Monday, October 03, 2005

Ready or not, here we come 

The Public Choice Society, of which I am a member, has decided to keep its annual meeting in New Orleans.
The next Public Choice Society Meeting will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans, March 30 � April 2, 2006, the same venue as last year's meeting (registration beginning on Thursday and concluding with the last plenary session Sunday morning). There are several reasons for affirming this earlier choice, including
  • our contractual obligation to the Intercontinental;
  • other Intercontinental hotels we could have switched to would have been considerably more expensive
  • the New Orleans Intercontinental expects to be fully operating soon; and
  • New Orleans deserves our support after the disaster it suffered.
If not back to normal, we expect New Orleans to be an attractive location six months from now�and hope as many of you as possible will participate in the 2006 Meeting.
Contractual obligations are sunk costs -- the question is whether we should pay to find a different location. It is hard to believe a hotel would choose to hold captive a conference it has served in the past (and well). If the leadership of an organization believes a conference hotel in New Orleans will be ready on time, fine, say so. But the last item -- "New Orleans deserves our support" -- is b.s. Your conference deserves the best possible site, which before Katrina was New Orleans. If conditions have changed, you need to change venue if costs are less than the benefits of the change.