YAPC::NA::2007 Houston Bid

The Houston.pm bid follows:



Overview

As the 4th largest city in the U.S. and home to astronaut training and NASA's Mission Control, Houston, Texas is a leader in business,
entertainment, the arts, and more. From professional sports to outdoor
fun to an out-of-this-world space experience and incredible dining -
it's all here! Stroll the beaches of Galveston or challenge yourself
on one of the many golf courses. SpaceCity offers everything from
breathtaking museum exhibits to vibrant downtown entertainment.
Explore the wonder of space or spend the day shopping to your heart's
content. Visit and you'll understand why it's a city of infinite
possibilities.

Houston.pm is a group of people who use Perl in the Houston area. Some of us use Perl in our jobs (officially or unofficially), while others
just like to play with the language. We have all level of members
from complete novices to very experienced Perl programmers working in
Perl daily and more than willing to share their expertise. We believe
that we have the resources and facilities to host a successful YAPC
and hope that you will feel the same.



Proposed Dates

We have discussed various options for the proposed dates. In keeping with the past, we are considering three days during either the
week of June 18th - 22nd or June 25th - 29th. We've also considered,
if possible, continuing the new tradition of adding the two-day
Perl classes to the conference, possibly placing the classes at
the beginning of the conference rather than the end. This would
allow for the conference to be June 20th - 22nd, avoiding possible
conflicts of interest with Uri's anniversary and the birthday of
Jim Brandt's triplets.



Facilities

Location

We have considered and researched three venue possibilities within Houston. They are Rice University, the University of
Houston Downtown, and the University of Houston. [MAP -
http://brazosvalley.pm.org/yapc/venuemap.html]

Rice University

Rice University is having a brief moratorium on decisions on Summer 2007 programs and conference requests. They are in the process of
forming new policies regarding summer programs in general, which
would affect what services and spaces would be available during the
summer to groups outside Rice, including the availability of dorm
space for non-Rice sponsored conferences. They plan to make a decision
and have the policies finished by late September. Therefore, their
information is not included in this bid proposal.

University of Houston - Downtown

UHD's dynamic campus is located in the north end of downtown Houston, easily accessed from all major freeways. From UHD, it's a quick ride
on MetroRail to the heart of downtown for entertainment, ball games,
dining, and clubs.

The venue possibility is the One Main Building, an 11-story building that houses the university's bookstore, copy center, computer
lab, dining services, and various classrooms and meeting rooms. They
have a variety of facilities available including two lecture halls
each with a capacity of 150, three special events rooms capable of
holding 100 people each, and an auditorium that has a total capacity
of 450. Each room offers full multimedia capabilities. Wireless
Internet access is available in all floors of the building.

The Community Relations and Conference Services page (http://www.uhd.edu/about/reservations/) contains links to rooms and
floor plans, as well as various other information about the conference
facilities.

Maps and directions can be found at http://www.uhd.edu/about/map.htm

One issue with the University of Houston Downtown campus is that they do not have housing. They have agreements with some of the surrounding
hotels, which will be an option if the UHD campus is further
considered. No additional information about UHD has been included in this bid.

University of Houston

The University of Houston provides conference facilities within the University Center (http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/), a four-level facility
with numerous meeting rooms, a game room (can be rented by the hour),
and various food venues. There is a large ballroom with a capacity
for 600 attendees (expandable up to 1200), a room capable of holding 280
people, and another room with a capacity for 100. The center also
maintains various other meeting rooms with capacities ranging from 40 to 75
people. A map of the facility is available at
http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/about%20us/print_map_uc.html. The university
also provides a photo tour available at http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/reservations/tour/uc_tour.html

 |--------------------------------------------| 
 |         Room            | Capacity | Price | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Houston and 1 perimeter |      900 |  1625 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Houston                 |      600 |  1305 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Cougar Den              |      280 |   475 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Mediterranean           |      100 |   235 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Bluebonnet              |       75 |   130 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Lone Star               |       60 |   120 | 
 |--------------------------------------------| 
 | Palo Duro               |       14 |    60 | (storage/terminal room?) 
 |--------------------------------------------|

Pricing will be lower if getting sponsorship from the university is an option.

Internet Access

Wireless Internet connectivity is available throughout the University Center. In addition, wireless connectivity is available in most
academic buildings on campus.

Also (if possible), as Joey Kelly mentioned on the YAPC::NA 2006 Chicago wiki (http://yapcchicago.org/wiki/index.cgi):




".... I officially volunteer to be the network admin for yapc next year, wherever it's held. I do this stuff for a living, and promise
to liase with the venue networking staff well in advance, provide a
Linux server for DHCP/DNS/whatever, set up the wireless, provide tech
support for attendees, work with the local PM group, and generally be
the responsible party when things go down."



Cost/Affordability

We plan on keeping the registration fee at $100 for the 2007 YAPC. We hope to follow a similar approach as the 2006 YAPC in offering an
early registration discount.

Low Cost Experience

Assuming that an attendee takes advantage of the low-cost approach to experiencing YAPC, they would stay in a double room in the dorms and
choose the on-campus dining option.

 |-----------------------------|
 | Expense            |  Cost  |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Conference         |    100 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Day 1 meals        |  20.45 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Day 2 meals        |  12.20 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Day 3 meals        |  12.20 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | 3-night dorm stay  |     45 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Linen package      |     15 |
 |-----------------------------|
 | Total minus travel | 204.85 |
 |-----------------------------|

Attendee Cost

Depending on the various options for snacks and drinks, the cost per attendee will be around $60.

 |---------------------------|
 | Expense          |  Cost  |
 |---------------------------|
 | Snacks (3-days)  |     32 |
 | Sundae Bar       |      3 |
 | Auction Dinner   |     20 |
 | T-shirt          |      5 |
 | Total            |     60 |
 |---------------------------|

Conference Budget

With the registration fee set at $100 and the cost per attendee at $60, the amount per attendee left over to cover conference expenses
is $40.


 |-----------------------|
 | Attendees | Available |
 |-----------------------|
 | 250       |     10000 |
 |-----------------------|
 | 300       |     12000 |
 |-----------------------|
 | 350       |     14000 |
 |-----------------------|
 | 400       |     16000 |
 |-----------------------|
 | 450       |     18000 |
 |-----------------------|

To cover the expenses of speakers and volunteers, we have included their registration fee as an expense. This removes their left over
balance of $40 from the budget and covers their attendee costs.
They still count towards a head count and partake of the same snacks
and amenities as the typical attendee. If registration fee was
waived for 50 people, the speaker/volunteer expenses would be $5000.

If the attendance was lower than 300, we would only need the Cougar Den, Mediterranean, and Bluebonnet rooms, putting the room total at
$2520. Adding in Audiovisual costs and other expenses, such as
clean up and staff, puts the total for less than 300 people around
$3500. $3500 (facilities) + $5000 (speaker expense), brings the
total to $8500, $1500 under the $10000 budget for 250 attendees (showing
that a $90 early registration discount would certainly be viable).

For attendance greater than 400, we would utilize the Houston room (including its specific charges, as well as the rooms mentioned
earlier. This would set the facility expenses (rooms + A/V + etc)
to around $8415 and $5000 for speaker expenses, bringing the total to
$13415, again, under budget.

The University Center room pricing is structured in a way that provides different pricing depending on who is renting the room.
Prices are lower for university sponsored groups, department
sponsored groups, and student organizations. One way to reduce
room costs might be to work with the university or a UH department
to have them provide the rooms at the discounted rates.

Audio/Visual and Equipment

The full list of pricing for audio/visual equipment can be found at http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/reservations/files/Fee_Schedule.pdf (2nd
page).

 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 |              Equipment                  | Charge | 
 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 | Computer Projection Unit/LCD projector  |     75 | 
 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 | Internet Connection                     |   free | 
 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 | Sign Stands                             |   free | 
 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 | Wireless Microphones - Handheld         |     40 | 
 |--------------------------------------------------| 
 | Wireless Microphones - Lapel            |     40 | 
 |--------------------------------------------------|

The university recommends that an Audiovisual Operator be utilized. Some of the A/V equipment requires the assistance of a UH Audiovisual
Operator, such as the rear screen projection unit, sound system, and
lighting in the Houston room. An Audiovisual Operator is available
for $20/hr. Add one hour for setup and one hour for breakdown. The
use of wireless handheld and lapel microphones also require an
Audiovisual Operator.

Other Fees and Services

The normal operating hours for the facility are 8:00am to 5:00pm (administrative offices). If the facility needs to be opened early
or closed late, there is a $30/hr. fee associated. To avoid this,
the conference schedule can run from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Depending on
needs, an Electrician can be provided at a rate of $30/hr.

Houston Room specific charges:

  • UC Damage Deposit: $ 300

  • Rear Screen Projection unit: $ 200 (includes Sound System)

  • Sound System alone: $ 50 (includes House speakers, podium on stage w/mic, 1 wireless mic
    handheld, 1 wireless mic lapel, 6 hardware mics, & 1 CD/Cassette
    player)



Accommodations

Moody Towers is the largest complex of the residence halls and accommodates more than 1,100 students. The two 18-story buildings
are joined by a main lobby, the Commons. The majority of the
rooms house two occupants, while single occupant rooms are
available. Most floors have a lounge with a television. Each
floor shares a community bathroom with showers. The first floor
is wheelchair accessible and has a slightly modified bathroom.
The Towers provide a laundry facility, computer lab, health club,
cafeteria, and convenience store. Floor plans and more information
are available at http://www.housing.uh.edu/moodytowers.html.

The first floor is designed for guests with disabilities. ADA doors, bathroom stalls, and showers are available. Wheelchair
bound guests may use the laundry room on the North Tower ground
floor.

 Doubles:  $15 per person per night (no linen provided)
 Singles:  $28 per person per night (no linen provided)
 Linen Package:  $15.00 (includes sheets, blanket, pillow, bath towel, and wash cloth)

Dining location map: http://www.campusdish.com/NR/rdonlyres/92D2F42D-66BE-47D9-B6E6-37E36D5DC179/0/UH_Dining_Map_Lores.jpg

Shuttle routes: http://www.uh.edu/parking/pts_shuttle_schedule.html

Food Service/Catering

Dining

There are several dining options available on campus. A declining balance card (Cougar Cash) can be purchased and used at any of the
convenience stores, retail and residential on campus facilities. In
the retail locations, visitors can enjoy brands like Wendy's, Java
City, Starbucks, Smoothie King, Kim Son, AFC Sushi, Chick-Fil-A,
Grill Works, Pizza Hut, Montagues, Taco Bell and Subway.

The residential restaurant, RFoC which stands for "real food on campus" is an all-you-care-to-eat facility located in Moody Towers
and Oberholtzer Hall. There are seven stations available in the
facility, the grill, deli, comfort zone, pizza station,
international zone, salad bar and a desert bar. The door rate for
the residential restaurant is $5.00 for breakfast, $6.00 for lunch
and $7.00 for dinner. A meal can be purchased at the door with
cash, credit, or Cougar Cash.

Catering

Linen will be provided for all tables in the rooms that will be used for food and beverage service. Should the need arise for linen on
other tables, including guest tables, these can be provided at an
additional charge.

 Tablecloths   $ 3.00/each
 Skirting      $20.00/each
 Napkins       $ 0.30/each

China and glassware are included in the current pricing of all meals held within the University Center. Services provided outside of the
facility will be accompanied by paperware. If china and glassware
are preferred for use at a remote location, these can be provided at
an additional charge of $1.75 per person.

The average price of a UH catered dinner for the TPF auction is between $10 and $25. Adjustments to menus can be made to accommodate special dietary
needs.

Internet Access

Internet connectivity is available in Moody Towers via wireless and wired connections. Wireless service can be accessed in the
lobby area of Moody Towers. In addition, wireless connectivity
is available in the dining rooms, the OB Ballroom, and most
academic buildings on campus.

Alternative Accommodations

  • Hilton UH Hotel and Conference Center

    Attendees wishing to stay in more luxurious accommodations while remaining on campus can stay at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel
    and Conference Center. Located directly across the street from the
    University Center, the Hilton University of Houston Hotel and
    Conference Center not only provides the quality and services you have
    come to expect from the Hilton name, but is also an integral part of
    the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. It
    serves as a unique, real world laboratory for students and faculty.
    The facility provides 40,000 square feet of meeting space, 22 meeting
    rooms, three ballrooms, fine dining in Eric's restaurant, specialty
    dinners in Barron's restaurant (prepared by students of the college),
    85 guest rooms and 6 suites.

  • Houston International Hostel

    http://www.houstonhostel.com/



Transportation

Getting to Houston

  • by Air

    Houston has the fourth-largest airport system in the U.S. and the sixth largest in the world. The city's three airports - Bush
    Intercontinental, Hobby, and Ellington Field - service 200 cities
    worldwide. Wi-Fi Internet service is available at both Bush
    Intercontinental and Houston Hobby in most airport public areas,
    including gates, restaurants, ticketing and baggage claim.

    Upon arrival to Houston, the options for getting downtown are numerous.

    • METRO - http://www.ridemetro.org/

      METRO's bus system offers express service from Bush and Hobby Airports to downtown Houston and several business districts
      within the city.

    • Taxi Cabs

      Houston boasts the second largest taxicab fleet in the country, with more than 1,400 vehicles in operation.

    • Airport Shuttles
       |----------------------------------------------------|
       |         Express SHUTTLE USA (713) 523-8888         |
       |----------------------------------------------------|
       | from |       to       | Price |        Times       |
       |----------------------------------------------------|
       | IAH  | Downtown       |   $23 | 6:45 am - 11:30 pm |
       | HOU  | Downtown       |   $18 | 6:30 am - 11:30 pm |
       | IAH  | Medical Center |   $24 | 7:00 am - 11:30 pm |
       | HOU  | Medical Center |   $19 | 7:00 am -  6:30 pm |
       |----------------------------------------------------|
       |        Texans Super Shuttle (713) 781-6660         |
       |----------------------------------------------------|
       | IAH  | Downtown       |   $22 |  5 a.m.-midnight   |
       | HOU  | Downtown       |   $17 |  5 a.m.-midnight   |
       | IAH  | Medical Center |   $23 |  5 a.m.-midnight   |
       | HOU  | Medical Center |   $18 |  5 a.m.-midnight   |
       |----------------------------------------------------|
    • Rental Cars

      The full range of car-rental companies offer vehicles in various price ranges, with the consolidated rental car facility at Bush
      Intercontinental Airport boasting ultra-convenient access to
      rental cars.

  • by Car

    Both I-45 and I-10 feed into Houston. I-45 runs from Houston to the Dallas/Fort Worth area which is fed into by I-35, I-30, and
    I-20. From Dallas/Fort Worth, travelers can take I-45 into
    Houston. [http://maps.google.com/maps]

  • by Train or Bus

    Amtrak (http://www.amtrak.com) services Houston (HOS) via the Sunset Limited route extending from Los Angeles to Orlando. If
    you'd rather take the bus, Greyhound (http://www.greyhound.com/)
    might be what you need.

Once You're Here

Easy to get around, Houston offers an excellent light rail and city bus system in the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the
second largest taxicab fleet in the country.

  • The consolidated rental car facility at Bush Intercontinental Airport boasts ultra-convenient access to rental cars.

  • A variety of airport shuttles and limousines are available.

  • Houston's METRO bus system features a $1 one-way local fare, so visitors can easily get around the city without having to worry
    about navigating the freeways or mapping out directions to their
    destination.

  • The METRORail system offers convenient, accessible service within the heart of the city between downtown Houston and Reliant Park,
    including the Museum District and Texas Medical Center.

METRO

Whether a passenger chooses to ride the bus, rail or both, they will be able to get on board using METRO's standard fare items.

  • METRORail Ticket - $1

    Rail tickets can be purchased using cash, credit, debit, or tokens.

  • 7-, 30-, and 365-day passes

    These passes allow you to ride unlimited METRORail and bus services until the pass expires.

  • Stored Value Card

    Passengers with Stored Value Cards may use them on all METRO buses but should get a free transfer or buy a day pass for use on
    METRORail. These cards give you more rides for your money:

     |----------------------------------------------------|
     | Cost ($)  |    15 |    25 |    50 |    75 |    100 |
     |----------------------------------------------------|
     | Value ($) | 18.75 | 31.50 | 64.00 | 97.50 | 132.00 |
     |----------------------------------------------------|
  • Tokens

    These can be used to purchase Local fares on the bus and METRORail tickets from the TVMs.

  • Cash

    Currency can be used to purchase both bus and rail fare. It is deposited into the fare box on board the bus.

  • Day Passes

    A $2 Day Pass is valid for up to 24 hours of unlimited rides using either METRORail and/or Local bus service.

METRORail Fares, one way

 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | Fare Type:    |  Adult  | Discount |   Youth    |
 |               |         |          | (age 5-11) |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | Cash:         |    $  1 |   $  .40 |     $  .25 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | Day Pass:     |    $  2 |   $  .80 |     $  .50 | 
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | 7 Day Pass:   |    $  9 |   $ 4.50 |     $ 2.70 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | 30 Day Pass:  |    $ 35 |   $15.00 |     $ 9.00 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | 365 Day Pass: |    $315 |   $52.00 |     $52.00 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 | 10 Tokens($8) | 1 Token |        - |          - |
 |-------------------------------------------------|

METROLift Pass

All METRO buses and trains are 100% accessible for people with disabilities and feature lifts, ramps and enlarged destination
signs. For those who cannot use our accessible buses or trains,
METRO offers METROLift, a curb-to-curb, shared ride service using
vans and sedans. METROLift eligibility requires physician approval
and an in-person evaluation conducted at METRO. For more
information, call 713-225-0119.

Express, Park & Ride Service

This service falls into four zones, with fares based on the distance a bus must travel from a Park & Ride lot to its final
destination. Zone 1 includes lots within a distance of up to 11
miles and all Express routes. Zone 2 lots are from 11 up to 16
miles; Zone 3 lots are from 16 up to 21 miles; and Zone 4 lots
are 21 miles or greater.

With eight Express and 25 Park & Ride bus routes, METRO can get you to work and home again quickly and reliably for as little as
$1.50 one-way! You may use your 30-Day Pass, 365-Day Pass, Stored
Value Card or cash.

Express, Park & Ride Fares, one way **

 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |Adult        | Zone 1 | Zone 2 | Zone 3 | Zone 4 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |Cash         |  $1.50 |  $2.50 |  $3.00 |  $3.50 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |30-Day Pass  |  $  50 |  $  78 |  $  94 |  $ 110 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |365-Day Pass |  $ 459 |  $ 702 |  $ 846 |  $ 990 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|

**During peak hours, 5 - 9 a.m. and 3 - 7 p.m.; non-peak fare for all services is $1

Trolley Service

In the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the fare is $1 one-way and may be paid with exact change (bill or coins), any METRO time-activated
pass, a valid Stored Value Card, a TMC pass, tokens or a valid
transfer. Trolleys cannot issue transfers.



Tourist Attractions

From the Third Ward to Chinatown in the Southwest, Houston is known for fabulous dining and great Houston attractions. You can enjoy fine
dining in the very posh area of River Oaks, tantalizing Texas barbecue
downtown, and even some fresh seafood from the Kemah Boardwalk on
Galveston Bay. From live music venues of local talent, to the
sophisticated ambience of the symphony or ballet, Houston has something
for everyone.

Since you're in the place that broadcast man's first step on the moon, you may want to pay a visit to Space Center Houston
(http://www.spacecenter.org/), where you'll be whisked into outer
space through simulations and films. Once back on earth, you can hop
on the tram to the complex's NASA/Johnson Space Center to watch
astronauts and engineers at work and in training.

About TPF

The Perl Foundation - supporting the Perl community since 2000. Find out more at www.perlfoundation.org.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim Brandt published on August 4, 2006 5:52 PM.

YAPC::NA::2007 Call for Venue Now Closed was the previous entry in this blog.

YAPC::NA::2007 Philadelphia Bid is the next entry in this blog.

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