Sunday, November 28, 2010

FOSS4G Denver 2011 venue preview

Now that wherecamp5280 is out of the way for this year, I'm getting excited about organizing FOSS4G 2011 here in Denver next September (in case you missed the news, I'll be the conference chair). This will be a rather larger event - we're expecting 1000 or so attendees.

I walked down to the Sheraton in downtown Denver the other day to take some pictures for marketing purposes (for the web site and brochures, etc), and I really think it's going to be a great venue for the conference. Here are some pics ...
ebatty - View my 'Sheraton Denver' set on Flickriver
All the conference sessions will be within the hotel itself, and a large new bar connected to the hotel lobby is nearing completion, which will have 130 different beers on tap (I will try to do my conference chair's duty and sample all of them once it opens, later in December!). So that should all be conducive to great socializing and networking. Right across the street there's an excellent assortment of reasonably priced "fast but fresh" food places, so loads of convenient food options very close by, though of course the conference will be well catered! Plus there are literally hundreds of bars and restaurants within walking distance - the location gets an outstanding score of 95 for walkability at walkscore:

This hotel’s Walk Score:®

95 out of 100 — Walker’s Paradise

View on WalkScore.com

Walk Score House Icon Walk Score

On top of that, there are free shuttle buses that run continuously up and down 16th Street right outside the hotel, which makes it easy to get a little further afield around the downtown area.

I'll be sharing lots more about the conference plans over the next few months, stay tuned!

1 comment:

ebwolf said...

4. As Peter mentioned, there are many great places to eat all around the Sheraton. But the LOC is planning to provide catered meals at the conference as often as possible to keep everyone together. I've been to events at the Sheraton and can attest that the food is really good! The staff is also very attentive and know how to accommodate for most dietary needs. There will definitely be vegetarian options at every spread.

5. Also, as Peter said, there is a great new bar going in with an astonishing number of beers on draft. There are also several great brewpubs just a short jaunt on foot or bus from the Sheraton. I can guarantee that you can go out every night and not drink the same beer twice!

6. The FREE 16th Street Mall shuttle, as Peter mentioned, passes right in front of the Sheraton every 5 minutes or so. Near the NW end it's route, it stops at Market Street where you can catch buses to the airport, Boulder and many other remote parts of the Colorado Front Range. Continue on to the 16th Street Mall shuttle terminus and you get to Union Station from which you can jump on the light rail to destinations all over Denver or even catch an Amtrak train to Chicago or San Francisco. A fun excursion would be to take Amtrak's famed Zephyr Flyer in the Rocky Mountains for a hike in Winter Park, Colorado or all the way across the Rockies to Grand Junction and the Colorado Wine Country. Don't worry about traveling with your hiking gear because the REI Flagship store (with indoor climbing area) is just across the river from Union Station.