Tips for staying at Opryland in 2014

First off, I want to say thank you to Thad and Chris and the PWRA staff for putting on the greatest pressure washing event…ever. Or, I guess I should say that I have ever been a part of :slight_smile:

There has been a lot of talk about it being hosted at the same venue next year, so I am going to post this because I’m sure a lot of it will be applied to ANY resort that a function is held at.

First off, you are not going to have a top notch event in a flea bag motel. Most of us here charge top dollar for our services, but yet gripe about paying for a fantastic venue and resort prices. However, you can be smart in how you approach certain aspects of resorts. For those of you wanting to not have to pay the top of the line pricing, there are a ton of other options. There is always staying at a cheaper place and then walking over to the venue, but please don’t gripe about the prices when you stay in the resort and take in all the comforts and luxuries of staying at the venue, then griping the whole time about how much it costs. The old adage applies, you have to pay to play. For those of you griping about staying at the resort and paying the top prices, please quit because you had other options and all it does is make you look cheap and whiny:)

Now that I got that off of my chest, let me get down to what you’re going to have to expect to pay for to get the convenience of the resort.

  1. Parking- $20 a day to park there for self parking. Not a bad deal to know your stuff is safe, but if your wanting a cheaper route, you could always park about a mile or two away and walk in. If you stay at the budget motels, most of them don’t have pay parking if you’re staying there. I even heard of a few parking at the mall and walking over. Also, the $20 a day includes unlimited exit and entry all day, so you can leave to eat or sightsee.

  2. Resort fee- $18. Those atriums and water canals don’t pay for themselves. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but you are staying at a resort and they have every right to charge what they want for their services and what they need to stay in business and make a profit. I don’t see any of you griping when you charge $300 per hour for a housewash, so the same applies here…just put yourself in their shoes. Again, the budget motel doesn’t charge resort rates, but they also don’t have a 9 acre glassed in river and views either.

  3. Taxes- Uncle Sam and the city and state have to get theirs, just know that it will be extra just like any place. You WILL have to pay this at the budget motel also.

  4. Food- Probably the most griped about ANYWHERE that has an attraction and serves food, IT WILL BE EXPENSIVE!!! You are paying for convenience. If you don’t like it, there are a few other options that you can do that isn’t considered cheap. You can always bring in some food and make a sandwich and snacks or something in your room. You can even bring a small container and use the hotel ice machine to keep things cool.

Here are a few things I noticed personally about the food at Opryland. Next year, I will do everything I can to avoid the burger and pizza place. Nothing like eating a $16 hamburger and fries that tastes blah. BUT I went to the nice sit down Mexican restaurant and paid $18 for a taco salad that was out of this world…seriously. So much in fact, that I will be taking the hour and a half drive soon with friends to go up there just to eat there. Everyone in our party that ate there was very impressed with the meal.

Long story short, pay the extra money and eat at the nicer restaurants for great food. No more “fast food Opryland” for me.

There is always walking either to Cracker Barrel across the street or the mall, although the mall will have high prices also.

  1. Bring your comfortable walking shoes. YOU WILL WALK A BUNCH!!! Even more so if you plan on saving money and either walking in or walking to go get something to eat outside the resort. The more you walk, the less convenient it is and the less convenient it is the less you pay.

Tips on saving money next year is to car pool with someone else to the event and/or share a room if you’re attending alone. Halving expenses is a great way to save. Also, PLAN AHEAD!! The longer you plan out, the better time and less headaches you will have being prepared.

Lastly, I can’t over stress this enough. Great events that lots of people will attend aren’t going to be held at a motel 6 in nowhere Montana (no offense to the guys in Montana). It’s going to be in a huge town at a huge resort, and that means higher prices. Just plan ahead and set aside money for next year and save and take the whole family on a tax write off vacation!! SEE YOU GUYS NEXT YEAR AT THE 2014 PWRA CONVENTION!!!

Flying in from Raleigh - approx $198
Shuttle to and from airport -$40
Attendance at the event - approx $100
3 nights at the fanciest hotel ive ever seen split with another guy - approx $250

Food, we went across the street to Caney fork very good and cheap. Went to chuy’s at the mall very good and cheap. Ate at the in resort mexican place also very good. Probably spent $150 total maybe wih snacks.

Not all that bad really

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Well worh the value recieved. And I was blown away by the hotel. Other places maybe you get a room for 89or 99 but we got a great discount with the group rate i think well worth a little extra cash

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The resort was top notch. The food places were really good even the burger place was great in my opinion. Yes it is a lot of walking and the place is massive but on the other hand if you have your partner with you its actually very romantic at night with all the sites in the resort. Now I never made it to Nashville’s Downtown but I’ve heard its awesome. We will be attending next year as well as working the floor with Ambidextrous Services… I might even drive this time b/c I missed out on some awesome deals with vendors b/c I couldn’t get a lot of things on the plane. I cant wait for NASHVILLE 2014 PWRA 2nd Annual Convention…

I hope it is in Nashville next year. I finally learned how not to get lost LOL. To me the food that was in the garden area next to the convention was either not good (the pizza was greasy and terrible IMO) or the line was too long (couldn’t get in the burger place so I can’t comment). With that said I paid $18 for a draft beer and a cheeseburger in the FUSE Saturday for lunch and it was AWESOME. So Jeremy it right there are lots of ways you can save some cash. Next year I am going to get more of my supplies at the convention and I am going downtown Friday night.

I propose starting the show at 10 on Saturday.


Why, so people can wait until 11:00 to arrive? :slight_smile:

I was wondering what the delay was in getting Perry to the microphone Saturday morning and then it dawned on me as folks slowly wondered in. It had been a while since I had been to an event.

Make awesome friends that bring their own moonshine, whiskey and beer, and let them share ( it is more blessed to share than to receive), share a room with a mate ( Seth Fensterstock is not available as I have booked him as my roomy for next year) - and bring Hansel and Gretel cookie crumbs so you can find your way back… to the bar…

The only thing a complained about was $52 for breakfast buffet for two. I mean, really?? Come on, it’s breakfast!

Cracker Barrel, TBH.

I did the breakfast buffet one morning. It was very convenient and that costs in a resort. I’ve paid more for less at other nice properties.

I see what you’re saying, Jeremy, but you have to understand, not everyone there has a successful businesses yet. I certainly can’t complain, because I got a free room, and had lots of generous people helping me get through the event with enough gas money to get home. But I wasn’t there for a vacation. I was there to learn. I did pretty much all the things that you suggested to scrimp by. I went to the Panda Express for lunch, put the leftovers on ice and had them for dinner. But when you’re doing all you can to get by, it just did not feel good to be nickeled and dimed all weekend.

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Again, not complaining. Just don’t think you’re seeing things from the perspective of a struggling businesses.

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Take the stuff you learned, start saving now for next year and bring the family. You took the right step in coming and you’re business will grow if you put some things you learned in to practice. Also, my post wasn’t directed to you. We have all been there and done that. It was directed to the few that blow their money during the year don’t plan for events like this when they have the means to do so. Then they gripe and complain about how much everything costs and 2-3 weeks prior they were bragging about how busy they were and how much money they were making. I am really glad you made it and look forward to seeing you again next year!!

Again it is at a world class resort. I would also like to see the start time at 9. It gives everyone some time to get up and get breakfast and get there without being rushed.

The scale of the place wasn’t readily apparent from the maps I got.
An inch apart on the resort map was really like 4.6 miles!

We will definitely allow more time next time.

I will be the first to say I was…umm un-nerved by the whole resort experience…

And I will be the first to say…I’ll do it again anytime. Mary and I stayed 4 days, a great get away for us before our Daughters Wedding next month. Truly we’ve never stayed on a property like this (remember we’re from the country). The main thing for me is security, and we felt very secure.

I’ve paid a lot more money for a lot less amenities, it was well worth the price we paid…and I’m a tight azz with money.

Just Saying.

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We ate at Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel. Even went to Walmart to get snacks and water. Of course the one night of room service more than ate up what we saved :). This was a convention, not a round table. It’s supposed to have been first class. Maybe video tape the classes for those that could not afford to attend could purchase at a reasonable price or have a attendee sponsorship that each vendor gives for a contractor down on his luck.

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We did a few “scholarships” this year and will do more next year as we see need.
I like the idea of doing some through vendors, too, but I don’t want to put anyone on the spot so don’t expect any announcements.

Thanks, Bob.

Once I got there Tuesday I never got a chance to do a Walmart trip but that will be handled on the way in next year.

The resort was not as uptight as they claimed about outside food and beverage. An anonymous group of contractors had two handles in brown paper and three cases of beer in a cooler on the walkway right in front of the Cascades lobby. The security guard who broke it up let everyone stock up and only asked that they move the cooler because he was getting complaints about the blocked walkway. Pretty cool, I thought.

Being around the block a few times with Conventions, Events,Roundtables etc etc etc and even been part of planning a few of these with others, you just can’t please all the people all the time. I’ve been to roundtables where we stayed in some dumpy hotels(I’m used to this because we stay in dumpy hotels when we travel to powerwash). We spent anywhere from a few hundred to a couple of thousand to attend some of these Industry “Events”.

Of course the more you make with your business the easier it is to spend more. I get that mentality. Most likely we would never take our kids to one of these events because this wouldn’t be that fun for them and also the stress to do things with my kids and going to a Convention is just not a good mix for us. My kids come first so being away from them wouldn’t work for us.

But look at some of these things this way. You work hard all year long. You work to support your family first and foremost. You break your azz all the time. Whether its on the physical end, Just running your business or both. Its nice to Go to these things that are in a nice hotel. All your hard work… you deserve this. Yes it cost a little more then the dumpy red roofs and Super 8’s we stay in on the road doing Powerwashing, so I look at these expenditures as something that I deserve. I also look at these as a nice write off to justify the expense and what I get out of these shows is $$$$ in the bank anyway.

You deserve something nice for all the hard work you do all year or most of they year and to do it up with some class that cost a little more-----Its worth it. Your worth it.