The crisis in the US is affecting the whole world and Argentina is included. The most visible consequences are that prices are going up and people are afraid that they might start going up quicker. Because of this, the "13 de Julio" hotel in Mar del Plata has raised the prices for the rooms, and refuses to give us a frozen budget for food until closer to the date.
Since we haven't yet made our first down payment, we are still in time to switch to somewhere else. For the past week, we've been investigating other options, both in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata.
These are the advantages of having DebConf in Buenos Aires or Mar del Plata (since the disadvantages of one are the advantages of the other, we include only each place's advantages):
- Buenos Aires:
- + Easier and cheaper to get internet access
- + The trip from/to the airport would take 45 minutes instead of 5 hours.
- + The city has more touristic interest.
- Mar del plata
- + The insecurity is much smaller. Walking around with money/valuables is quite safe.
- + The fact that it's away from Buenos Aires prevents newbies from just "passing by".
- + It's what we've been promising to attendees and sponsors.
Now, advantages and disadvantages for the hotels we've investigated, both in Buenos Aires and in Mar del Plata (all prices in ARS). For many we don't have the definitive numbers yet, since those things take time, but the idea is there.
- 13 de Julio (original hotel in MDQ):
- + It's big enough to hold as many people as we want.
- + Price per person per day, without eating outside: $119.84 (dinner outside would mean ~ $115) (food includes 1 course, beverage and dessert)
- + Conference Rooms + Divisions: $40k
- + Already has WiFi access in enough rooms.
- + Has bigger/nicer rooms for people that want to pay more and be at the conference hotel.
- + Almost everything is already planned for this hotel (i.e electricity and room divisions)
- + It's what we originally promised.
- - The people from the hotel have been slow in dealing with us, and are the ones raising the prices. We have the feeling that they don't really want us doing the event there.
- - The prices for the food aren't frozen, they might go up if there's too much inflation (this may also be true to other offers that claim to freeze the prices now, but might not be able to keep up the promise if the prices rise to o much)
- - Have to pay for all the rooms NOW to get a fixed price for them
- Antartida (cheap hotel in MDQ)
- + Cheap option: $90 per person per day (sleeping and eating in Antartida)
- + Has WiFi in the rooms.
- The talks/hacklab should be somewhere else, we don't have the prices yet.
- - During the last weekend, Antartida doesn't have enough capacity for the whole DebConf, some of the attendees would need to stay in another close-by hotel (there are many).
- - The hotel is probably of less quality. We haven't been there to check.
- Astor (4 star hotel in MDQ):
- + 4 stars hotel
- - Price per person, including lodging, food, coffe breaks, and conf rooms: $150. This price is negotiable, we think we might go as low as $130.
- - The conf rooms in the hotel would only serve as hacklabs. Talk rooms should be somewhere else, and we don't have prices yet.
- Bauen (hotel in Buenos Aires):
- + The people from the hotel have been very helpful.
- + It's close to where DebianDay will be.
- - It has a maximum capacity of 350 people, but we probably won't be able to use it all (other people also stay there).
- - Price per person per day: $130 (food is just 1 course and beverage, no dessert)
- - Conference Rooms: $86k
- - Main talk room is busy Saturday and Sunday nights
- Another possibility is to use a set of conference rooms 3 blocks away, which we might be able to get for free, or for a very low price.
- - Only a few floors have WiFi, we will need to work on this ourselves (this work can be done in June).
- Hostels in Buenos Aires
- + Very cheap: average $30 bed+breakfast
- - For the food we would need to find near by restaurants and give vouchers. (about $40 per person per day)
- - People would be divided in several places (around 7 different hostels).
- - Some hostels would be up to 5 blocks (~ 600 meters) away from the conference place.
- - We would need to find a different option for the "Professional" and "Corporate" attendees.