IV. Hotel / Travel
We are pleased to announce the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center as the official hotel.
How to Book Your Room for C20 at the Congress Plaza, Our Official Hotel
To book your room at our official hotel plus get a special rate and ensure your room will be in the C20 block, book online through this exact link: https://reservations.ihotelier.com/crs/g_reservation.cfm?groupID=1089015&hotelID=5054
You may also make your room reservation by phone but you must identify yourself as part of the "Convergence 20" group to get the special rate & be part of our block of rooms. All phone room requests should be made directly with the Reservations Department at: 800-635-1666 or 312-427-3800.
Any reservations made after the cut-off date (March 26, 2014) are subject to a "space available" basis (so book now!) :)
The distinguished Congress Plaza Hotel, which also had the honor of being the official hotel for C10, is a wonderful historic grand hotel, built for the World's Columbian Exhibition in 1893. They treated us like royalty last time & are looking forward to our return- and in case you wondered, their unfortunate & long strike is now officially over! http://www.congressplazahotel.com
The guest rooms and suites of the Congress Plaza are truly spacious by today’s standards. The hotel is located in downtown Chicago directly across from Buckingham Fountain and walking distance from many Chicago attractions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, The Magnificent Mile, Grant Park and the beautiful lakeshore. The rooms we will be using for the Art Show and Vendor's Market are well-appointed with tasteful decor & we will have an official Hospitality Room open for C20 guests of the Hotel round the clock with coffee & tea service.
Chicago is one of the most accessible cities in North America. With two international airports, Midway Airport (MDW) and one of the world's busiest, O'Hare (ORD) Airport, you can be certain of convenient travel to and from the Windy City. Chicago's airports are the hubs of the two largest international airlines: United Airlines & American Airlines, as well as Southwest Airlines.
Both airports are accessible by public transportation (less than 20 miles) to/from the official hotel. Cost by “El” from the airports to the city is just $5.00 and the cost from the city to the airports is a mere $2.25.
Shuttle/Cab service is also available. Prices range from $30-$50/each way.
We have scheduled our Convergence dates to take full advantage of the spring/pre-tourist season savings offered by many airlines.
Once you arrive, getting around Chicago is easy!
All CTA Chicago buses and trains are GPS tracked in real time and can be viewed on your smart phone or Internet enabled device.
Chicago has also just launched the city-wide bicycle share program, Divvy. Just $7.00 per day (the cost of a 2 mile cab ride) gives you unlimited 30 minute rides using any of the more than 3,000 bicycles conveniently docked around the city. Use your smartphone to find the nearest docking station. Four stations are nearby the official venue and several near the main hotel. With over 200+ miles of dedicated bike lanes & only a 2.75 mile bicycle ride between the venue and hotel, this may a choice many of you may like to get around. For more information on the program, go to http://divvybikes.com
Of course, you can also cab it, and Chicago has plenty of taxicabs. The cost for the short trip between the official hotel & evening venue would be just about $10 and take just about 10 minutes. Simply hail a cab off the street or hail one nearby with your smartphone using the Hailo app: https://hailocab.com/chicago
An alternative to a traditional taxi ride is a service new to Chicago (but used & given glowing reviews from several of our committee members!) called Lyft. Lyft describes their company as "your friend with a car." Download Lyft in the App Store or on Google Play and request an instant pickup from a friendly, background-checked community driver for less than the cost of a cab. Chicago is the fourth city this new company has begun servicing. www.lyft.me
We are bringing to C20 another super fun, convenient, & money saving feature we had for C10: THE FUN SHUTTLE!
We will have two 45-person shuttle buses running round trip between our official hotel, the Congress Plaza and our evening venue, Bottom Lounge. The buses will be running every 10-15 minute from 7:30pm-9:30pm and 12:30am-2:30 am on Friday and Sunday; and 7:30pm-9:30pm and 1:30am-3:30 am on Saturday. Total rider capacity is ~225 people/hour.
The cost of the shuttle is $15 per person for the whole weekend. (Note this does not include driver tip. Please be generous since the drivers are working off their regular shift to accommodate us.) Those who wish to utilize the FUN SHUTTLE will pay the fee when checking in to C20 & picking up your laminate. Your laminate will then be notated to show you've paid to ride the shuttle as many times as you like from Friday evening through Sunday evening.
Those of us who were around during the Usenet days should be amused to know that the transportation company who will be providing our FUN SHUTTLE service is named AGF.