This year’s show was a interesting to say the least. We knew going into the 2017 show that the show hotel had been sold to a new ownership group. The new owners moved the property higher-up in Marriott’s line to the high end luxury Autograph level. Thus the Marriott became the Westdrift and began a major renovation in 2017. The renovations were slated to be complete by January 2018. Part of the renovation included filling in the staircase on the lobby level and created a revamped lower ballroom that is bigger than the upstairs ballroom. At the 2017 she, we all know about the upcoming renovations but did not know what was to happen and how the show was going to respond. By late 2017, I got word via Sunny Koh of Straits Pens that the show was moving to the downstairs ballroom. This was a major change since the layout of the space is very different. The change to the downstairs ballroom meant less overall space since there would have been no outside area. Tables were quickly sold out and many people did not get tables.
On Feb. 1st, I get a message from Sunny that something changed at the LA show website (he has monitoring software). The show was now back in the old upstairs ballroom because the downstairs ballroom would not be completed by the time of the show. I quickly verified this with someone who was in the know. Great. This was now really going t be interesting. By Monday Feb. 12th, An Tran visited the hotel and put pictures on Facebook. It was not pretty. I guess I was going to experience this first hand in a few days.
Unless works gets in the way, I usually arrive on Wednesday so I can do some big pen deals before the show starts. This was the state of the hotel on Wednesday.
Hotel still in mid-paint job
The main entrance was closed
Just so don’t get confused
My room came with this lovely view
I should be thankful. Many attendees got rooms that had the plastic tarp over the windows. Although this may have been a good thing (see Thursday coverage)
On Wednesday, there was only one functioning elevator. It was fun.
When you get to the elevator, you see this sign.
This is how you summon the elevator. They cut a hole in the barricade so you can reach the button.