The meeting was called to order at 8:41PM, Aaron Cell Phone Time.
Paul had two questions arising from the minutes: (1) Has the refund of the fine paid for the 2002 tax form been requested yet? (Not yet.); (2) Have the OryCon 29 credit card declines been chased down yet? (Not yet–Arthur is working with the OryCon 29 Treasurer to take care of the details of that year, along with the tax issues.)
Nominations were closed, and these three officers were elected by acclamation. They will take over these positions after the end of this meeting.
Aaron asked for approval by the Board of renewing the GameStorm domain, with the cost paid for by OSFCI. Andrew moved that the Board approved to spend up to $100 for renewing the domain. John moved an amendment, that the Board authorize the officers to spend up to $500 in "usual corporate expenses" (including the domain fees, and the Non-Profit handbook). Such expenses will require reporting to the Board of what the money was spent on. This amended motion was approved unanimously by the Board.
Web Hosting (Arthur):
Arthur present a proposal (previously discussed in email with the rest of the Board) to change OSFCI's web hosting company (for orycon.org as well as osfci.org).
We've used SpireTech for several years for our web sites. Arthur has discussed the situation with David Levine (OSFCI's web master) and Rick Lindsley (OryCon's webmaster). We're currently paying about $500 a year to SpireTech to host the sites. He's discovered that we can shift the sites to Dreamhost, for an annual cost of $20, for better services. (They offer free web-hosting to non-profit, tax-exempt groups, and the only cost would be $9.95 for the domain registration for each domain.) The Board approved moving the sites to Dreamhost.
Patty asked that Tammy Lindsley be added to the Hotel committee, since she is a professional meeting planner.
Patty discussed the changes at the Marriott. There has been a huge changeover in staff there–a new sales manager and almost an entirely new sales staff. (She'd tried to get an offer for 2009 before OryCon this last year, but they all wanted to wait to see what the new sales staff would do.) It may be because of the remodel, it may be because of the new staff, it may have come down from Marriott corporate–but the offer for 2009 is much higher. They've raised the sleeping room rates from $113 a night for 2008 to $149 a night for 2009, the proposal said that no parties would be allowed on the third floor, there is no break on the parking fee. It's just a generally chilly unfriendly proposal. She has a meeting with the sales manager on Friday to discuss it.
John, Aaron and Patty have been talking to the other hotels in town that could host us (and Patty had a printed comparison of each). The Hilton downtown still doesn't want us–they're even more upscale than the Marriott. The Red Lion Jantzen Beach says they don't have dates available. John spoke with the DoubleTree Lloyd Center, which is checking for available dates. They did sound quite friendly and interested in our business. (Tammy has met and spoken with the sales manager of the DoubleTree, as well as the sales manager at the Vancouver Hilton.) Aaron has spoken to the Vancouver Hilton, and they have dates available.
Paul: When GameStorm has been held in Vancouver, were the dealers required to get their business licenses/sales tax permits? (Yes.) Aaron: In a related topic, OSFCI still needs a registered agent in the state of Washington. (Kamila Miller later agreed to be OSFCI's registered agent in Washington.)
Patty: As for other hotels, the Airport Sheraton is not an option, because of what happened with GameStorm. The sales manager at the Airport Holiday Inn does not very rational. The Monarch (in Clackamas) still looks like a prison (and it's too small). So that leaves us with the DoubleTree Lloyd Center or the Vancouver Hilton. The best options are to try to get the Marriott to work for another year, or get dates at the DoubleTree. The Hilton has a problem in that it doesn't have enough rooms. If we go there, we have to find overflow rooms at another hotel (probably the Inn at the Quay).
In the meantime, she's been looking for a new hotel for GameStorm. We'll probably, as we look for a new hotel for OryCon, also ask if they have dates for GameStorm.
The hotel situation in Portland is not good–no new large hotels have been built in Portland for years, and the existing hotels are charging higher and higher rates. Our biggest problem is the hospitality suite (followed by the parties). The hotel sees the con suites as a drain on their food outlets (even when we're also filling their food outlets). This might have been part of the problem with the Sheraton when GameStorm was there. (There was further discussion on GameStorm's hotel relationships.)
Patty: We'll try to see if a new OryCon hotel will also work as a new GameStorm hotel. There was discussion of what we can change with hospitality and parties to make them more acceptable to the hotel. Michael: Should we talk to Kumoricon? Patty: Kumoricon has been burning through hotels as fast as it's possible to do so (four hotels in four years).
Ruth: Do we want to look at October dates? Patty: We can ask, but more often October is busier than in November. Meanwhile, our liaison at the Marriott has told Patty that she'll give us a good recommendation wherever we go.
Hand Truck & Shelves
Debra requested money (up to about $100) for a hand truck, and for shelves ($50 to $75 a unit) for the storage space. $105 for the hand truck (out of capital expenses) was approved, as well as up to $400 for shelves. These will be purchased before the pre-GameStorm storage-organizing work session.
Andrew: We're supposed to be getting reports from our conventions and other activities during this meeting. John: It's not on the agenda. Andrew: But it is required in the management agreements, and Andrew, at least, would like to find out when OryCon 29 is going to close its books. (Fairly soon, according to what the Ory29 Treasurer has passed on to John Lorentz.) John: According to the Bylaws, this a Board meeting only for the purpose of electing OSFCI officers and setting future meeting dates.
The meeting adjourned at 9:41PM, Aaron Cell Phone Time.