Saturday, July 4, 2009

Roloffs in New York; 2009 LPA conference

The 2009 Little People of America conference has started, it runs from July 4th to the 10th and members of the Roloff family are in New York City. Some conference attendees in NY informed the blog that the only Roloffs they've seen are Amy and Zach.

This is obviously not an issue with the Roloffs, in large thanks to Little People, Big World/TLC as the Roloffs will be spending the majority of this summer (as they did last summer) traveling, but have you ever thought about how difficult financially it is for some people of short-stature or parents with an LP child if the family has a modest income?

The purpose of the conference was supposed to be the one time in a year that LP had a chance to be around other people like them and to meet other LPs, to catch up with old friends, etc. If you were a little person or had a child with dwarfism, the appeal for attending the conference is obvious.

However, personally, I question the LPA's decision to hold their National Conference in New York City. Anybody who has ever been to New York City, knows how expensive it is to do anything. The LPA conference is no exception.

The LPA, obviously recognizing that they might have out-priced some LPs from joining in, was even asking for Sponsorship.

Last year, a hotel room for the LPA conference cost $99. This year they were $179 + (and that was based on 2 person, 1 bed occupancy!). If you were staying for the whole week, that is roughly $1200 for just the hotel room. You can see how pricey it would be when you factor in activities and food (again, if you've ever been to NY, you know what that means, mega $$$).

I suppose if you were an LP and you always dreamed of going to New York because it is tourist destination, the LPA conference would be a nice way to combine the two. Perhaps most LP families do plan their yearly vacation around the conference and appreciate the destination being a tourist hot spot.

Maybe that's what the LPA was thinking; choosing a city where there is lots to do would make the conference more attractive and in turn, more successful, but I wonder if they've lost their priorities. Is the appeal the conference or the night life of the city? I would rather pick a 'boring' city where the costs are affordable to all LP's then a city where the conference is going to be too expensive for many.

It seems that every year after the conference, the LPA announces that the conference was the most well attended in history, so apparently they know what they're doing. However, I'm sympathetic to the LP or LP family who would be hard pressed financially to attend knowing that their child would be looking forward to it. I think perhaps the LPA should be a more cognisant of cost, unless of course they're aiming for a Country Club style membership. However, estimations were that New York would be the most successful convention yet, so maybe cost isn't a factor or hey, perhaps the majority of LP's are just wealthy and money isn't a concern.

The 2010 LPA conference will be held in Nashville, TN. The 2011 Conference will be in Anaheim, CA.


M said...

I'm from NY born, raised and l iving so I can honestly say its very very expensive... I love being from here and all the opportunities and activities it has to offer. But honestly its getting hard to do anything... soon I’ll be taking on 2 jobs along with my regular college classes.

I bet the Roloffs are holding out for some monstrous European trip at the end of the month.
[Been to Ireland … not northern Ireland, but let me tell you its gorgeous! Worth a trip!! If I had the money right now I'd be on the first plane leaving NY’s JFK international airport]

Greg said...

I've never been to NY but heard it's expensive.

Anyone want to bet that most of the Roloffs LP friends are the same as their friends back in Hillsboro? Rich.

Rap541 said...

They seem to move the big LPA conference around so that one coast doesn't get preference. New York is expensive though. On the other hand, I suspect that dwarfs of more moderate means don't go every year like the Roloffs anyway.

Anonymous said...

Just arrived home from the NYC LPA conference. It was a pricey hotel, but they did offer so much space for meetings, parties and hanging out. Area restaurants were very reasonable and low cost tourism was available. We rode a $2.50 subway, (44" or shorter are free!) to a free ferry and we were so close to the statue of liberty it was great. Many outdoor concerts, parks and atmosphere. I heard almost 3200 people attended and some of us were on a budget and still had fun and my 11 yo feeling so comfortable for a week out of a year is priceless. Meeting Amy was a highlight and Zack was running with all the teens, I'm sure he had a blast!

Jocelynn said...

Thanks for sharing, Anon.

I had heard NY restaurants were expensive too, glad to hear they were reasonable. Maybe they're coming down because of the economy?

I'm glad to hear that your 11 year old felt comforable. That's the point of the conference afterall.