GPSL 2012 attendees,
Here is some additional information on venues and events for this year's Super Launch.
The GPSL 2012 e-mail list I set up last fall is still not working, despite Yahoo's response to my support ticket that it's now fixed. Still hoping to get it going.
For greater Omaha, numbered streets are north/south starting near the Missouri River and are 12 blocks per mile - I-680 is about 114th St and "west Omaha" generally refers to locations west of this line. Dodge Street is the major east/west artery through the center of the city, I-80 is to the south of the city center. Other major east/west streets are Pacific, Center, L, and Q Streets. Most of the city is laid out on a grid with few diagonals making navigation fairly easy.
Thursday, June 7th
7-9 pm: Early arrivals dinner at the Upstream Brewing Co.
(171st and West Center Road, Omaha - this is tentative)
Friday, June 8th
(all Friday events at Arbor Hall Omaha
, 14040 Arbor St [near 144th St and Center St])
Admission for the Friday sessions will be $40 per person, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hall. Coffee, iced tea, and water will be available through the day. Additional dinner tickets for spouses, etc., can be purchased for $16. If you don't want to attend the Friday dinner, the cost for breakfast, lunch, and the sessions will be $25. My wife arranges her professional meetings at Arbor Hall regularly and says the food and service is outstanding, and this is a very reasonable price for the total package. It will also be very convenient to have everything in one location Friday to minimize wasted time driving.
8am: Doors open, light breakfast
9am-noon: Presentations begin
Noon-1pm: Lunch (sandwiches/salad)
1pm-4pm: Presentations continue
4pm-5pm: Weather briefing, launch logistics, etc.
6:30-8:30pm: Dinner (roast beef/chicken, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, dessert, no-host cash bar)
Saturday, June 9th
6:30am: Launch crews arrive
11am-6pm: Post flight lunch and discussions at Don Carmelo's Pizza
in Elkhorn (north of West Dodge Rd on 204th St)
Sunday, June 10th
Backup flight day
Blocks of rooms are not being arranged due to a variety of lodging preferences for the GPSL participants. Individuals/groups should make their own reservations and may be able to obtain multi-room discounts.
I don't know a lot about this hotel personally, but have been told by the Arbor Hall staff that it is a clean locally-owned hotel with reasonable rates ($50-80/night) and is only four blocks from the hall (walking distance).
, 116th and West Dodge Rd (about 4 mi from Arbor Hall)
My parents stay at this hotel when they visit us and have never had a bad experience. Rooms presently available at $66/night, non-refundable rate for less.
Hampton Inn, 17606 Arbor Plaza (north of 176th and Center, about 3 mi from Arbor Hall)
I see bad reviews for pool maintenance, but otherwise looks decent.
There is also a cluster of hotels near 108th St and L St, just off I-80, with a variety of rates and amenities.
Any of these locations should be convenient for both the hall and the Thursday/Saturday events. More upscale facilities can be found in the downtown area, but will be less convenient.
Other area attractions
Henry Doorly Zoo (just south of I-80 at 13th St exit). One of the best zoos in the region if not in the US. Plenty of shaded areas for warm sunny days, but some ups and downs to the terrain so it's not the best for those who have difficulty walking.
Lauritzen Gardens/Kenefick Park (just north of I-80 near 13th St exit). Approximately 100 acres of gardens and botanical exhibits. Kenefick Park has two retired Union Pacific engines on display.
Durham Western Heritage Museum (just south of downtown area). This used to be Omaha's Union Pacific train station, now converted to a museum. Lots of exhibits from the late 1800s and early 1900s. A must see for history buffs or rail fans.
Casinos are located just across the river in Council Bluffs, IA. The "Old Market" in the downtown area has a wide selection of small shops and restaurants all in walking distance. Other nearby shopping centers include Oak View Mall (just south of Arbor Hall), Village Pointe (168th and Dodge), L Street Marketplace (108th to 132nd on L St) and Westroads (102nd and Dodge).