I am on the wait list for the Westin Hotel in Downtown Birmingham for this year’s Southern Baptist Convention. It is one of the convention hotels that is connected to the convention center.
Hotel registration opened on Friday at 9am (EST). I was turning my computer on at that time to register. By the time I got my computer on just a few minutes after registration opened, the only option I had at either convention hotel was the wait list at the Westin. By the time I filled out my info for the wait list, there were no more rooms available within a mile of the convention center.
I realize that the early bird gets the worm, but we’re not talking hours after registration opened. Only a couple of minutes. We’re also not talking about a major sporting event where the demand is sky high. We’re talking about the Southern Baptist Convention. And this isn’t 1979 or 1985. Something isn’t right here.
I do realize that there are renovations taking place at one of the convention hotels that has reduced the number of available rooms. I understand that is out of the control of convention organizers. But still, something isn’t right here.
So I have one simple suggestion going forward.
Require anyone who is not a part of the official program for the pastors’ conference and/or convention to compete for hotel slots along with the rest of us.
Messengers from churches should not be shut out from hotel rooms by convention employees because they got first pick of the rooms.