Author Topic: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)  (Read 4736 times)

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Offline Toliman

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2017, 04:20:34 pm »
Some YNP pics
Nice images :)

It's about the same. It should allow for awesome stargazing, so bringing telescopes and binoculars is a must!
Nice idea! ... I would like joint to US meet too, if I would could ...  :(

Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2017, 04:45:25 pm »
Notice that the campground has a special event area. I've stayed there many times before, and it is a sheltered area with picnic tables, and a decently sized wall.  If anyone has a good projector, we could screen Avatar in there.
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Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2017, 01:20:15 am »
Unfortunately, I have some concerns of my own as far as Yellowstone, or even other more off the beaten path venues.

First off, ideally, I actually do like the idea of Yellowstone as a venue. Yellowstone and the Teton mountains for me personally are a couple of those "bucket list" areas I'd love to visit before I, well...kick the bucket. hrh I'd also like to say that despite my idea for a meet in Vancouver, Canada next year (you can see my thread in the AvatarMeet 2018 subforum about it), I actually like the idea of the meet being in a natural setting while being able to camp and hike, and do all the things that made me love Avatar so much to begin with. I absolutely love nature too, and I like the idea of being able to be amongst and connect with it at any opportunity I can get. :) However, despite that, my main concern in regards to planning a meet for a large group with different needs and interests is transportation, variety, and overall accessibility. I have other concerns as as well, but I'll address them below.

- First and foremost, I have concerns as far as transportation for everyone arriving for the meet. It's very kind of TEAgaming2154 to offer to pick people up to get them to and from the airport for flights in and out. That's very generous. :) However, one problem I see is that people will be arriving and departing the meet at different times during the day. Some people may arrive early in the morning or afternoon, and depending on where people are coming from and what flights are available to them in their area, they may not have an option for an earlier flight, so they may not arrive until late at night. This is particularly true of smaller airports in Billings, Bozeman and Idaho Falls. Not all flights arrive at ideal times form all locations. I'd also have to agree with what Wind12 said above. The added environmental impact of extended distances driving people to and from the airport, as well as driving around from activity to activity is a bit of a concern for me as well. In an area that is meant to be protected, it would be a bit ironic to burn a bunch of fossil fuels within the park just to enjoy it.

- Another concern regarding transportation is, as generous as your offer is to shuttle people to and from the airport, if you are the only person doing the driving, what if you fall ill (such as a stomach bug) during the meet when people need to get to and from the airport? What if (Eywa forbid) there is an emergency back home that requires you to leave the meet early? What if you manage to get injured while hiking on a trail? What if you agree to do the driving and a month or two before the meet something comes up, and you are suddenly unable to attend? I know these are hypothetical situations, but things like that can happen before or during a meet. What I mean is, if you are the only person doing the driving, and you needed to leave, or come down injured or ill or something, there needs to be other people willing and able to shuttle people to and from the airport, or from activity to activity as a backup. There very well may be others who could fill in to do that, but that is another consideration for a meet in an area farther away from an airport where people would be arriving and departing.

- Also, please forgive me, as I hate to differ with you, TEAgaming2154, but the airports in Billings, Bozeman and Idaho Falls are not particularly major airports, which makes them less likely for direct flights depending on where people are coming from. There could be at least one or even two stops on the way to any one of those airports. And for any of the members who may still want to attend the meet from the U.K. (such as Alan?), or other parts of Europe, there would be even more flight connections for them to deal with as well. This increases flight times dramatically, as well as the stress and hassle of having to change airplanes, potentially multiple times. Not to mention the added risk of baggage loss in the process. Also, as a general rule, flights to airports with lower volumes tend to be more expensive because there are not as many flights to them, so airlines tend to charge more money to get there. For the reasons mentioned above, as well as transportation distances and logistics, these are some of the reasons why all the meets in the past have included arrivals at larger international airports in large city centers, because it makes it much easier for people to have better flight and transportation options.

- As far as accommodations, unfortunately, not everyone is going to want to do camping or stay in a cabin for the duration of the meet. And some may not even want to stay in a cabin at all. For instance, before this year's meet, the idea of sharing large rental houses near Pandora was brought up as an alternative to a hotel to perhaps keep costs down. So the planning team created a vote to see what kind of accommodations people wanted. After the vote was tallied, 53% of people who voted were either in favor of a hotel, or were unsure. I suppose some people prefer a little privacy, or perhaps have concerns about sharing bathrooms, or were concerned about potential noise issues within a shared accommodation. After all, a few good rounds of late night Cards Against Humanity tends to get people roaring with laughter! ;D Me personally, I like the idea of a cabin, and I actually voted for a rental house in Orlando this year, but I know, and am fully supportive of people who may not want the same. :) Sometimes these things have to be taken into consideration, and there needs to be compromise when planning a meet.

- As a side note, in shared accommodations with larger groups, some people also may have food allergies that you would have to be mindful of. Also, would someone (or a small group of people) cook for everyone? Or would everyone just prepare meals for themselves? Would there be enough kitchen and refrigerator space to store food, and to accommodate people preparing meals around the same time? Etc.

- Also, the same applies to camping. In past meets we had two or three people (I often helped) who would prepare meals for the group. To do so, you need to make sure you have all the proper gear to prepare meals for a larger group of people. That usually includes at least one or two multi-burner camp stoves (depending on how many people), pots, pans, cooking utensils, coolers, lanterns, wash bins for washing dishes, etc. Either there would have to be someone (or multiple people) attending who would be able to supply all the required equipment to facilitate group camping, or each person would have to pitch in some money to buy the needed gear for the event. But the problem with that is, what happens to all the gear when everyone goes home? Who takes which item home, can they fit it into their luggage on their journey back home, or are they even interested in taking any of it home with them? Not to mention the environmental aspect of buying gear, especially if you buy new gear meet after meet to just to do group camping where there is no gear to do so. These are planning issues that have come up in regards to the last two meets in particular (other than time constraints in 2016), and is why there have not been camping venues for those meets. It's usually a logistical issue regarding lacking the proper gear for a venue, or a lack of interest in camping as a group as the main part of the meet. Unless there is someone who lives in the area who can bring all the necessary gear with them to the camping location, it makes it very difficult to plan a camping event as a part of the main meet due to the logistics of group camping itself. Usually the best solution is a separate camping event before the main meet itself for people who want to do camping, and who have the gear to do so. Just like when myself, and three members hiked to the top of a mountain before the main meet started in 2014. Or when me and three other people camped in Colorado before the main meet in 2015. Those trips were open to anyone, but only four people (including myself) went on them, because either people didn't have the necessary gear to do it, or there was no interest in camping. I suppose what I mean is that I truly LOVE the idea of camping, but not everyone may want to do that for the part of the main meet. If there is a camping portion of the main meet, other aytsmuk might get left out, or may not want to attend if there are no other accommodations or activities.

- Also, trail hiking may not be accessible and attractive to everyone as a group. Again, I am just concerned about activities that are available to all people, and to people attending the meet who may have mobility issues or activity restrictions. Usually, the meets are planned with activities in mind that cater to people's needs and interests without leaving anyone behind. :)


With all that said, I'd love to do a meet in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or in another more rural area, but for the reasons I mentioned above, I do have my concerns about such a meet regarding certain logistical issues. Some areas are ideal for their stunning beauty, but aren't always the most ideal or easiest areas to plan a meet for larger groups. For a whole host of reasons. Trust me, I'd love, LOVE, LOVE a meet where it was all camping and hiking in nature though. If I had it my way, the meets would consist of a weeklong hiking trip through rugged terrain with nothing but a pack on my back, filtering drinking water from streams, all the while sleeping amongst the trees, the stars, the mosquitos, and the bears. But that's just me. hrh :-[

However, I know not everyone is willing or able to participate in a meet like that. Ultimately, the meets need to account for and include activities for everyone of all interests, ages, and abilities. To do that though, oftentimes planning the meets requires compromise. However, that compromise assures that we all stay together as a group within the planned activities for the meet, and most importantly, it assures inclusiveness for all who may want to attend the meets. :) Which is one reason why I suggested Vancouver as the location for next year's meet. It offers opportunities for people with all interests to do things to their liking. Vancouver offers stunning mountain wilderness, ocean activities, urban activities, and much, MUCH more in between. I actually had other locations in mind for a meet, which included other areas of Canada and even the U.S., but ultimately, I chose to present Vancouver as the next potential AvatarMeet location because it offers so much for everyone. Before I started my research, I always knew Vancouver had a lot to offer, but I didn't realize just how much there is to do there, and just how accessible it is for everyone. I was stunned by the amount of things that are literally within walking distance, or just a short transit ride away. It caters to the interests of people attending in nearly endless ways, yet it assures that activities of people's choosing are accessible to all. That was the clincher for me. To me, Vancouver ticks all the boxes. More than even I imagined. :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 01:37:14 am by TrueLoveforNeytiri »

Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2017, 02:54:42 am »
I'm going to be completely honest with you. I cannot stand urban cities for more than three days, I don't know what it is, I just can't. Maybe because I was born and raised in a small town.

That aside, the hotel costs in West Yellowstone are astronomical. We're talking $350/night at the Super 8 during prime time. This is why I suggested the cabins. Last summer, I booked during prime time and got a double room cabin for $170, and if we book early, we can get it even lower. The cabins are compact, yet cozy. Bring your own linens. Electricity is provided, as well as heat and A/C. Heat is more reasonable, because night temperatures tend to drop near or below freezing. Showers/restrooms are available, as well as a pool/hot tub. The special event area would be perfect for the Avatar screening outdoors. Also, the cabins have tables and chairs, great for a good game of CAH. Cabins are all separated, so noise is not an issue.

As I mentioned, the small airport in West Yellowstone runs daily flights to and from Salt Lake City through Delta. Those flying in through that route could easily book a flight with a layover in SLC.

I would like for everyone here to get away from the busy, polluted, noisy urban environment and into the more laid-back, clean, and quiet natural environment. That's what Avatar was about, right?

Cody, WY is nearby, but has more affordable hotels. There is a decently-priced Best Western there.

Red Lodge, MT is nearby as well, and due to it being a ski town, it's quiet there over the summer. Mainly bikers passing through to ride the Beartooth Highway. There is a hotel there that offers condos, complete with full kitchen, living room, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, fireplace, and 3 TVs. Reasonably priced during summer.

I'm not the only one driving. I think 'EA said he would drive as well. And hey, there's nothing wrong with a long-haul road trip! Also, I very rarely get stomach bugs.

I'm a very cautious person and I highly doubt I would get injured while hiking. I always think about where I step, and bear spray helps, too.

I will make sure to take time off work to attend months in advance.

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Offline Alan

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2017, 01:53:53 pm »
I'm going to be completely honest with you. I cannot stand urban cities for more than three days, I don't know what it is, I just can't. Maybe because I was born and raised in a small town.

I can quite understand that.  And three days is fine because at previous meet ups when camping has been involved, the pattern has been:

Saturday to Wednesday:
- Camping for campers
- Urban exploration for townies

Wednesay:
Main meet up starts at accessible venue, namely the urban place

Wednesday to Saturday:
AvatarMeet - visiting Avatar themed venues/museums. language classes, watching of Avatar, volunteering, clan fun stuff

Sunday:
We get our Ikrans home

Soooo...just three days of urban environment AND also camping/hiking.  This means as many people as possible get catered for with very few feeling left out.  Sort of a win-win. :)  This was the pattern for Seattle (twice), Washington/Shenadoah, Los Angeles and Estes Park.  Pittsburgh ended up being just urban due to last minute venue change and this year was Pandora in Disney, which wasn't exactly urban, but busy!

And hey, there's nothing wrong with a long-haul road trip!

Eeee...that would be the case if our cars were not so polluting.  Oil is like our unobtainium as we are RDA slaves to it and all us Avatar fans turn a blind eye to our polluting ways when it comes to cars - me included.  I mean, I fly over from the UK which is a big carbon footprint.  However, I did catch the train from New York to Kissimmee and then the bus from Kissimmee train station to the hotel, which had a bus stop right outside!  So I try to do my bit.

But anyway, from an AvatarMeet point of view, we need to be mindful about the impact WE cause on the environment.  That's why I have always made sure there is a public transport option for people to get to the venue.  It's just one of the ingredients that goes into the meet up mixing pot.  Maybe there is such an option to Yellowstone?  I haven't looked yet.

Alan

Offline Mako

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2017, 02:10:52 pm »
But anyway, from an AvatarMeet point of view, we need to be mindful about the impact WE cause on the environment.  That's why I have always made sure there is a public transport option for people to get to the venue.  It's just one of the ingredients that goes into the meet up mixing pot.  Maybe there is such an option to Yellowstone?  I haven't looked yet.

I'd be almost certain Greyhound runs to Yellowstone. There's certain to be touring agencies that run out of local towns too, if you need a bus ride in.

Offline Wind12

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2017, 03:01:25 pm »
Don't get me wrong I know it would be a cool place, just seems a bit spread out, and as for the airports, I don't mind having a layover per se, but if its a thing where there are two or three, just to get to the smaller airport it could start to become an issue, because, a. I would want to have flights that have enough of a layover to account for one flight being late, and in case it takes time getting to the other gate, so I don't miss the connecting flight, which in turn would mean that the travel  time from me leaving KC to getting to the meet would be longer( which isn't too bad for me, but it might be a concern for others) and b. there is also the fact that smaller airports would likely mean the the flight in would be on a smaller plane, and smaller planes can have more issues getting delayed with weather issues that may arrive. being the summer the weather might be wonderful, but there could be moutain thunderstorms ect. you never know.

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2017, 03:48:49 pm »
The real tough meetups for camping have been LA/2014 and Denver/2015. Both of those had a considerable camping/city separation. It was worth it, especially Denver, because of the incredible wilderness experience, and the places to explore. I suspect Yellowstone would have a similar separation problem, and so would Lassen, but to a lesser extent. Both Yellowstone and Lassen would require at least a few people with cars, and I suspect, so would Vancouver.

Here in the US, you are not going to get away from automobiles as a primary form of transportation. unlike England and Europe, things are much more spread out here, especially in the West where all these venues are. You get very far into Canada, and it is even more spread out. This is good because you can really get away, but bad, because there is little or no public transportation. In the US, unless you live in an urban area, cars are a necessary evil, and a big part of freedom. In the long term here, cars need to be more 'green', but not replaced with public transit.

All that said, I would be in favor of an AvatarMeet that does not involve an urban area. The event could be shorter and less expensive, enabling for people to attend. And back to cars fora moment, driving is much easier in rural areas.

As far as lodging, in places like Yellowstone, Lassen, or any other National Park, camping is the preferred lodging, at least for me, and I know a good number of other smuk. It is less expensive, and closer to nature. I know, however, this is a problem for people traveling farther than driving distance. I can help by offering to receive and ship camping equipment, but only to a limited extent. In 2014, I provided a camping outfit for two other friends, and I could also do that again.

Because there are so many possible ways to do a meetup, some real thought needs to go into a long-term logistical model for these meetups, that can accommodate both big events and more laid-back events like 2018 appears to be shaping up to be. This is also another reason why the European smuk should have their own planning team: Their travel/lodging logistics are much different there, and that is a large part of the planning.

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Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2017, 04:15:17 pm »
Truth. There are buses that run to YNP for a fact, especially out of Bozeman or Idaho Falls, but I myself am taking my own vehicle, My 1990 Oldsmobile 88, to be exact. Here in the western US, the only practical option is to use automobiles or bus lines. There just isn't any electric rails or anything like what's in Europe.

If you can get a direct flight to Salt Lake City, then you will only have one layover and you will get a Delta flight to West Yellowstone on a large plane. The aircraft used is a Bombardier CRJ200.
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Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2017, 10:51:28 pm »
BTW, sorry for leaving such long messages, but these are quite multi-faceted topics with many considerations involved. Particularly when planning potential AvatarMeet locations, which also involves people coming in from far away places to attend. With many varying interests I might add. But yeah, my apologies for another long message. hrh :-[


I'm going to be completely honest with you. I cannot stand urban cities for more than three days, I don't know what it is, I just can't. Maybe because I was born and raised in a small town.

That aside, the hotel costs in West Yellowstone are astronomical. We're talking $350/night at the Super 8 during prime time. This is why I suggested the cabins. Last summer, I booked during prime time and got a double room cabin for $170, and if we book early, we can get it even lower. The cabins are compact, yet cozy. Bring your own linens. Electricity is provided, as well as heat and A/C. Heat is more reasonable, because night temperatures tend to drop near or below freezing. Showers/restrooms are available, as well as a pool/hot tub. The special event area would be perfect for the Avatar screening outdoors. Also, the cabins have tables and chairs, great for a good game of CAH. Cabins are all separated, so noise is not an issue.

As I mentioned, the small airport in West Yellowstone runs daily flights to and from Salt Lake City through Delta. Those flying in through that route could easily book a flight with a layover in SLC.

I would like for everyone here to get away from the busy, polluted, noisy urban environment and into the more laid-back, clean, and quiet natural environment. That's what Avatar was about, right?

Cody, WY is nearby, but has more affordable hotels. There is a decently-priced Best Western there.

Red Lodge, MT is nearby as well, and due to it being a ski town, it's quiet there over the summer. Mainly bikers passing through to ride the Beartooth Highway. There is a hotel there that offers condos, complete with full kitchen, living room, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, fireplace, and 3 TVs. Reasonably priced during summer.

I'm not the only one driving. I think 'EA said he would drive as well. And hey, there's nothing wrong with a long-haul road trip! Also, I very rarely get stomach bugs.

I'm a very cautious person and I highly doubt I would get injured while hiking. I always think about where I step, and bear spray helps, too.

I will make sure to take time off work to attend months in advance.

Heh. Well, despite the fact that I've suggested Vancouver for the next meet location, I don't like big cities either. hrh :-[ However, despite Vancouver being a city, there is literally hundreds of miles of pristine, untouched wilderness to explore for those who would like to do so. There is all the camping and hiking that Yellowstone has, and then some. ;) You also have the chance of being in very remote camping/hiking areas if you want that kind of experience. Not only that, but the beginning of all those areas literally begins within 20-45 minutes of where the hotel would be. Vancouver is NOT like other cities. Vancouver has a defined line beween the city and literally endless wilderness. That's what makes it so unique and such an opportunity for all people attending the meet. This is why I say Vancouver is such a perfect location because it not only offers activities within the city that other members will be interested in, but it also offers the opportunity for people like me and you who would also like to get away from civilization and into the wilderness a chance to do so. :) I completely agree the idea of being able to commune with nature is what Avatar is about. That's why I connected to Avatar so much was because of Pandora and the environmental themes of the movie.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 12:43:13 am by TrueLoveforNeytiri »

Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2017, 01:25:58 am »
Ok, I checked, and they currently want around $122/night for a cabin, reserved.
Cheaper for just a plain tent spot.
Yes, restrooms and showers are in a separate shared facility, but cabins with restrooms/showers are available for a little more. There is actually a wide selection of cabin types.
Hotels are available in the area as well, yet they are about as expensive as growing your own Na'vi avatar;D
Yes, I strongly believe that we can accommodate everyone's needs. Sometimes you just have to rough it. That's just a fact of life, but we will find a way to make everything work out just fine. We have great people in this community that would go to every length to make it happen.

It may seem like I'm trying to shoot down your Vancouver idea, but Markì did specifically say that there will be a meet in the United States.
With all respect, given the geographic distribution of AM attendees and the history of AvatarMeet, there will have to be a meet in the US. A vote about that is superfluous. My opinion is that having AvatarMeet-EU and AvatarMeet-US at different times is the logical solution.  - M.

I firmly believe that YNP is the ideal location because it gives us the chance to completely leave the urban environment and experience the amazing natural wonders and thriving ecosystem of Yellowstone.

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Offline Wind12

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2017, 01:11:15 pm »
Well to TBH( although if I am wrong Markì can correct me :P) I think he made that statement in regards to possibly trying to have the entire meet all the way over in Europe, Canada is a completely different situation IMO the only reall "issue" is getting a passport.

Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2017, 04:04:54 pm »
Ok, I checked, and they currently want around $122/night for a cabin, reserved.
Cheaper for just a plain tent spot.
Yes, restrooms and showers are in a separate shared facility, but cabins with restrooms/showers are available for a little more. There is actually a wide selection of cabin types.
Hotels are available in the area as well, yet they are about as expensive as growing your own Na'vi avatar;D
Yes, I strongly believe that we can accommodate everyone's needs. Sometimes you just have to rough it. That's just a fact of life, but we will find a way to make everything work out just fine. We have great people in this community that would go to every length to make it happen.

Well, $122 is certainly better, but that is assuming a lack of in-cabin bathrooms is to everyone's taste. How much are cabins with bathrooms in them?

Yikes! Yeah, it looks like hotel options for people attending who may want those amenities seems WAY out of reach cost-wise! :o About as expensive as growing your own avatar indeed. hrh :D

As far as people's needs and interests, again we can't necessarily assume that everyone who would like to attend this year's AvatarMeet wants to do camping, go hiking, or stay in a cabin...without linens. If there are people who do not want (or are unable) to do these activities, then there will be people left out., and that's not a good thing. The idea of the AvatarMeets is to bring people together. :) In order to do that, there needs to be a variety of activities to draw people to want to attend. Again, not everyone may want to do camping, hiking, or stay at a cabin, so we can't necessarily assume that's what everyone wants. As I mentioned earlier, as an indication, 75%+ of the people who attended in 2014 did not attend the camping portion of the meet. That's a lot of people.

***Also, if camping or cabins are the only accommodations available to attendees, will that be something karyu Pawl and John are going to want to stay in? ;) They may not want to "rough it". We also have to consider Paul and John's accommodations as well. Not to mention how easy it is for them to actually get to the group for Na'vi lessons (depending on where they choose to stay). It's not only a matter of providing accommodations to potential attendees, it's also a matter of being able to assure there are proper accommodations for the very person who created the Na'vi language. I think he deserves options of his own for himself and his partner, doesn't he? ;)

Accessibility to Yellowstone Park itself for attendees themselves is a also bit of a concern. This is a big consideration for people flying in from far away places. Then there is the added cost of getting to the Yellowstone venue itself, as well as the added travel times needed to get there. If people need to fly into small airports in the area with multiple stopovers along the way (which can be more expensive in itself), and then either rent a car (which I assume is quite expensive in the popular Yellowstone area), or take a bus (yet another expense) just to get there, that is a lot of added time, hassle and expense at the cost of people trying to get to the venue. I know you'll be driving there, but for the rest of us, planning our itineraries for a meet there would be much more difficult, and potentially very costly. Again, it is easy to assume these things for other people, but having to actually plan for it on our end is very difficult as far as booking flights, connecting flights along the way, taking additional buses, renting cars, etc. To me, it sounds like it may be a bit of an ask of people to want to do that just to get to the meet.

The biggest part of my concern is if we plan a meet where there are no other activities available for other people to do, then people are going to get left out, and they may wind up passing on the meet all together if those are the only activities available to them. I'd rather have a venue for the meet that offers opportunities for all. :)

Not only does Vancouver have camping and hiking in beautiful, rugged mountains, but it also has all the other activities and amenities that people have come to enjoy in past meets, and SO much more! In addition to the incredible natural beauty Vancouver has to offer, it also offers: zip line rides and cable car rides through the mountains, paragliding, suspension bridge walks over canyons, cliffs and through tree canopies; ecological preserves for potential habitat restoration activities, sea kayaking and paddle boarding, whale watching, aboriginal galleries/museums/carved wooden totem poles, oceanfront parks, beaches, boat tours, potentially two observatories ( ;) ), aquariums, aviaries, greenhouses and botanical gardens, traditional Chinese and Japanese gardens, urban parks - both forested and coastal, art galleries, theaters, movie cinemas, fresh food and seafood markets, coffee houses, and restaurants of all nationalities. :) This is why I firmly believe that Vancouver is the best option for next year's meet because it offers all the camping and hiking activities of Yellowstone, plus every other conceivable activity for all other attendees. It offers options for everyone attending, no matter their age, interests, or abilities, and more importantly, it facilitates inclusiveness and participation in activities of their choosing. :)

Again, Vancouver's international airport is only 20 minutes away from where the hotel would be, there is excellent transit directly between the airport and the hotel, and some hotels even offer free shuttle services to the airport as well. And again, for people like you and me who want to do camping and hiking, there are stunningly beautiful areas to do that north of town, and the beginning of those areas start literally minutes from the hotel. Not to mention, the pristine wilderness literally runs for hundreds of miles north of there. It's the real deal, and it's as beautiful as you could ever imagine. :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 04:17:21 pm by TrueLoveforNeytiri »

Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2017, 04:09:59 pm »
It may seem like I'm trying to shoot down your Vancouver idea, but Markì did specifically say that there will be a meet in the United States.

Oh, no worries. You're not shooting down my I idea for Vancouver at all. Not in the slightest. :) However, the idea of a meet only being in the U.S. may have been taken a little out of context. The meets have always included people of all nationalities and walks of life, and we have always welcomed people with open arms. Not only that, but the meets have never been talked about as a U.S.-only affair, and is why locations for an AvatarMeet in Europe and Canada have always been discussed in the past. Just the fact that people are considering a meet in Germany is reflective of that. It's not only because the Toruk show is going to be there, it's also because Europe has been talked about as a future Avatar meet for a long time, and a meet there is long overdue. Just ask the attendees that are from there. ;) The same can be said of Canada too. There have been considerations for having a meet here one day as well, and I have mentioned certain locations here in the past. Ultimately, there is nothing to say that meets cannot be in other places too. :)

Beyond that, when we come together to be with each other at the meets, we aren't just "Americans", "Germans", "Brits", "Scots", "Canadians', "Swedes", "Poles", etc. We are people united by an experience that has brought us all together by a common bond. A bond that causes us to travel from great distances to share our love for Avatar. However, beyond our places of birth, and the political borders that physically separate us, when you begin to wash all those things away, at the end of the day, we are just people. :) More importantly, we are a people united, inclusive, and supportive of each other, regardless of where we live. Being that we are all just people united in this way, we shouldn't allow mere political borders to separate us or dictate where the meets should be. We are so much more than that as a collective. :)

Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2017, 04:20:11 pm »
I'd also like to add that the Canadian dollar is about 21 cents cheaper than the U.S. dollar, so that is yet another benefit of having a meet in Vancouver as well. ;)

Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2017, 05:45:35 pm »
Again, flights from Salt Lake to West Yellowstone run daily through Delta Airlines on a twin-engine jet.

It may be hard to get to YNP, but it will be worth it for everyone. And due to many attendees living in the United States, getting to Vancouver would require a passport, which is not cheap for those who don't have one. They also take months to get. It's a painstaking and expensive process.

Yes, the cabins will provide all the amenities we need. Sleeping bags are not expensive, and some are small enough to easily fit in a suitcase with lots of room to spare. The cabins are nice and cozy. I've stayed in them before. As long as you run the heater at full blast for a while before you hit the sack, you will be golden all night.

Truly roughing it would be bringing a tent into the wilderness away from anybody and staying there. In fact, we really wouldn't be roughing it that much or even at all.
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Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2017, 10:46:41 pm »
Again, flights from Salt Lake to West Yellowstone run daily through Delta Airlines on a twin-engine jet.

It may be hard to get to YNP, but it will be worth it for everyone. And due to many attendees living in the United States, getting to Vancouver would require a passport, which is not cheap for those who don't have one. They also take months to get. It's a painstaking and expensive process.

Yes, the cabins will provide all the amenities we need. Sleeping bags are not expensive, and some are small enough to easily fit in a suitcase with lots of room to spare. The cabins are nice and cozy. I've stayed in them before. As long as you run the heater at full blast for a while before you hit the sack, you will be golden all night.

Truly roughing it would be bringing a tent into the wilderness away from anybody and staying there. In fact, we really wouldn't be roughing it that much or even at all.

Well, I've more than provided my points already, but allow me to recap...

So people would have to buy a ticket to Salt Lake City, and then purchase another flight from there to West Yellowstone? That sounds expensive. Just a flight to Salt Lake City alone would be enough for most people to afford, let alone the added cost of a separate flight to West Yellowstone from Salt Lake City as well. Also, there would be even more connections along the way to get to the meet, which adds more hassle and stress to all the people flying in. Not to mention, depending on where people live and are arriving from, there is no guarantee the flight times with the connection at Salt Lake City will match up. If it doesn't, it's possible people would have to stay the night between flights in and out if the arrival/departure times don't match.

Again, several of the attendees come from the east coast and Gulf of Mexico areas, so I actually did some calculations online on Travelocity.com to see what a round trip flight would cost from New Orleans for example, to Salt Lake City, and from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone for July 25th to the 29th next year (as an arbitrary date). The cost was $610 U.S. However, the price of a round trip flight from New Orleans to Vancouver with the same dates? $401 U.S.. So the flight to Vancouver alone more than covers the cost of a U.S. passport. And that's even before factoring in the cheaper Canadian dollar, which puts Vancouver at an advantage for the next AvatarMeet location.

I know as part of the planning process for the meets, there has always been an international airport closer to the venue for people to fly to for ease of getting to the meet itself with no need to purchase multiple airline tickets to get there. It seems as though you may be looking at the logistics of these things from the mindset of a driver though. The logistics of driving to an event is easy, but for all of us who have to fly in, these are the things that WE have to deal with when booking separate flights, changing planes, waiting at airports, etc. It is easy to suggest things for people, but until you actually have to do these things yourself, you don't realize just how difficult and expensive these things are. Flying isn't always easy, and I think all the issues above need to be taken into consideration, especially when planning a meet for a large group of people that would require them to do what you have suggested.

As far as the accommodations, the idea of cabins that require linens or sleeping bags, with added accommodation costs for in-cabin bathrooms that require you to moderate the heat every night to keep from getting cold while you sleep may not appeal to everyone. Again, this might be good for me and you, but when planning the meets, we have to be mindful of other people and what they want too. Also, if people have to buy a sleeping bag to keep warm in their own cabin, they may not have one, or want the added expense of having to buy one small enough that will fit into their suitcases for the flight in. I know of several people who actually prefer to use carry on luggage instead of larger luggage for their flights in so they don't have to pay any checked baggage fees. If not having to pay a relatively small baggage fee is a consideration for some people, buying a sleeping bag may not be an added cost they may not want to incur either.

With all that said, I can see that me and you are actually a lot alike in that we both would prefer to stay in a cabin, or perhaps do camping and other outdoor activities. Trust me when I say this. I absolutely love those things too. But here's the thing: the meets aren't just about me and you and our interests, ma tsmukan. There are many other people who attend the meets every year of all walks of life, interests, and abilities, and the meets need to cater to those people too. The meets are also about compromise, and about assuring that the needs and interests of people are catered to so they feel like they can participate in the activities of the meet as well. My number one concern above all else is inclusion, and opportunities available for everyone to get involved with things they find interesting. But if the meet only offers one kind of thing, it limits the amount people who may want to attend a given meet. That is why I am so passionate about Vancouver being the location for the next AvatarMeet, because not only does it offer all the outdoor activities (and so much more) that Yellowstone does, but it also caters to the needs and interests of everyone else as well. That is the most important thing is inclusion. And Vancouver offers all these aspects in spades. ;)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 11:23:39 pm by TrueLoveforNeytiri »

Offline TrueLoveforNeytiri

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2017, 11:06:38 pm »
And due to many attendees living in the United States, getting to Vancouver would require a passport, which is not cheap for those who don't have one. They also take months to get. It's a painstaking and expensive process.

***PASSPORT CONCERNS***

I am actually very glad you brought this up. :) I actually covered this in my thread for Vancouver, but I'll go into it in more detail here. I hate to say it, but your arguments of cost and difficulty of getting a U.S. passport is simply not true. At all. Allow me to clarify this issue with some facts from the U.S. Department of State website. ;) As to your concerns:

1. Application process: The passport application process is literally as easy as these 5 simple steps:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/how-to-apply.html

2. Cost: Here is the price of getting a U.S. passport. You don't need to buy the passport card to go with it. The card is optional. Not mandatory:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/fees.html

- Just a note on costs: when thinking about the cost of a passport, you also have to remember, the Canadian dollar is much cheaper when you visit here too. The Canadian dollar is worth about 20% less than the U.S. dollar, so that savings alone is an advantage a meet in Canada has over Yellowstone. :) There is a reason why so many Americans come up here to do shopping and to go on vacation, is because it's cheaper up here to do so. Not to mention, the cost of a single flight to Vancouver would be less than having to buy two separate flights to Salt Lake City and to West Yellowstone. When you factor in the cheaper Canadian dollar and the fact that flights will be cheaper to Vancouver, the cost of getting your passport is MORE than made up for it in the end. It would still be cheaper to come here.

3. Amount of time it takes to receive your passport:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/processing-times.html

As I mentioned in my Vancouver thread, I am actually a dual U.S./Canadian citizen, and I have already gone through the process of getting my U.S. passport, so I know what is involved. When I applied, I was told my passport would arrive in "4-6 weeks". It took 4 weeks - 28 days exactly. And that amount of time accounts for the fact that it was shipped to me here in Canada as well. As you can see from the government link above, a passport does NOT take "months" to receive as TEAgaming2154 claims. In fact, you can also pay to get your passport expedited as well within 2-3 weeks, or 8 days if you so choose (at an extra cost of course). But even if you pay the regular fee and your passport takes 4-6 weeks to get to you, take your time and apply for it in the new year, and you'll receive it by, or before Valentine's Day. WAY before the meet would be in July or August. ;)

The idea that passports take "months" to get, and is a "a painstaking and expensive process" is simply a myth.

More importantly, by getting your passport for a trip to Vancouver, you'll then have one to eventually attend a meet in Europe (or elsewhere). I see a meet here in Canada being sort of like a "bridge gap" for our American aytsmuk between attending a meet in the U.S., and attending one in Europe in the future. Coming here is an easy excuse to get your passport and use it in a place that isn't too far away. ;) But ultimately, having a passport opens up a lot of opportunities beyond just the meets. Traveling outside your own borders is a wonderful and amazing experience that offers us opportunities to learn and grow as individuals. The world is a big and beautiful place, and a passport is literally your gateway to the entire world. Also, the way the current airline laws and regulations are going here in the U.S. and Canada, we may need a passport just to travel within our own countries (our airline regulations tend to mirror each other), so you may need to get one sooner than later just to attend meets within the U.S. anyway. Certainly something to consider. A U.S. passport is also good for 10 years, so the initial cost is a good investment. And once you have it, you don't have to think about it for another 10 years! In the end, I'd say $11 per year is a pretty good deal, wouldn't you say?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 11:53:47 pm by TrueLoveforNeytiri »

Offline TEAgaming2154

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2017, 12:20:38 am »
I got my passport the old way, at a post office. It took a long time.

To be completely honest, Vancouver just sounds to me like an easy way out. A simple fact of life is that not everything will be easy. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get something done, then when it is done, it sure is worth it. And personally, I don't think the people of Vancouver would be very welcoming to me, because of my political views.
And besides. It's a city. There's lots of other cities in the world that are more or less the same. Yellowstone is unique. There really is no other place like it. Where else are you going to find this, this, or this?


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Offline Ertew

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Re: AvatarMeet 2018 North America (ideas and such)
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2017, 09:17:29 am »
IMHO Canada is really bad option for meetup because we have at least one spammer here. Just imagine what will happened during meetup. Non-stop talking  ;D
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