Jay Cross
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Do you want to know a secret?
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Next week I'll be in Las Vegas for a couple of days at ASTD's TechLearn. It's at the Riviera on the Strip. If you go to the official website and click housing and travel, you get an 800 number to call and an online reservation link. Either way, you receive the conference hotel rate of $89/night.

If you go to the Riviera's website, you can get that room for $59/night.

Alternatively, you could go to QuikBook. Their rate for the Riviera is $36/night. (You can get a deluxe room at the Sahara for $31.)

What's up with that? It's an anachronism.

In years past, hotels gave kick-backs to conference organizers who steered participants to their hotels. Back when you were at the mercy of a travel agent on commission or a conference organizer, this cozy set-up was the norm. Now most people make their own reservations through QuikBook or hotels.com. Conference financing is tough. Every dollar bilked from members helps keep the organization afloat.

You might look at it this way: suckers who overpay for their lodgings are subsidizing lower ticket prices for the rest of us. Unfortunately, the hotel is taking a nice cut of their largess, too.

I'm not singling out ASTD. All conferences work this scam.

When you hear about corporate transparency, this is it. If we squawk, the practice will stop.

Here are my discount travel links. Please add your favorites in a comment below.


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