wi-Fi Free breakfast Outdoor pool Laundry service Kid-friendly Restaurant
Airport shuttle Hot tub Bar

Google shows the rooms at $167. Maybe they will deal some.

https://lostpines.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html
 

AARodriguez Corp.

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Location
South East USA
TDI
2009 JSW and Golf 2004 TDI
Sugguestion for changes to the format

Hey guys, I've enjoyed attending the TDI fests for the past few years and I owe a lot of thanks to everybody who's organized it. I'd like to make some suggestions for semi major changes to the format that hopefully make this less planning intensive and reduce the cost and make it a lot easier to plan out an event like this.

Sugguestions:
-Skip the formal catered meal and banquet hall moving to something more like a barbecue at a park. I know that we did not feed everybody but we had a great time in 2016 sharing all of the smoked Chickens, Ribs and the keg of beer at Tdifest

- I feel like large hotels might be taking advantage of us as a large group when we stay somewhere, obviously the area that we stay in varies for pricing but I've always noticed that some people would like to be camping and some people would like to be at a chain hotel and some people would probably prefer something different. We rented out a mansion in 2016 instead of staying at the hotel. Doing that was a freaking blast and it was less expensive than staying at the hotel.

-Plan a potluck meal
More to come...
 
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MonsterTDI09

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Location
NoVa/NJ
TDI
2010 Jetta DSG/ up keep on 2009 Jetta DSG 2006 Jetta Pag 2 in North SEA Green
Throwing this one out there. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Cedar Creek, TX

https://www.google.com/maps/place/H...7d16accedeb!8m2!3d30.164805!4d-97.44445?hl=en


Close enough to Austin but a more country setting. Seems to be plenty of parking.

Hotel details

Nestled on 405 acres along the Colorado River, this expansive resort is adjacent to the 1,100-acre nature park McKinney Roughs.

The rooms feature minimalist, nature-inspired decor and have minifridges, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. Some have private balconies or patios, and suites have separate living areas with sofabeds.

Among the many outdoor recreational activities are golf, horseback riding, tennis, archery and river sports. There is also a water park with a 1,000-foot river, 2 whirlpools and a sandy beach. A secluded spa offers water views. There are 9 restaurants and bars, some featuring live entertainment.

Free Wi-Fi Free breakfast Outdoor pool Laundry service Kid-friendly Restaurant
Airport shuttle Hot tub Bar

Google shows the rooms at $167. Maybe they will deal some.

https://lostpines.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html
Looks like a nice place.
 

MonsterTDI09

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Location
NoVa/NJ
TDI
2010 Jetta DSG/ up keep on 2009 Jetta DSG 2006 Jetta Pag 2 in North SEA Green
Let all of us try not to back seat planners. I'm a little guilty of this. I just don't want them overwhelmed early in the process.
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
Let all of us try not to back seat planners. I'm a little guilty of this. I just don't want them overwhelmed early in the process.
To anyone planning a TDIFest:

I will be happy with what ever you guys come up with! The people that come to the Fest are what makes it fun. The "where we stay" is a bit less important. We all go to walk and talk TDI for a couple of days. Right?
 

mslaptoptx

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Location
Austin, TX - Brushy Creek
TDI
03 Jetta ALH, 01 ALH Golf 2 Door
A big downtown hotel will have only a parking garage. I don't know about the rest of you put Shine & Show in a parking garage? Not for me.
The '16 Fest location was ideal, we basically had the place to ourselves and it was gorgeous! How about a guest ranch type setting - it is Texas after all. I've spent enough of my life in big box generic hotels, you know the one where you need to look at the room service sheet to remind you what city you're in today? Not!
But keep the ideas coming - the more people who contribute the better. Lost Pines sounds great but it's very expensive (all ready checked and discarded). Even with some negotiation I don't think $200+ a night is in most peoples budget. It sure isn't in mine.
 

tomo366

TDI Lifer, Member #68
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Location
Kensington, Maryland USA
TDI
2015 Jetta SEL TDI
A big downtown hotel will have only a parking garage. I don't know about the rest of you put Shine & Show in a parking garage? Not for me.
The '16 Fest location was ideal, we basically had the place to ourselves and it was gorgeous! How about a guest ranch type setting - it is Texas after all. I've spent enough of my life in big box generic hotels, you know the one where you need to look at the room service sheet to remind you what city you're in today? Not!
But keep the ideas coming - the more people who contribute the better. Lost Pines sounds great but it's very expensive (all ready checked and discarded). Even with some negotiation I don't think $200+ a night is in most peoples budget. It sure isn't in mine.
As Best in Show winner 3 o the last 4 Fest’s (2 different Cars) I agree with out in the Country Sturgeon Bay was one of the most Beautiful locations for a Fest!
 

1854sailor

Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Location
Baltimore, MD and Westerly, RI
TDI
2015 Golf SE SportWagen, 2015 Golf SE Hatch Back.
...Only drawback I see is all food/drinks onsite must be provided by them.
That's how it has been at the Fests I've attended. The venue's catering service provides the three group meals - Meet & Greet, Guest Speaker Breakfast, and Awards Banquet. You're on your own for all other meals.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Thoughts about various event formats

That's how it has been at the Fests I've attended. The venue's catering service provides the three group meals - Meet & Greet, Guest Speaker Breakfast, and Awards Banquet. You're on your own for all other meals.
Most venues will offer you complimentary meeting rooms if you book catering with them. If you don't book catering, expect to pay for your meeting rooms. Also, most hotels do not allow off-site food to be brought in and served to guests. Andrew was sneaky last year and did it anyway ... fortunately the hotel owner didn't notice or at least didn't mind.

Having non-hotel food is always nice, but it's a balancing act to offer that sort of thing while maintaining a location that is conducive to the activities and accommodations that organizers want to offer.

Some other ideas that have been discussed over the years include hosting TDIFest at a vacant car dealership. It has been suggested that we could rent one of these out but insurance options start to get limited (and expensive) if you look into it further.

I think most people are open to new ideas, but they all have to be vetted and the budget calculated to see what is viable and what isn't.

Another thing to consider is alternative lodging arrangements. AirBnBs and VRBOs are very attractive, but all hotel contracts have a negotiated number of room-nights that must be met. If the negotiated number isn't met, the group is responsible for attrition charges (fees for falling short of your targets). These types of vacation rentals can quickly erode the room totals, making it difficult to meet targets. If a lot of attendees want to explore these types of alternative lodging arrangements, the event organizers must negotiate their numbers accordingly. For example, a large vacation rental can easily eat up 15 room-nights that would otherwise go to the hotel. If your contract is for 150 room-nights (50 hotel rooms multiplied by 3 nights), that one house can result in a shortfall of 10%.
 
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sdubois

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
2000 Jetta, White
AUSTIN CREW REPORTING IN
Someone email me(hi2uall@gmail.com), I rarely check the forums

3 words: Lime Creek Road

Do any of yall from here know anything about renting the berger activity center? Massive parking lot, relatively near a lot of hotels and motels(dont stay at the texas inn or the sands motel, extended stay is 5 min down the road and has a lot of grass available for parking)
 
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Leo819

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2003
Location
Limerick, Pa
TDI
TDIless 4 now
I'm in PA, I was part of the 2006 fest, I'm willing to volunteer. My wife and I have family friends in Leander.
 

donDavide

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Location
Severna Park, Maryland USA
TDI
2003 Jetta; 2015 Jetta S
PLEASE! Do not be put off or dissuaded by the negativity of those of us old farts from the peanut gallery that have been there, done that, got the T shirt.
It is necessary for new ideas and opinions of what a larger gathering of diesel fans might want to use as an excuse to get out of town for a few days. Those that HAVEN'T attended a prior event don't have any pre-conceived notions of what has to be done just because it's been done that way before.
If you think you have a good idea, or even a just so-so idea, let it out. There is a ersatz support group of prior event organizers and volunteers that can be used as sounding boards to help explain why what worked for that event worked, why what didn't work that time failed, and to share thoughts on what they'd do differently under the same circumstance. Understand that each circumstance / event is different and what didn't work once doesn't automatically mean it wouldn't work in a different place and a different time.
Keep an open mind. Filter the opinions of the curmudgeons, but don't totally ignore them. And above all, offer suggestions, don't merely express wishes.
I agree 100%. I am sitting here thinking no wonder why there isn't much activity here anymore.
 

aja8888

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Location
Texas..RETIRED 12/31/17
TDI
Out of TDI's
I agree 100%. I am sitting here thinking no wonder why there isn't much activity here anymore.
Are you talking about the whole Forum or just this thread? Hard to tell.

But, in about two weeks, give or take a few days, we may be presenting a proposal to have the 2018 Fest in Texas. Location is picked, now working the details.
 

donDavide

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Location
Severna Park, Maryland USA
TDI
2003 Jetta; 2015 Jetta S
Are you talking about the whole Forum or just this thread? Hard to tell.


The whole forum. Just not much activity here anymore. Used to be I couldn't get enough of it, now I can go a week or 2 and not miss much, home page has same old articles/links that have been there most of the year. Not much in my subscribed threads either. I posted the in the Passat forum and nothing has posted in that. I have friends that concur too.
I am not knocking anyone personally, I like many of the people here quite a bit and always enjoy the get togethers.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Are you talking about the whole Forum or just this thread? Hard to tell.


The whole forum. Just not much activity here anymore. Used to be I couldn't get enough of it, now I can go a week or 2 and not miss much, home page has same old articles/links that have been there most of the year. Not much in my subscribed threads either. I posted the in the Passat forum and nothing has posted in that. I have friends that concur too.
I am not knocking anyone personally, I like many of the people here quite a bit and always enjoy the get togethers.

There isn't that much to talk about. There has been nothing technologically new to talk about in several years except for the Dieselgate scandal and the handful of people who bought 2015s (which are a newer variant of a foundation that was laid several years ago).

There is some performance enhancement discussion still happening, as usual, but other than that, the TDI population is dwindling due to much of the growth in recent years reversing course.

While it's unfortunate for the club, it's simply a result of *insert ad-lib here* decisions and the resulting evolution of transportation.
 
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