Hotel information from Progress Report #2

"Rather inspiring view of Marquette Avenue, isn't it?"
By Mitch Pockrandt
Hotel Liaison

Recent History
Yes, it’s true, Minicon is being held at a new hotel. We’ll be at the downtown Minneapolis Hilton & Towers starting with Minicon 34 in 1999. But how did we come to move?

Every few years we evaluate the available hotel facilities in the Twin Cities market. We do this routinely to make sure we know our options should we lose the hotel due to an unexpected event (such as a management turnover or a competing convention, both of which have caused other science fiction conventions to lose their hotels). Checking around also helps ensure that we have the best deal possible for the convention and its members. For the past fourteen years, we’ve always seen the Radisson as our best choice.

Late last year we started looking at our alternatives once again — 1999 was the last year of a 3-year contract with the Radisson. The Hilton came up with a proposal that was quite competitive. When we went to talk to the Radisson in May to confirm our 1999 room rates and to continue negotiations for 2000 and beyond, we learned that a new investment group had bought the Radisson South that month. To our surprise, the new owners had directed the management to increase revenues by renegotiating several existing contracts, including Minicon’s 1999 contract. After several rounds of negotiations with both hotels, we reached a mutual agreement with the Radisson to be released from the 1999 contract and we signed a multi-year contract with the Hilton, beginning in 1999. That’s how we came to be moving at this time instead of remaining at the Radisson as we had planned, expected, and previously announced.

We all thank the Radisson South staff for fourteen wonderful Minicons. They’ve been excellent folks to work with and we’re going to miss them. We wish them all the best.

Near Future
The Hilton’s function and hospitality spaces are well-suited to Minicon’s plans. Program rooms, the art show, and the hucksters room will be centrally located around a large foyer with ample space (and comfy chairs) to hang out and talk while watching for friends. The hotel has six elevators for getting to and from sleeping rooms and room parties.

The 24th floor has the Presidential Suite, a lovely, large suite that will be a key part of our hospitality space. (We also have smoking and non-smoking consuite space in the function area, which is on the second and third floors and is easily accessible by elevators and escalators.)

The Minneapolis Hilton has 821 rooms, roughly 250 more than the Radisson South, so we can get more people booked into the convention hotel. Our room block for 1999 consists of 600 rooms. As we approach filling the block, there may be an additional 50–100 rooms we can reserve (if we fill the block early enough), and we will also be making arrangements with nearby overflow hotels if needed. We’ll keep you updated in upcoming progress reports, but your best bet for getting a room in the convention hotel is to reserve early.

- Hotel Press Release
- Minneapolis Hilton
- Suite Request Form/Registration form

Hilton Room Reservations

Weekdays 7AM-7PM
Saturdays 9AM-5PM
Sundays 10AM-4PM

Ask for the Minnesota Science Fiction Society group rate. (If that doesn’t work, ask for the Minicon rate.)

Rooms are $72/night (plus tax) for 1-4 people, from March 31 - April 6. Minicon is Friday, April 2 - Sunday, April 4.

- King (1 king bed) or
- Double-double
  (2 double beds)
- and -
- Smoking or
- Non-smoking
- and -
- Lower floor (to be on a quiet floor) or
- Upper floor (to be on a party floor)
- and -
- Any special needs you may have


Minicon at the Minneapolis Hilton & Towers

The Hilton is at 1001 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403-2440. The hotel takes up the block between Marquette and Second Avenues, and 10th and 11th Streets in downtown Minneapolis. We will include directions on how to get there in PR#3.

The Hilton has a pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi in its health club. Pool hours are being extended until 2:30 am for Minicon.

There is a rather pricy city-owned parking garage beneath the hotel (about $10-12/day); parking is not included in the room rate. We are negotiating with nearby lots and ramps for much lower weekend rates, and expect to arrange something in the $3/day range for Saturday and Sunday. See upcoming progress reports for speciŢc details.

Check-in time is 3 pm. Check-out time has been extended to 4 pm on Sunday and Monday of Minicon, and is 12 noon other days.

Data as of March 1, 1999 has our room block 74.17% full.

Sleeping Rooms
To reserve a sleeping room, please contact the Hilton directly. The room rate is $72 per night (+12% tax) for 1–4 people in a standard guest room. This rate is good for Wednesday, March 31, 1999 through Tuesday, April 6, 1999. (Minicon is Friday, April 2–Sunday, April 4.)

Call the Minneapolis Hilton directly at 612-376-1000. Asking for the MINNESOTASCIENCEFICTIONSOCIETYgroup rate worked in our tests of the reservation system. If for some reason that doesn’t work when you call, try asking for the MINICONrate.

If you want a quiet room, ask for a lower floor. The open room parties will all be kept on the higher floors, from 16 on up, so if you want your room to be on a party floor, ask for a higher floor. Be sure to state any preferences for smoking vs. non-smoking, king bed vs. double-double (they have more than 500 double-double rooms!), and higher-floor vs. lower-floor (for party vs. quiet) when you make your reservations. Also let the hotel know of special needs you may have, such as reserving one of their 25 handicapped accessible rooms.

Current Room Reservations

Hospitality Suites
Minicon will manage the allocation of all suites. Open room parties will have priority for the eight 2-bedroom Deluxe Parlor suites and eighteen Executive King suites on floors 16 through 24.

Deluxe Parlor suites have a 480 sq. ft. central parlor with a wet bar. They each have a king-bed sleeping room on one side, a double-double on the other side, and a sofabed in the parlor. The 2-bedroom suites are $275 per night.

Executive King suites are a single large room of 484 sq. ft. with a king-bed and a sitting area (with a sofabed). The Executive King room rate is $130 per night. Some Executive King suites also have a connecting bedroom, which can be reserved at the standard $72 room rate, for a combined rate of $202.

To reserve one of these suites, please mark the appropriate circles on the hotel part of the all-in-one registration form. Be sure to let Minicon know what your plans for the suite are. In particular, we need to know which kind of suite you want, and your planned open party schedule, if applicable. Mail your request no later than October 31, 1998! We plan to send a postcard letting you know when we receive your request, and we will do the initial suite allocation in early November. Actual confirmation of suite allocations will go out by early December. On the off chance that we still have suites available at the end of December, we will let everyone know in the final progress report planned for the beginning of January.

If you mail your suite request by October 31st, and Minicon cannot fill it, we will arrange with the hotel for you to reserve one or two sleeping rooms instead. Please do not reserve sleeping rooms directly with the Hilton at this time unless you want them in addition to your suite.

Quiet Suites
There are also two Executive King suites on each quiet floor. Request these suites through Minicon by writing "quiet suite" on the hotel part of the all-in-one registration form.

If you have any questions, please contact me by mail at the Minicon PO Box (Attn: Hotel), or via e-mail at

[Minn-StF] [Minicon] [Minicon 34]

Revised:   March 1, 1999
  by Laurel Krahn /