New Rooming Arrangement for some district conventions in the UK - what are they up to?

by 88JM 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • 88JM

    So I missed this letter below being read out last week - I got a look at it from the notice board this week.

    From what I heard, this announcement was not received entirely positively as such, but there were apparently one or two for who this is a bit annoying.

    Staying at hotels for the district convention is nothing new here - many are used to staying at the same hotel/B&B/campsite every year, and get quite friendly with the owners. But this year, it looks like not only do we have a new location for our district assembly (Glasgow - the S.E.C.C.?) but we are being told what hotel to stay at, supposedly to make things cheaper.

    What I can't understand is, if this is really for the benefit of people, why didn't they do this years ago? Or is there a real reason they are doing it now? The other thing is, the attached list of hotels (which I've not included) looked like the prices I would probably expect to pay for those hotels anyway. They were mostly the budget hotels from what I could see - Premier Inn's etc.

    Any one have any thought's on what they are up to here?


    November 30, 2012


    Re: Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Telford

    Dear Brothers:

    We always look forward to our annual district conventions where we receive timely spiritual food. You have now received information regarding your convention dates and location. We are writing now to explain a new rooming arrangement.

    NEW ROOMING ARRANGEMENT: In order to simplify and assist everyone needing accommodation, the branch office is taking a new approach to rooming for those attending your district convention. This arrangement will only be in selected areas, of which you are a part.

    Qualified brothers have approached selected hotels in the convention cities and have negotiated the best rates possible for those attending each convention. They have blocked off a number of rooms in several hotels of good quality. A Recommended hotel List approved by the branch will be placed on the noticeboard at the end of the meeting. This will enable everyone to benefit from the arrangement. (Rom. 8:28) In the past, when hotels were aware that the same venue would be used for consecutive years, they would raise their hotel rates for the dates of our convention. By supporting this new arrangement, it will allow brothers to negotiate cheaper hotel rates for future years.

    WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: From the Recommended Hotel List, you should select the hotel where you would prefer to stay. Each hotel has a unique code which you will need to quote if you are phoning the hotel or type in if you are booking online. All the hotels can be booked from December 10. The convention Rooming Department will monitor the arrangement and provide whatever assistance is needed through the congregation.

    What should you do if you have already made a tentative hotel booking? In view of the above, we are encouraging all to support the new arrangement. We encourage you not to book a hotel that is not on the Recommended Hotel List even if you have stayed there in previous years. We hope you can understand the benefits of supporting this arrangement.

    YOUR COOPERATION APPRECIATED: The smoothness of how the new rooming arrangement functions will largely depend on the cooperation of everyone involved. We do appreciate many brothers have access to Internet hotel offers, but may we encourage you to support the recommended hotels from the list, which will help to secure better rates. It could result in difficulties if a large number of delegates choose not to use the hotels listed, hut for one reason or another, make their own arrangements. The listing provided is broad enough to give a choice of good quality accommodation whilst using the most cooperative hotels.


    • Association with brothers and sisters

    • Cheaper hotel rates

    • Providing support for better negotiations in the future

  • minimus

    They've been saying that for years. And JWs will still go where they want if they so desire.

  • cobaltcupcake

    They've been doing this in the States for years.

    Way back in the '70s you'd submit a rooming request slip, tell how many people were in your party, and the Society sent you the motel name that was selected for you. You didn't even get to choose from a list. You were assigned. Period.

  • 00DAD

    They've been doing that for 20+ years in the United States. In fact, they give the publishers a lot of flack if any of them "go off the reservation" and stay at a hotel NOT on the list.


  • NeonMadman

    It could result in difficulties if a large number of delegates choose not to use the hotels listed, hut for one reason or another, make their own arrangements.

    Translation: If the hotels we have made kickback deals with begin to realize that they don't need to pay us off to get our people's business, we won't be able to shake them down for money anymore.

  • 88JM

    Ah okay then. I was aware that there were similar arrangements in other parts of the world, but this is a new thing here.

    I think they might have had some arrangement on a much smaller scale in the past, but I think it was a University Halls of Residence and I don't ever remember anyone asking for a rooming form for there.

  • Phizzy

    What are they up to ?


    There is a kick-back from the Hotel to the W.T

    Money is at the root of all thry do.

  • cantleave

    That has been the arrangement for Twickenham, Bournemouth and other conventions in the UK as long as I can remember!

    The SECC in Glasgow is a bice place, I have done a few exhibitions there in my time. Great Cinema across the river by the council buiuldings.

  • Balaamsass

    The society pockets the travel agent's commission 10% in many cases. Been doing it in the states for years.

    Money money money......$$$$$$$$

  • Tater-T

    I used to work in hotels ... you can get a better rate as a group... the ones setting up the group.. are compensated.. that's buisness

  • jgnat

    I am grateful for being married to a rebel JW. We lived close enough to the Circuiit Assembly building to take the transit Did not even pay for parking. We don't attend the District Assembly assigned to our area, and stay with friends.

  • 88JM

    I assume it's the S.E.C.C. - unless they have managed to somehow weasel a deal out of Ibrox now they are desperate?!

    Edit: just looked at the hotels list again and it does actually confirm it's the S.E.C.C. Hydro

  • truthlover123

    Same in Canada = they book the hotels and then send lists to the congregations - you have to book those hotels yourself and pay their rate - you are to say your with the JW convention for the pricing schedule. Has been that way for years..

  • cedars

    You can bet that any time the Society uses the word "simplify" they are making money or saving it.


  • moshe

    The hotel proabably comps a percentage of rooms, too- the upstairs suites are free for the Bethel, worthies.

  • 88JM

    It's also interesting that they have moved the venue for this year.

    Have they also done that to save money, or is it to please some of the Glasgow elder heavies?

    Or is it because they were refused McDiarmid park? There was talk of a different venue not long from right after last years convention.

  • DaCheech

    everytime I've looked at the lists here, the hotels ARE NOT close, and they are not good quality

  • Honeybucket

    I remember about 8 years ago (give or take) we used to have AWESOME HOTELS on our list. I mean full breakfasts with bacon, eggs, pancakes. Nice swimming pools, suits, tennis courts, hot tubs, THE WORKS. I never booked these rooms because I was a teenager and had to stay with family.

    So this year before booking my room I checked out each hotel on trip advisor before calling any of them. Most the rooms, according to trip advisor, had meager breakfasts available (toast and bagels) no swimming pool, and in the seedy part of town. I thought to myself I can deal with that, so i call to make reservations and all of them were booked. The list came out that very week how can they already be booked? Of course we all know that certian people get to look at that list before the congregation and then they make arrangements for their whole famn Damily and friends. There was one hotel that I did not call, its price was lower then all the others so i thought this place must be a whole in the wall dump.Boy did I get that wrong. I checked with trip advisor of course and ALL THE REVIEWS, not one or 2 or a couple 10 years ago, I mean ALL THE REVIEWS EVER for this hotel was "ladys of the night frequent here" and "drug deals went down". This place was ghetto central. I also checked yahoo travel to verify some of these reviews, they too said very simular things. Bad housekeeping, no hot water, gun shots were heard at night, dead bodys found. I told myself I better book a room with them just in case, I need to do what the society tells me to do, Im sure its different now, their website made it look quaint and charming and they were under new ownership. So I called and made the reservation, the woman didnt take any information from me except my name address and phone number. That was weird I thought to myself.

    That was when I decided to start calling a hotel I have always stayed at and BEGGED them for a room. I played up our loyalty to this hotel chain, and how I have stayed with them for many many years. I told them how this other hotel that was available was a seedy place full over addicts and hookers and if we stayed there Im sure I would get murdered. Ok I was being a bit dramatic, but I did not want to stay at this place.Why would the society even have us stay there? We used to have KILLER rooms on the list and now they are all dives except for one or two of them.

    It all ended up working out for us, after a couple months on a "waiting list", they gave us a suit at the top, not in the JW block, with the same price as a jw block rate. A couple of people in our hall stayed at the seedy hotel and confirmed everything the reviews mentioned. When I told them we were going to stay there until i read the reviews then begged another hotel manager to put us on the list, they chastized us for it! They said I was not obeying the organization or god. They were just jealous that they got stuck in a crap hole.

    It does make me wonder, why wont these hotels allow the society to make arrangements with them anymore? Did they screw em over? The WTS said its because people call and make reservations and dont show up or overbook. So its our fault?

  • snare&racket

    Its really strange to hear adults being told what to do by people they dont even know.....

    People who dont have their interests in mind AT ALL.

    seems so alien now....

  • cofty

    The Watchtower infantilises its followers.

    I remember a Service Meeting when we were instructed on what to put in our sandwiches. I was already on the way out but it was the last straw.

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