This is unfortunate: a SF con scheduled for Chicago this March had to cancel after a disagreement with the hotel.
We regret to inform you that Chi-Fi 2014 will not be taking place at the Westin Chicago River North as planned. After several meetings with the staff of the Westin, we had concerns about the ability of their staff to create a welcoming and accepting atmosphere towards our attendees. A senior Westin employee referred to our staff, attendees, and guests as “freaks,” and hotel staff expressed their disapproval of our anti-harassment policy. As we want to put the safety and enjoyment of our guests and attendees first, we requested that the hotel make changes to ensure that our attendees and guests be treated with the same respect as any other Westin hotel guests. By mutual decision, we agreed to part ways with the hotel. We wish to make clear that these views were expressed by staff of the Westin Chicago River North and do not reflect the opinions of the Westin brand or Starwood Hotels. We are grateful to certain individuals working for Westin and Starwood who have been supportive throughout these discussions. Our organization does not condone any sort of retaliatory actions against either Westin or Starwood.
“Freaks”? And why would the hotel want to argue with a policy that discourages harassment?
Oh, well, I’m disappointed with the Westin Chicago River North — a very unprofessional place, apparently — but am impressed with the management of the con. They’re rescheduling for 2015, and it sounds like the kind of event that cares about its attendees, and I hope they are well-attended.