Reno Post-Mortem

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Inquartata, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Anyone? Bueller?

    I have only time for "Sean Shumate is a great sabre referee, even if he does occasionally forget that there's supposed to be a minute break in the middle of a DE".

    I now leave you all to wonder whether or not this is a case of my currying favor by being nice to a ref. ;)
     
  2. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    Bit early for the post mortem...I can think of folks that aren't even home yet. Also mommy once said that if you can't say anything nice don't say it at all and this close to the end of the 10 day carnival that is nationals it's hard to remember the good. However, I'll follow on the Shumate strand: he always shows amazing poise under adversity and his recovery from the almost boo-boo in the 32 of 1A MS without missing a beat was pretty awesome.

    Also, some refs on this board are really great at taking the news that they were completely misinformed on rules interpretations and making appropriate adjustments.

    Finally (for now) it's amazing how high up really basic rule interpretations can go sometimes. Slightly appalling but amazing nonetheless.
     
  3. Tomas N

    Tomas N Podium

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    Only fenced the last day, but I thought the BC and the refs were all still in remarkably good spirits and very good given how long they had already been there.

    The last time I was in Reno was in the early 90s, and my memory of the city was based on losing money in casinos. That is, I had bad memories of it. This time around, I actually liked Reno. Lots of decent places to eat, easy access to Tahoe and other hikes, friendly people.
     
  4. wakeup

    wakeup Made the Cut

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    I'd never been before and thought it was a vile vile place. Loud, smoky, oppressively hot, ugly, depressed, and depressing.
     
  5. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    However, the Atlantis was way nicer IMHO than the Reno Hilton, where I was the last couple of times a national event was held in Reno.

    I was surprised the the referees and bout committee were as cheerful and focused as they were. An acquaintance on the BC told me the complaining was hard to take on Friday. I witnessed some pretty peevish and entitled behavior myself. However, my event tis past Saturday had outstanding officiating and everybody seemed pretty cheerful, even though the Pan Am team sabre event was happening at the same time.
     
  6. Emfuser

    Emfuser DE Bracket

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    Reno/Sparks: Really easy to get around. There's also some really good food to be had if you do a little basic research on yelp/tripadvisor/urbanspoon/google maps. People were reasonably friendly. Even staying at a "far away" hotel (Grand Sierra), it was cheap and only a quick, easy drive to the venue.

    Venue: Loved the parking and didn't care that it was $7 (with unlimited in/out). You could pick the worst spot in the place and be inside of air conditioning within a minute or so. The size was good for the event. No four mile walk to get from the building entrance to the actual venue room. I LOVED THAT YOU COULD ACTUALLY HEAR AND COMPREHEND THE PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM ANNOUNCEMENTS! I also liked that there was a separate space with two pods and a finals strip. I liked the pod layout system, even though I giggled every time someone used 1950's or spot-fudged phonetic alphabet over the PA.

    "Fencer blar to strip... ... ... Nancy four!"

    Me: "It's 'November', dammit!" :huh:

    Refs: I wasn't fencing, just watching and amateur strip-coaching. However I did notice many more new faces, but that could be (partly) because it's my first west-coast (ish) nationals. Only a few occasions made me think I was watching a crappy ref.

    Watched Craig win V40MF. That was fun. :cool:

    Weird observation about the area: People drive REALLY slow. It freaked me out when most people on the road were driving at or under the speed limit on the regular.
     
  7. kathe23

    kathe23 Made the Cut

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    We stayed away from the downtown area, in an extended stay sort of place (which was fitting as we were there for 10 nights) We had a view of snow capped Mt Rose, a spacious suite in a smoke free hotel, and easy access to Lake Tahoe which was simply stunning. The only downside was that I couldn't use Priceline or Hotwire so we paid more than I normally would for a room. Low humidity, sunny days, a convention center that was easy to navigate; I will take Reno over Dallas any day. I thought the BC did a great job. Only 1 complaint - is there really no better way to post pools/de's/results at a National tournament? Many of the SYCs and ROCs have far better systems in place.
     
  8. Tomas N

    Tomas N Podium

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    My thought exactly.
     
  9. Lefty Belgian

    Lefty Belgian DE Bracket

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    Generally, I find that staying and spending some downtime a bit off the beaten track really takes the edge off the somewhat claustrophobic Summer Nationals environment. In Reno, we found a lovely hotel (no more expensive, probably less, than the Peppermill and Atlantis) on the Truckee River. It was great to come back from an intense day at the venue and not be inundated with slot machines and the huge fencing population (with which we just spent 6-8 hours or more at the venue). A walk on the river at the end of the day, free jazz and homemade ice-cream by the river in the evening, and lots of out of the way small bistros and coffee houses took us away from the tensions of each day. I am all for focus and generally do not view fencing tournament sites as the opportunity for sight-seeing and extraneous events, but there is a degree of over-stimulation where one just wishes for some true downtime, without constantly running into people you know; a bit of quiet and even the distraction of something unrelated to fencing. The main venues were convenient (particularly the Atlantis) and offer the ready socialization that can be so nice during major tournaments but it was not a hassle getting to the venue each day and parking was plentiful.

    As for the events themselves, I found them generally well-run (speaking solely of Men’s Foil events). My main and continuing complaint relates to the posting of seeding, pools and DE trees. The crush of humanity clawing to see this information is literally dangerous. This situation is exacerbated by the incredibly small font in which information is printed. At one point an entire bulletin board tumbled over on people standing behind it. There has to be a better way. I spoke with members of the bout committee who told me that other methods, including overhead projection, were tried unsuccessfully. Cost aside, would large HD screens (almost certainly available through any convention center) positioned around the venue really not work? Perhaps limiting who may check postings solely to competing fencers for a start. Someone even suggested mass emails or other handheld devices alert.

    In any case, kudos to the bout committee for putting together a respectable event featuring 6,500 registered competitors, tons of events, seminars and other goings on. It can't be easy.

    Now can we get day schedules for 2011-2012 National Events?
     
  10. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Ups and downs on the venue, if you didn't want to pay for parking there were at least two large free parking lots, the Atlantis and the strip mall across the street. Took only a couple of minutes more to walk across Virginia street to get to the venue. Once inside it was comfortable and the AC was neither too cold nor too hot which was a miracle in itself. And we had the whole place to ourselves. Overall the venue was a good as I've seen at any NAC or SN. For those that feel insulted with fencing on the last day with tear down going on it seemed to be handled in a reasonable fashion.

    Regarding Reno itself. Well, depressing and that was one reason to spend your time at the Venue. Accommodations were reasonable, except for folks who made their reservations at the last minute. I believe $40/night was what most of the folks I know paid. Except for one chap who thought he had found it for less only to learn about the resort fee when he arrived to check in. The Grand Sierra is getting a bit worn but was clean and comfortable and the "Beach" scene just outside my window was worth watching in itself. Finding your way around - by car - was extremely easy. The city just ain't that big and you could see the Atlantis from almost anywhere. Food and other necessities were actually quite reasonable unless you wanted it fancy and then you paid the "fancy" price.

    Bottom line, if you were going for the fencing and not the Museums or other attractions it was a very good choice. But after X days most folks were burnt out and ready to head home. For me X==4, but others had more staying power. Having the Pan Am Zonals was definitely a plus. I really enjoyed watching the team events in all the weapons.
     
  11. dberke

    dberke Podium

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    I thought Reno was a good location - it certainly is easy for us on the west coast to get to.

    The room rates were decent if you did some research - my hotel+flight package on Expedia was cheaper ($260) than the cost of the flight if booked it alone ($330!) so I have no complaints there. I stayed at the Grand Sierra which was fine, and had no trouble getting around in my rental car.

    Other than fencing, I didn't do much outside of the venue other than gamble. I came home up $500 thanks to a queen-high straight flush in a 1-2 no-limit poker game at the Peppermill. That happened on my second day there and set a good tone for the trip!

    Dan
     
  12. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    The erstwhile Reno Hilton is the present Grand Sierra, where a lot of people seem to have stayed. I'll be interested in their hearing their opinions afteward...

    I stayed at the Best Western next to the airport. Free local area shuttle whenever you wanted it, clean, quiet and casino-less, which along with the tendency to be too tired to do much after fencing and watching fencing all day helped me avoid losing any money gambling. :)

    Bizarre experience in V50MS: Having a fencer in my pool who had checked in for the event fail to show up to fence...and having the BC recall all pool sheets for reseeding, including pools which had already completed a significant number of bouts...then after a lengthy wait it was "Never mind, go back to what you were doing". Leaving me in a 5-person pool, all others being 6- or 7-person ones. :mad:

    And of course once again with the "developmental referees" for a team-selection event. Sigh.

    Venue was OK. I half-expected the multiple rooms to be problematic, but as mentioned the PA system actually made announcements intelligible. Especially with Aaron Clements doing his best radio-announcer voice. :D

    Oh, and the return flight on Southwest? The agents at bag check never blinked at my hard-sided "golf" bag, and it did not een seem to dawn on them to charge me an "oversize" fee because it didn't contain golf clubs. :huh:
     
  13. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    No fees for me either direction and I traveled with a big Uhlmann roll bag plus a hard case on the way back. Also no one else I know coming through Sky Harbor had to pay fees...
     
  14. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Probably because none of them had to open their cases to have a firearm tag placed inside, allowing the agents to detect the dearth of golf equipment therein...

    Which still doesn't explain why it's never happened to me before, either, of course. :mad:
     
  15. edew

    edew Podium

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    Was that hold'em? And what did the other players have? Or did the house give you a separate prize for getting the high hand of the day? (Usually, anything higher than 4Qs gets you on the best hand of the day, or the house just give you a special prize. At the Reno Hilton several years ago, I had 4Ks and got $200 from the house. Lost that promptly.)
     
  16. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    I still find Reno one of the most depressing cities I've been to.

    That said, I fenced every day that I was there so I rarely left the venue.

    Stayed at the Atlantis -- great room (after the first night, when I changed to one with a working AC), but avoiding the smoke and the casino noise was hard.

    I still consider this a poor choice for an event with so many kids.

    The event was as well run as it could have been, but there were times when the lack of referees was painful. In div 1-A, for example, most pools were almost over before a referee showed up at my pool. Almost an hour after having been called to the strip.

    Minor problem: the A/B room had no bathroom anywhere near it. Bad choice for WE Vet pools. : ) Of course, as usual, the strips were being dismantled before we started (as usual, we were the last event), so perhaps having us fence in the small room made it easier for the dismantlers.
     
  17. dberke

    dberke Podium

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    There was one other guy betting into me, but he folded on the river after I raised his $40 to $140. Never saw his cards. The pot was probably about $150, plus I got a $100 bonus from the house. It also held up as the high hand, so I won another $100 from the house at 2am.

    I hit a few other decent hands that session and walked away from the table up about $675. I managed to lose $175 over the next few days but was still happy to go home up $500.


    Every day I was there, there were open bathrooms just outside the A/B room if you exited through the doors on the left side of the room. They were far less trafficked than the others, probably because few people discovered them.

    Dan
     
  18. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    Aha! Well, we certainly did not see them...Had to run to the ones outside. : (
     
  19. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    Outside? I hope there were at least bushes.
     
  20. Superscribe

    Superscribe Rookie

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    Did anybody see the pod with the thin rolled out strips laid directly on concrete? Did anybody fence on them? How'd that feel?
     

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