Varsity Stay Smart (stay To Play)

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by catlady, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    New for 2019-2020. No one is a fan of STP, but this is at least a step in the right direction with 85% of the events not requiring STP. Block schedule no less than 4 weeks prior to the event, lowest room rates (not just lowest group rates), ability to collect and use hotel points, no minimum night stay (minus some premier hotels). Hopefully, the room rates won't jump considerably to cover the perks.

    Customer Guarantees

    • Lowest Room Rate Guarantee, plus an easy way to report a lower rate if you find one*
    • Block Schedules provided no less than 4 weeks prior to the event, giving teams the ability to book only the nights needed
    • Simplified booking and compliance processes
      • All housing partners have upgraded their booking and compliance tools for the 2019 – 2020 season. While each housing partner has a unique system, customers can expect a simplified process with less paperwork overall.
    • Ability to collect and use hotel loyalty points
    • No minimum night stay
      • Some premier hotel properties may require a minimum night stay for their hotel. This is not a requirement of Stay Smart.
    *Lowest Room Rate Guarantee will be honored when comparable rooms are found for a lower rate. If you find a room of the same type (double, king, etc.), on the same dates, with the same included amenities (breakfast, parking, etc.) and with the same team-friendly payment and cancellation terms, please report it to the Housing Partner.


    Three Tiers of Stay Smart

    To find out the Stay Smart Tier of your event(s), visit the myVarsity registration portal here. Before your register, click on “More Info” from your event and you can find the Stay Smart Tier and Housing Partner listed in the Event Paperwork section.

    Tier 3: Housing is not required

    • Housing services are not required, but our housing partners can assist you when needed. At these events, our housing partners may be able to negotiate benefits for your teams.
    • Over 85% of our events will be Tier 3 for the 2019 – 2020 season!
    Tier 2: Housing is required with customer benefits

    • Select Two Day Events
    • Benefits could include things like rebates, comp rooms, team rooms, etc.
    Tier 1: Housing is required

    • Worlds Bid Events
    • Select City Wide Events
     
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  2. HMR

    HMR I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Interesting
     
  3. alpaca

    alpaca Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    This sounds promising but the thing thats stands out to me is "block schedule no less than 4 weeks prior to the event" Last year, some comps gave parents a big middle finger by releasing a "block schedule" that said that the level could be competing anywhere from 7 am to 10 pm. That really doesn't help with booking rooms. Hopefully comps provide better block schedules this year.
     
  4. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    “No minimum night stay, except for when there is.”
     
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  5. tojofasho

    tojofasho I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    While still not as great as just "book hotels when and where you can", I do see this as a step up. Hopefully like @alpaca said the block schedules are actually useful. On the plus side, last year I had 4 STP events and this season I have one, maybe 2, so I see that as an absolute win since two of the ones that were previously STP are "Tier 3" now.
     
  6. california cheer mom

    california cheer mom Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    The Tier thing is interesting to me. Our gym has gone to worlds bid events that were NOT stay to play. Now I'm wondering if that is going to change?
     
  7. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    First, I’m glad that the handful of times I travel to all star events through the course of a year, I’m not bound to STP (or whatever they’re calling it this year). For those of you who have to go through this disaster, I am not envious.

    Wasn’t the original justification for this that the city governments wanted some way to verify/ensure the amount of revenue coming into town when contracting for the use of their convention centers? It seems to me that with (insert Men In Black quote here) “unlimited technology from throughout the universe” they haven’t figured out another way to accomplish this task.
     
  8. DonnaM

    DonnaM I Fierce Board instead of work/study

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    Every competition that was STP last year that we did still is Tier 1 or 2. I suspect that “select city wide events” means “cities with convention centers that want X number of hotel rooms booked to use them”.
     
  9. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    These cities build these convention centers and sport parks specifically to bring in tourism. Enforcing STP was the way they could insure people were staying in their city hotels and they were getting the tax revenue. Grand Park website is a good one to see transparency on STP. Book Your Hotel - Grand Park Grand Park Financials

    I'm waiting to see how this pans out, because obviously they have to pay for these facilities one way or another.
     
  10. Eyes On The Prize

    Eyes On The Prize Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I think the original justification for STP was similar to what you stated - it was for city/local business/traffic/housing planning to accommodate an influx of people.

    From what I have read though, the STP hotel choices and rates are up to the hotels and the event organizers/housing partners. They are the ones who make decisions on what hotels are to be put on the list. Often times, they don't plan enough (or at all) for families who need different accommodations or rates. Those are the people who are locking families into rates they can't always afford.


    Some hotels have minimum night stays as a hotel policy - not as a STP policy. Sometimes it's the housing partners picking these hotels. Usually budget friendly hotels aren't the ones with these hotel-level policies and unfortunately budget friendly hotels don't always make it on the "approved" lists...



    I will say, I think STP policies are justifiable for the "Tier 1: City Wide Events" like Cheersport, NCA, Indy. There is a lot of planning at the city level that goes into accommodating these giant events. For traffic alone - if you know where people are staying and where they need to get to and at what times, you now have time to plan ahead to accommodate those traffic routes. And, when bad weather strikes, you know what areas need immediate attention. Then factor in housing accommodations, food accommodations along those traffic routes/event centers/hotels, the law enforcement needed to keep those people and areas safe, etc, you can see why STP is helpful at the city level for such massive events.

    I took a look through the Worlds bid events for this year and they're all 2 day events. I don't know how many visitors each event draws but there is an argument of some sort there for the necessity for STP - especially when these events mandate 85% of the program has to attend the event for teams to qualify for a bid. That can add up to a lot of people in smaller metro areas. Idk if all World's bids events should be on that same tier, and I don't know if "Worlds Bid events" is a blanket statement. I wish there was a list of what events are what tier.

    I think STP gets a bad rep when its the people who are in charge of negotiating rates and lists (the housing partners in Var$ity) who are not doing their due diligence in accommodating families properly - not the STP policy itself. The outrage should be directed at Varsity for not securing competitive and affordable rates and hotels. They have more power than we do negotiate for better pricing at a variety of hotels, yet they don't. This feels like some sort of acknowledgement that their system is flawed and they're trying to do something about it. I don't see this as an overall fix but its a stepping stone to hopefully something better. I really like the "Price Check" part of this - I feel like the customer now holds more power and the hotel/housing partners have more accountability and pressure to get good deals for families. Seems like a little more "transparency" to the whole process which I would imagine is a real frustration to parents. I just hope they expand their hotel lists for their Tier 1 and 2 events to include budget friendly hotels/flexibility that the other process didn't seem to have enough of.

    There has to be a balance of functionality and affordability to make it work for everyone involved and I don't think it was that balanced in years past. Part of the affordability part is allowing consumers to have options and say in how they spend their money. Consumers, in general, have very little choice over what we spend money on - sometimes our only choice is to opt out of spending money on something. In cheer, housing and food was something we used to have a lot of choice in and now the powers that be are removing our ability to even opt out of housing, leaving people with very, very little choice in how they afford this sport. Now a lot of families are finding their only option is to opt out of cheer entirely. I'm interested in how this will be applied in the coming seasons and will remain critical of how it is handled if this is just another charade.
     
  11. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    I understand all of that.

    I’m just getting the vibe from reading all of the posts here (not just this thread), that it’s cumbersome, pricy, option-limiting, etc. I also have personally witnessed people lying about their arrangements in elaborate schemes to thwart the process and save $10 a night (granted this seems to have become less common recently). Finally, I know a couple of all star gym owners that avoid these competitions which really isn’t promoting “competition” as much as it is promoting “pay to play.

    My point is, there has to be a better way.

    I don’t know what it would be, but STP seems to be a knee-jerk counter reaction to a knee-jerk reaction. Things are often better when they are more thought out.
     
  12. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    I suggest taking screenshots of any hotel rates you are interested in booking now because when it comes time to book those rates won't be available on line. I'm reserving judgement but highly skeptical that there will be any improvement from past years with this policy
     
  13. SthrnCheerMom

    SthrnCheerMom I text ACEDAD all the time

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    I went and looked at the hotels we normally stay at for away comps. I looked at what is currently being quoted for the weekend these comps are being held this season and what my invoice for our stay this season.

    NCA - Currently most sites are quoting $201 per night. My invoice from this past stay was $137 per night.

    Orlando comp - Prices are averaging $250 per night (one was a little lower but this was most sites rates) for the same comp this season. I looked at my invoice from this past stay and it was $184 per night.

    Chattanooga - Currently most sites are quoting $196 per night. My invoice from this past stay was $179 per night.
     
  14. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    My assumption is that the contracted hotels have language in their contracts that forbid them from offering lower rates for those weekends. After all of the complaining about people being able to find much lower rates by themselves, I would think the powers that be will make sure that isn't possible any more. I would assume they will have people checking online pricing to make sure the hotels aren't violating their contracts and advertising lower rates. Those hotel contracts will interfere with normal supply-and-demand pricing.

    There are some benefits to stay-to-play in theory, but getting lower prices for rooms for the end customer isn't likely one of them. The hotels, events, and even the cities are tasked with trying to get as much money out of the families as they can and making rooms cheaper generally isn't in line with that.
     
  15. alpaca

    alpaca Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    I have a question about this part. Is that a legit number? 85% of the program has to attend in order to qualify for a World's bid? I ask because I know of some local gyms that are having 1st year World's teams. The gyms and the kids on them are very excited about these teams. But I'm not sure that the parents of the lower level cheerleaders will be exited about attending additional 2 day events.