Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Trip to New York

I had to go to New York yesterday to present the annual budget to the ownership group for the hotel I work at. Developing the budget is always a highly stressful time of year. You prepare the budget. The corporate offices review the budget and then tell you to do it over again. You repeat this process (not unlike lather, rinse, repeat) several times. Once corporate gives you their blessing you're ready to go have a little face time with the owners to see if they will accept the budget.

Four of us from my hotel flew out of SLC International airport on Monday morning at o'dark thirty. Actually, we tried to but the plane sat on the tarmac for an hour as they performed a complete de-icing. We then flew to Denver, and then on to La Guardia airport in NY. It was pretty much a full day affair. Once we got to our hotel, we went and ate at a nice little diner across the street. We came back and brain stormed for about an hour to prep for Tuesday morning's meeting.

Our meeting with the owners' representative lasted all of about 90 minutes. I spoke for about 5 minutes. Mostly they were interested in top line revenue, so our Director of Sales did most of the talking. It was undoubtedly the most painless budget presentation that I've ever done. We finished by 10:00 a.m. and our flight didn't leave until 5:30 p.m. That's when the boondoggle started. Our hotel spent several thousand dollars to get us there, and it seemed a waste to spend all that money for a 90 minute meeting that easily could've taken place via e-mail and perhaps a phone call. So here's my pictures of the boondoggle. If they're going to be that short and painless in the future, I'm hoping that next year's presentation is in Jamaica.

Here we are walking somewhere near Broadway.

Our first stop was the Empire State Building.
This is just inside the Empire State Building. The woman sitting at the desk gave me directions to find Ray's Pizza. I heard a lot about the many incarnations of Ray's Pizza on the Food Network. She's sitting at the Information Desk, so when she said that Ray's had the "best pizza in New York," I knew she had to be telling the truth. You can't lie if you're working at the information desk. Anyway, I have much love for that woman.

Here's a picture looking at Lower Manhattan from the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building. There is a bit of a gap in the center right of the buildings. I think that is where the World Trade Center used to be. If someone could confirm or deny that suspicion, that would be cool. There are a few islands in the middle of the Hudson river. Though you can't really see it in this picture, on the center island is the Statue of Liberty. If I had known I was going on a boondoggle I would've taken a better camera. These pictures where simply taken with my phone.

The next two pictures are also from the 86th floor looking in different directions.

And finally, a picture looking up at the top of the Empire State Building.

For the record, I am extremely afraid of heights, but when you get the chance to go up the Empire State Building, you've got to take it right?

We did find Ray's Pizza, thanks to the nice lady at the information desk. There are several different Ray's Pizza in New York all claiming that they were the first. This one said that it was the "Original Famous Ray's Pizza" but I'm not sure if it really was or not. Regardless, the pizza (bought by the slice) was amazing.

This is near Times Square. I saw the ball that will drop on New Year's Eve.

Just by chance we drove around Broadway and the Rockefeller Center. They lit the Christmas tree last night, so we saw it just hours before it was lit. There were barricades and police everywhere. It's a very big deal there. We were lucky to get past it before the streets shut down.

Anyway, I went there on a business trip and basically had a one day vacation.