Last Updated: 2018-12-07 12:24 PM
New reservation link is now live. Visit our Reservations page for details.
As a result of strikes affecting the hotels we were planning to use, Arisia 2019 has moved to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. The dates of the convention remain January 18-21, 2019. Everyone who had a membership previously still has their membership.
Why is this happening?
The labor organization UniteHere, representing the hotel’s housekeeping and service staff, had been in dispute with Marriott corporate management for some time over issues including wages. Although strike actions in some other cities had been settled, Boston’s strike was not settled in time for us to have Arisia 2019 at the intended hotels. An overwhelming majority of Arisia’s Convention Committee and corporate membership is very supportive of the hotel workers, support the concerns that led them to strike, and would not cross the picket line.
Moving a convention of Arisia’s size in just two months is a major undertaking. We gave the Marriott management as much time as we felt we could. We hoped for a quick settlement to the labor dispute, but we also had to be realistic about the time, travel, and money commitments made by our community. We could not wait any longer. When polled on the question of whether to cancel the convention or move, Arisia Corporation members indicated by nearly a 4:1 majority that they preferred the convention move. Our Hotel Search Committee was able to find another host hotel that enables us to have an Arisia with most of the amenities and programming our attendees have come to expect in the last decade, on our target weekend dates, without requiring a drastic cut in attendance.
What is the effect on Arisia convention activities?
We do not know the full impact yet. The Park Plaza offers us sufficient space that most of the usual types of programming (panels, games, LARPs, dances, etc.) can occur, though some things will be downsized. Some event organizers and panelists had already indicated they could not attend this year, and we are likely to reconfigure some things to fit into the different spaces of the Park Plaza.
What happens to hotel reservations?
The Arisia Innkeeper team will ensure that all Westin and Aloft reservations made through our booking links will be cancelled as soon as possible. We expect to have this completed long before the Westin’s deposit deadline, and will keep this page updated with our progress. Unfortunately, the existing hotel reservation systems are not compatible with the Park Plaza’s reservation system, so it is not possible to transfer existing reservations (we did ask).
How do I make a new reservation?
We are still working out the details with the Park Plaza and will announce it the same way we traditionally announce hotel reservations opening: through email, social media, and on this site. We recognize that having a hotel reservation has an enormous impact on people who need to make travel plans, so we will get this information up as soon as possible. We have a room block large enough that we do not expect to sell out.
What about an overflow hotel?
We expect that we will be able to fit all attendees who want hotel rooms into The Boston Park Plaza so we are not contracting with an overflow hotel.
Will the Park Plaza have Regular and Active blocks?
We expect to be able to offer some options for people to be with like-minded groups of attendees, such as Shabbat/Low Floor requests, Family Block requests, and Open Party Floor requests. As with the previous hotel, these requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. At this time we do not know how many rooms of each type will be available.
What about Special Requests?
We will have information on special requests after reservations have been set up. This FAQ will be updated with new information as we get it.
What else is changing?
Arisia 2019 will have a lower membership cap in this facility. We do not yet know what that cap will be. We will announce it once it is known, and will update the community through this page and other media accordingly. Arisia is committed to providing access to people in varying economic situations. This means we will reserve space for at-door memberships, both full-weekend (available starting when on-site Registration opens) and single-day (sold on site that day). Our membership cap counts all members.
Memberships are available at our registration site.
What effect does this have on future Arisias?
The cancellation only applies to our contracts for Arisia 2019. We do not yet know the full impact on future Arisias.
Haven’t we been at the Boston Park Plaza before?
Yes. Arisia was last in the Boston Park Plaza in 2006, and was held there for many years before that. The hotel underwent extensive renovations in 2016, with many improvements that increased the amount of function space and the number of guest rooms available.
What happens next?
As of Monday (12/3) cancellations of existing room reservations at the Aloft and Westin have begun. If you don't get a notice in a couple of days, please contact @email.
Everyone who had a Westin or Aloft reservation will receive an email with a link to reserve a new room at the Park Plaza.
We expect to open the reservation link to the public Friday, December 7th. The actual date and time will be announced via social media once it is confirmed.