We chose the theme of Change for this year, reframed as
Change as Opportunity: Rising to the Challenge
and, boy, has the theme proven out! Some of you may remember that the year the theme was Forces of Nature, that was the year of Hurricane Sandy. The themes always seem appropriate, and this one left us scrambling to find a replacement venue when the owners of the Hudson Valley decided to close their resort on October first, and only mentioned this to their staff on Friday, which was when we found out. Our intrepid Chair, Maryalyce, spent the weekend checking out at least 18 other venues and found the Villa Roma, in Callicoon, NY (in time to announce it on Tuesday) which has room for us, and will meet the prices settled on with Hudson Valley. Now we will see who will be rising to the challenge with us, and who is coping with too many changes at this point.
The Villa Roma is another resort in the Catskills, this is a quick overview from Maryalyce’s onsite visit:
“It has 8 restaurants on site. Our function rooms are all in close proximity to one another. Hospitality will have a real kitchen with a real fridge. Indoor pool & co-ed jaccuzzi are open. Just about all of the amenities & facilities that you see on their website are open and staffed. The staff is insanely accommodating & extremely helpful.
Because the hotel (attached to the main building) is at their 200 room capacity, they are giving us Time Share units at the same cost as our hotel rooms at the HV Resort ($119 per night).
There are eight two-bedroom units per building, and we are getting 2 (possibly 3) buildings next to each other. Each Unit has a queen bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and dining area on one side and a separate double queen bedroom with bath adjoining. Doors between the living room and double queen can be opened for socialization. Each bedroom (whether it is the section with the living room or not) is $119 per night. Also, the sofas should all be pull-out and provide another sleeping space for guests. Each building has 2 stories. The second floors have stairs.
The time share units are not a long distance from the mail hotel where the classes are, but they’re not a short distance, either. Shuttle busses are plentiful and run frequently and also per call. Busses are equipped with lifts & happy to assist those with limited mobility.
Also, there is a pizzeria/deli.convenience store in by the time share buildings. There is a fire circle that is staffed & lit nightly during the weekends. If we have a drum circle, we may choose to have it there if weather permits. If weather does not permit, we can cancel it. There will not be a healing room this year, (but activites we had scheduled for the healing room will be placed elsewhere). We are still securing the Paranormal Investigation. We definitely have permission to roam about & investigate. Some of the team members are going to try to get there ASAP to do their own site visit & report back.
The energy is definitely more upbeat. I think we are going to be very pleasantly surprised, happy, & comfortable there.”
As usual, change brings both inconvenience and advantages, while dealing with the changes the inconvenience may not immediately see the advantages, but when we get there, I’m sure we will. The Vendor Village and Hospitality (as well as our sleeping areas) will be in the Timeshare section, which seems to be their overflow space.
One thing everyone can do is to let friends know about the event, and encourage them to come. Do go over to the rest of the website and see the wonderful workshops we’re having this year, our great panels (sign up to be on them!), vendors (which may change- we got a new request just today!), this is going to be a great year, and you won’t want to miss it!