Mari Ness (mariness) wrote,
Mari Ness


Imagine my surprise when I arrived Monday night and found only stairs -- three steps -- leading up to the front door. The taxi driver and I looked for a wheelchair entrance and couldn't find one. I was too dizzy to stand so I crawled up the steps and got into my chair. That was fun. This was also during the height of the storm.

The front desk then pointed out the wheelchair entrance -- to the side and through heavy glass doors that are very difficult in a wheelchair. The automatic doors lead to steps.

After clearing up the hotel bill Tuesday morning I casually said that I would be off to the Starbucks in the convention center/hotel. Which is when I got my next bit of news:

This two story Best Western hotel does not have an elevator.

Able bodied guests may easily access the Sheraton lobby, hotel restaurants and the convention center by going down a short hallway and a flight of stairs.

Wheelchair users have two options:

1. They can stay in a wheelchair accessible room on the second floor, where I initially
was staying, and access the convention center and Starbucks by going out the wheelchair entrance (and the heavy doors -- I have needed assistance.) and then going
through the parking lot and over several speed bumps to the Sheraton lobby.

2. They can go to the first floor where I am now, and access the Sheraton through a very long and steep ramp. To get to this floor from the Best Western front desk they
have to go through the wheelchair entrance and through the parking lot. The rooms on the first floor are not wheelchair accessible. Because I have limited mobility I will be
able to use them but someone completely unable to walk would not be able to use this bathroom.

I was also offered a room at the Sheraton for an additional cost. However, I had budgeted for the Best Western, which is listed as a convention hotel. When I booked this room, I told Best Western that I was coming for WFC and that I would be using a wheelchair. They did put me initially in a wheelchair accessible room, but failed to tell me that this room would not be fully accessible to the convention. That information was
also not on the WFC webpage. In any case, I should not have to pay more just because I use a wheelchair.

Let me be blunt: World Fantasy Convention, you booked a hotel without an elevator. I
do not know why anyone concerned thought this would be acceptable. This would be bad enough in your overflow hotel. For your room block it is wrong. You also failed to
make this clear to attendees. To repeat, when I checked, I was told this would be fine. And it is not.
Tags: world fantasy con

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