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mjennings
Advocate

Do families need to have a Guest Pass for InstCon 2017?

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My big questions is the cost of three guest passes for my wife and 2 boys to tag along with me would be almost $1200, not to mention the out of pocket additional cost of flights and transportation that would (rightfully) not be reimbursed by my institution. seems high for the seven meals and event access. So I was wondering if anyone from the conference last year could advise me on if there are other places that they can eat that are accessible and can they still enjoy some of the resort activities with out the guest pass or is it set up that I would pretty much have to get the guest pass for them to not be miserable? 

1 Solution
jburrell
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi Matthew!

I wanted to jump in and add some input here to help.  We certainly want you to bring your family as Keystone is an amazing place so why not get in some learning and some vacation at the same time Smiley Happy .  As the gals mentioned there are tons of stuff for the kids to do- all the adventure equipment is bought out by Instructure and you and your families are more than welcome to use it.  We will also be advertising (with Keystone) a kids Science Camp so please stay tuned for more info about that!  As far as the receptions and kids go the ladies also shared some great advice.  We don't mind children coming and they do not need a guest pass but please be respectful of the fact that the food is for the paid conference attendees.  I know kids don't eat a ton (I have two small ones myself) but it does add up and we have to pay for our meals per head!  There are tons of restaurants in the area as well as the condos allow for cooking meals.  Hope that helps and we look forward to seeing you in July!

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22 Replies
shane_ohara
Community Champion

My wife tagged along last year and didn't have the guest pass. We found ample eating options and activities to do without the pass. The pass is only necessary if you want your family to get into the special events and dining options that are for the conference folks. 

Shane

Thanks  @shane_ohara ! Before marking this as the correct answer, I would still love to hear from some people that may have brought kids just to make sure I am not missing anything.

I wasn't able to attend last year, but the previous three years I paid for a guest pass for my Mom but not for my daughter. At the time my daughter was 1, 2,  3 years(respectively) and no one questioned her tagging along with us. I will say we never got her an actual plate of food, just fed her what we were eating (off our plates) or something in the room (we had a kitchen). This year my oldest will be 5 and youngest will be almost a year (thus me missing InstructureCon last year!) and I was only planning on getting my Mom a pass, like before, and not either of my girls. As for things to do, I'm not sure about Colorado because we weren't there last year, but from what I've found online it looks like swimming and water activities would be covered by wherever you're staying and not necessarily by paying to attend InstructureCon.

Hope this helps!

mjennings
Advocate

Thanks  @kona ! That helps. With my boys being 11 & 7 by the time of the conference, I am not sure they can survive eating off our plates :smileylaugh:. Still wondering if anybody that went to instcon16 with kids could shed light on this question.

fosterl
Community Contributor

You might want to contact Keystone directly to confirm, but I think the activities (using the toys on their lake, mainly) are included with your lodging and don't require an InstructureCon pass.

millerjm
Community Champion

I took my daughter (then 5) and my husband with me last year.  I got a guest pass for my husband.  My daughter can't eat the food anyways due to food allergies.  There were lots of restaurants at the resort and a tiny grocery that the shuttle can take you to.  However, it was nice to be able to take them to the concerts and evening activities.  I am pretty sure that the canoes/kayaks/bikes were paid for through the conference.  I'm not sure if they just checked ID and waivers or if you needed to have proof you were with the conference to do that.  The evening festivities were fun - they had pony rides for the kids at the stables one night.  

There were other things to do as well that were keystone resort free activities.  Family nature hike, some other guided hikes, swimming at the hotel, arts and crafts times for the kids.  I think Friday at noon they have free lift rides to top with some activities at the summit. 

Snow tubing at the top was not free but very fun!

So  @millerjm  there was no issue with getting your daughter into the Canvas events (concerts/festivities) without a pass?

She wasn't eating or drinking anything, so they were OK with it last year. 

It's not like she could have even share off our plates if we wanted her to because she has so many food allergies.  She brought her meals in her lunchbox everywhere she went. 

ahardesty
Community Participant

The snow tubing is great! My boys (13 and 10) loved it!

kona
Coach Emeritus

I have to admit the activities in previous years were always very family friendly and fun and my daughter and my Mom always had a blast! It was also nice to be able to hang around my family (after not seeing them much during the day) and still enjoy the InstructureCon evening activities.

mjennings
Advocate

I just remember the "security" being very serious about making sure I had my pass on me (to the point of one time have to hike back to my room and find it even though I was wearing a bunch of Canvas swag) before letting me inside the fence for the activities. Just concerned that that would happen to the kids if we opted to not get passes for them.

Not sure about security in Colorado, but in Utah they didn't even blink as long as said kid was with a pass carrying adult. Yet, my kid was also younger so I'm not sure how much that played into it.

jburrell
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi Matthew!

I wanted to jump in and add some input here to help.  We certainly want you to bring your family as Keystone is an amazing place so why not get in some learning and some vacation at the same time Smiley Happy .  As the gals mentioned there are tons of stuff for the kids to do- all the adventure equipment is bought out by Instructure and you and your families are more than welcome to use it.  We will also be advertising (with Keystone) a kids Science Camp so please stay tuned for more info about that!  As far as the receptions and kids go the ladies also shared some great advice.  We don't mind children coming and they do not need a guest pass but please be respectful of the fact that the food is for the paid conference attendees.  I know kids don't eat a ton (I have two small ones myself) but it does add up and we have to pay for our meals per head!  There are tons of restaurants in the area as well as the condos allow for cooking meals.  Hope that helps and we look forward to seeing you in July!

Thanks so much!!

Great information and advice! Thank you!!

Hi Jackie,

Would it be ok for a spouse without a guest pass to come to the evening concert/activities if they aren't going to eat any of the meals?

thank you!

Joni

awarmar
Community Participant

I'd like to know this also--I bought my husband one last year mainly so he could come to the evening things. But it was very expensive considering what we actually got. He didn't always eat the lunch meals since he was out "playing" in the mountains and we stayed at the Inn at Keystone (which doesn't seem to be an option this year, sadly) which provided breakfast so neither of us used the passes for breakfast. We don't drink so he didn't use any drink tickets and since Canvas (understandably) decided to stop giving guest swag, you don't even get that as a "justification" for the money you are spending. $400 bucks for the use we got out of it (granted it was our choice) was extremely expensive  since, in my (and it sounds like others) opinion $400 is a lot even if you do eat and drink all you are permitted on the pass...but I also hate to leave him alone in the room every evening.... 

ahardesty
Community Participant

I would like to know about this as well. (Thank you  @awarmar  for letting me know about this.)

awarmar
Community Participant

jburrell‌ I was wondering if we had any word on if non-eating spouses can come to the evening activities or just non-eating kids--still trying to decide if should add a guest pass to my registration or not. Thanks so much!   

SchaeferG
Community Member

Last year my sister and her toddler tagged along (yay for a conference being near where my sister lives!) and she wasn't checked for a pass anywhere, but she also didn't eat anything, and I just split my drink ticket with her (so if there were two drinks per evening, I got one and she got one.) We didn't really take anything that wasn't paid for in my ticket (besides a head at the shows), but I can imagine they might have a different system this year to prevent that. This year, I am bringing my own 7 year old with me, and my sister and nephew are once again joining, and we are debating on the guest ticket. Do guests get the swag that attendees get? (I LOVE my cotopaxi bag!) I see upthread that they do not get the swag. :smileyconfused: It is helpful to know that it's okay to use the paddleboats and all during the day, and we are renting a condo so have cooking facilities (same as we did last year) for those not eating the Canvas meals. It's definitely a pricy ticket to eat with family - I find the conference sessions are worth more than the $200 surplus - especially when family really doesn't care about the general sessions, but are family members tagging along to enjoy a great location. I wish there was a middle ground.

Either way, I am booked and registered and excited for another Instructurecon! (Congrats, Kona, you were missed last year! A great reason to skip, if there ever was one. Smiley Happy )

Adrienne_J_Gaut
Community Champion

jburrell‌  I have a related question, which I see someone else did but wasn't answered. Hope you have a moment to post! Things must be crazy for y'all this close to the events!

Tues night event --- my sister (adult) will be with me finishing up a pre-conf vacation in Keystone. It'd be great if she could attend, but a $400 guest pass isn't gonna work for that. What are our options, if any?  I don't want to ditch her, but the event is also a good "get to know people/networking" opportunity.

Thoughts?

Thanks for asking this again! I was just thinking at lunch that I really should follow up to see if anyone's question ever was answered.