Jul 12, 2009

Reaction To Fox News Attack Story

The Arizona Republic business section contains a reaction to the Fox News attack piece about the conference that Social Security held at the Arizona Biltmore, mostly expressing concern about the local tourism industry.


Anonymous said...

Managers do not deal with the public often. This is just an excuse to go to a luxury resort to have a good time. I now understand where the award money goes!

Anonymous said...

I work in Arizona and went to this meeting couldn't stay overnight as I'm local). I can tell you that the Biltmore was chosen because it was a screaming deal. Several other cities were considered but no one gave SSA the cheap rate as the Biltmore did.

This region has not had a regional training conference in nine years.

As for "casino night", that consisted of a casino sending buses out to ferry attendees to the casino--at NO charge to the agency.

All this having been said, this might not have been the best time to spend the money this way, given the recession and deficits. However, it was valuable training and was worthwhile.

Nancy Ortiz said...

Well, doing the math yields an annual expenditure on travel for training per employee of $111.11 over 9 years. Not exactly what you'd call lavish spending. Yesterday, a financial website quoted a Goldman Sachs spokesman as estimating annual bonuses of $700K per analyst for high level employees. Well worth it, said the spokesman. FYI.

Anonymous said...

"Managers do not deal with the public often. This is just an excuse to go to a luxury resort to have a good time."

Ditto. Why couldn't this have been held at a Holiday Inn in say Detroit, but of course then there wouldn't have been a golf course.

SSA got caught and is now trying spin things to justify it.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with a person who now represents a major organization of state agencies. He plans the regional and annual meetings (I've attended and gotten very valuable information and contacts that helped resolve multi-state issues). He will tell you that the cheapest extended meetings can be held on cruise ships and in Las Vegas and he never ever books those because the press blowback is ridiculous. The most expensive on held was in Ohio basically placate a strong politician.

I've attended meetings in the DC area and was shocked at the high expense.

Desireable "tourist" locations tend to be among the cheapest due to ample flights and hotels that are mostly vacant in the area's off-peak season.

I have a hard time believing late June, early July is peak tourist season in the Phoenix area.

Anonymous said...

No kidding...it's 110 degrees here today!