Some random thoughts about the Phoenix #WestCoastDO Travel Miles/Points Enthusiasts Meeting! And a mini review of the Kimpton Firesky Resort follows.
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Just some thoughts about the Phoenix #WestCoastDO. This is live blogging the increasingly unstable and sometimes disturbed thoughts in my brain after seeing so much in this “hobby” for 15 – 20 years and going…
I had a fabulous time seeing some old friends and meeting new ones. I mean, socially, it is really hard NOT to have a good time in these meetings. People don’t look at you funny telling stories about walking into Wal Marts with thousands of dollars of gift cards or how you share an evil smile when you hear of movie titles like “The Liquidator” 🙂
I really enjoyed many attendees telling me that they enjoy reading TBB. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words, they do mean a lot! It is a bit weird to me as I tend to be low key and not into the publicity kind of thing. I mean, I got into this for the groupies….still looking for them to tell me “I am NOT a tool, but I can be yours”. Okay, maybe this joke did not come off very well. Let’s move on please lol!
There were a few who avoided me. I think the reasons were I may have said something about their blogs in the past or they are thinking about starting one and don’t want to raise attention? Or they are scheduled for a Friday interview at Million Mile Secrets? Bwahahahahaha!
Most often heard expression to me: “You are nowhere as angry in person as you appear on your blog”. I agree!
The weather in Phoenix was absolutely fantastic.
I thought the highlights were again Tahsir (Bengali Miles Guru) and Marathon Man, two individuals who are both very passionate, knowledgeable and, most importantly, natural born dynamic speakers.
I thought the panel was interesting and a welcome addition which was very effectively moderated by host Matt.
This DO felt more attention was given on the social aspect than the Charlotte DO or maybe it is because I did not learn as much. Or maybe I know so much already and/or some much crap has been killed lately.
I have not been to an FTU or Chicago Seminar meeting in a long time. I would rather hang around this group of people than the ones in those meetings. It feels more like home and more, you know, real. I am sure the people in those meetings are nice too but I am assured that I won’t read crap like “My Top 10 Never Changing Credit Cards of the Month”, or answers on moronic questions such as “Which credit card should I use when I buy groceries?” or idiotic travel challenges or every excuse in existence to push the same freaking cards to their readers. And then you find out the Saverocity group lost the Barclays credit card links. And that’s just super messed up, what a grave injustice!
I met so many readers and many who have left comments in my blog. It is ALWAYS awesome to finally put the face behind the online handle!
Only in a meeting like this you hear of characters such as the “Liquidator”.
On Bancorp: “They don’t like us, we don’t like them” – Marathon Man
“It’s all about the details” – Marathon Man
“Get ready for a post Wal Mart world” — Marathon Man
“Go Beyond” – Who said that?
In many years of being involved in this hobby I have not done any reselling which I think it is a very special niche. People who do this well can do very well. But it’s just not for me. I did sell a 2nd ticket to an Iggy Pop concert once on Craigslist which paid for my own ticket! #winning
This is more of a Manufacturing Spend crowd. And some real gamers who always make me feel so inadequate lol. And inspired too…and then life gets in the way and I can barely get to do as much as I want to…It’s a daily struggle…
I also met several newbies and I was surprised. One word of advice: Go at your own pace and don’t do stuff that you may have heard. You are not ready, just do what makes you comfortable to achieve your goals. The point is to maximize your travel experience. Ok, some people can make money in this too of course but they usually have to pay their dues (by reading A LOT and then going out “in the field” and “in the trenches” and putting everything they learned into practice.) It is indeed a craft!.
I asked many how they got into this hobby and what blogs they first discovered. A typical response was “I was researching on how to get to Hawaii/Europe and ran across an article mentioning The Points Guy/Million Mile Secrets/ Frugal Travel Guy (hint: a huge commercial “expert” blog), started reading and got hooked”. And then I asked if they are still reading those blogs and they all said that after a while they stopped reading because they were tired reading the same pumping type articles. And then, hear me out here you guys, I asked how many credit cards did you get before you realized this? And the answers ranged from “two to six credit cards”. And THAT my friends is THE main reason these blogs are so commercially successful! They get the newbies to come and then pump them before they even realize what is going on. Rinse, repeat. They leave but look at how many keep coming. “Pumping them properly”. We don’t like this practice around here, it makes me barf (and keeps my weight low so it is not all that bad actually!).
Thank you to Matt for organizing another great meeting and creating a wonderful and growing community. Lots of class and “doing it right” which has been what drives me. And thank you to all the volunteers and everyone who was part of it.
I am usually the guy who never stays in the conference hotels because they are too expensive. This year I have stayed in the conference hotel for all three conferences I have attended! Maybe I am just getting older and not as easy to get around. Or maybe the hotel points deals staying elsewhere were not as strong. I am not sure, maybe a combination of both…
Kimpton Firesky Resort: First stay in this chain after being matched to their highest Elite level (Inner Circle). I have read so many raving blog posts about the Kimpton hotels I wanted to see for myself. I got a rate of $159 per night for two nights. You add the resort fees of $22 per day, taxes and fees and final bill came to $422! And since my expectations were high I must admit I was not impressed.
My upgrade was to a courtyard view (of course I did not get the Presidential suite I deserved lol).
Get to my room, the cleaning staff was in there cleaning it. I had to wait (ok, I read TBB comments while waiting).
When I go in, it is two double beds! I called for a new room with king bed but only have one with view of the road. I took it, who cares? I hardly spent any time in my room!
Amenity was a nice plate with some fruits and cheeses. I had asked for healthy items and NO popcorn. So I got some crackers and crappy popcorn (which I gave away). And some wine too.
A few little knick knacks they leave behind are fine (dark chocolate per my profile, handwritten cards, and then a jar with…candy??)
Rooms are totally fine, beds are very nice, wifi is great. Hallways have a not so luxurious look, I wonder what this property was before Kimpton!
Lobby area is gorgeous. Wine tasting every day from 5-6 is great and so is the coffee/lemonade in the lobby.
Plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
Pool area is fine but does look so much nicer in the hotel’s website.
Service was really good. The food and bar hour they did for us was excellent. Conference room was great too in all aspects.
In retrospect, I should have spent points elsewhere and/or perhaps went for the IHG Rewards Into the Darkness promotion. Thank God for Barclay Arrival points. With this type of expenditure in my TBB business I may need to pump some credit cards to turn a profit you guys LOL. All travel experiences are “marked” by your expectations. I had too high expectations obviously. It’s the little things that count and make a huge difference on whether you will be back. The popcorn “incident” bothers me as it looks like they did not read my profile carefully and so much has been written about the little things this chain does. Whatever. No big deal, just my thoughts. This is the end of my hotel trip report. No reason to do a separate blog post and show you pictures of things you can see on the hotel website and trip advisor or doing a google search. And for the love of god why would you post pics of the toilets?
OTHER REVIEWS OF #WESTCOASTDO
Big Habitat (Reselling presentation)
Please pass my blog link to your friends and family if you think they will enjoy it too.