Our hotel did, and on the surface that's no big deal. Matter fact I think it's a good business move on the hotel's part and pretty darn good customer service. After the song was finished and the chairman did his announcements initiating the noon break, I got to wondering if the WT had anything to do with these box lunches offered by the hotel. The reason I ask is that for the past few years there's been pretty strong encouragement if you want to call it encouragement, those attending the convention to were asked to remain in the facility during the noon break. The original reason given a few years back to our circuit prior to travelling to the location was that the local vendors were putting pressure upon the city, facilities management, and the brothers organizing the convention, to be allowed to set up shop and be open for business during convention. The brothers didn't want to go for that, and I can understand that, so I didn't have a problem staying inside.
The rest of the friends didn't mind either and for the most part remained inside. We switched venues the following year and although the same reasoning wasn't given, the announcements during the noon break included a request for us to remain on site. I was doing a parking assignment that had me stationed a pretty fair distance away from the facility. The city had free trolley services set up for us and so I got to rapping with the driver and he proceeded to tell me about all the places we could go for lunch during our break. He asked me to spread the word to those at the convention probably so he could collect the over-time pay he would recieve for transporting people back and forth. Out of respect I gave him a heads up that he probably won't get much action during the noon break which he may not have taken seriously until noon came and he parked across the facility and went absolutely nowhere during our break for three days straight.
This year's convention was at an entirely different venue from the previous two years. Again the announcement was made, but for the life of me I don't know why as this town has no vendors. It's barely a town and reminds me of daylight scenes in The Walking Dead. For the most part people stayed inside, but there was definately a more noticeable amount of folks who did venture from the convention site. I ventured several blocks every day as did others but putting one and one togethers, that being the lunch boxes offered by the hotel and the announcement from the chairman to remain on site during the break has me playing with my chin hairs.
Did any of your hotels offer the boxed lunch? Did the chairman still announce at your convention to remain inside or on the grounds? By the way, since this whole initiative of keeping the friends boxed in at the conventions, it's spread to the circuit assemblies too, at least in our neck of the woods. I'm just wondering if the Watchtower or the Branch had anything to do with the box lunches as a sort of incentive if you will to keep us inside the facility. If so, why? Are they really that concerned about association? Is it a liability issue with so many people roaming the streets? I just don't get it man.