Give LNHL Parents Freedom to Choose Accommodations
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Little NHL is the largest native hockey tournament in Canada. As we approach the 49th Annual LNHL to be held in Mississauga March 15-19, 2020 the LNHL executive have added pressure to teams and parents attending the tournament by issuing the following statement on January 11, 2020:
“IMPORTANT: All players must enter their information directly into their team dashboard through event connect. Do not ignore the emails sent to you from your managers. If you do not have your information entered, your registration cannot be confirmed.
All teams must book rooms via event connect. All teams were informed last year and we were flexible last year with this. However, in order to properly assess the economic impact of the tournament on the city, it is necessary for all teams to book through event connect. This assessment will then provide the LNHL Executive with what they need in order to better negotiate with the City and venues to help reduce the overall cost of the tournament for the benefit of the players, families and communities. We need your help and cooperation in order for us to obtain the data we need to better help you.
IMPORTANT: All team rosters must be completed through the ONLINE CHECK-IN through the software from your team dashboard. Please view instructions via the link HERE for a further explanation on how to complete each teams ONLINE CHECK-IN from each teams dashboard.
IF you need any assistance please reach out to EventConnect Support at email@example.com or by phone at 1-888-723-2064 extension 230.”
Team managers have blocked off rooms for parents of players to be able to book rooms if they wish. However, this has caused some issues, which are described next.
1. Many families have multiple children playing in the tournament on different teams. Therefore, parents may have booked a room through one child’s team and not the other. Parents have reported receiving multiple phone calls from Events Connect asking them to book their room for their other children who are registered on teams where the parent didn’t book the hotel through. Events connect have told parents their child isn’t registered because a room for that child isn’t booked.
2. Events connect charges an additional “non refundable fee” which is automatically charged to credit cards when the hotel accommodation is confirmed. It doesn’t look like much, but multiply those small fees for every family and events connect is making tens of thousands off those small non refundable service fees each family is charged.
3. The hotels’ nightly room rates is what you see on Events Connect. $158 doesn’t seem that bad for one night, right? Most hotel rooms have either two double beds, or two queen beds, or one king bed with a pullout couch. To which those rooms accommodate a small family of three or four comfortably. However, if you click on the fine print most of the hotels have additional charges upon arrival for daily parking, daily breakfast, and pullout beds. $10 for daily parking seems to be common, but some hotels have $15 or $20 daily parking. Free hotel breakfast seems to be rare. Breakfast is between $12 to $20 per person, per day. So for one night and a family of four in one room, to park their vehicle and all have breakfast, the cost is actually between $216 to $258 per night plus tax and not $158 as you originally thought when you booked your room.
4. We as parents attending LNHL understand that the tournament has grown over the years. But, our families have also grown over the years. There are more and more families attending who have an average of four children, and sometimes more. These hotel rooms simply can not accommodate larger families, unless we were to secure two adjoining rooms with a total of four beds. It’s also difficult to find kitchenettes, most hotels only have microwaves in the rooms. Unfortunately, our economy has not expanded to work on our side. Prices continue to inflate and while the cost of living continues to rise not everyone’s wages have increased to keep up with these demands as comfortably.
5. Many families prefer to secure their own accommodations that are affordable and comfortable to suit their needs. An example is the Air BnB business - families prefer this because they get everything they need in one place for half the price of a single hotel room. Another common theme is that many parents have called hotels on their own, hotels that are available on Events Connect. Parents are finding that by calling the hotel they are given even more competitive (lower) rates than Events Connect. In addition, some parents have found that by calling hotels are able to directly book alternatives to accommodate families who have larger families, I.e. four children and two adults - an option that simply isn’t found on Events Connect. Lastly, many families attending LNHL also have family and friends who live within driving distance to Mississauga arenas; therefore, many prefer this option if it’s available to them.
We understand that LNHL executive is trying to assess the economic impact on the host city of Mississauga by requiring tournament attendees to book accommodations through events connect. However, we believe we should have the right and freedom to shop for and secure our own accommodations that suit our families’ needs at prices we can afford. After all, this tournament is about having fun and bringing people together. This tournament is about fairness, and promotion of the four pillars... sportsmanship, respect, citizenship, and education...
Having the added pressure of multiple emails, and daily phone calls from Events Connect to team managers and individual parents has caused unexpected stress to many when we are told our children are not fully registered in the tournament until accommodations are booked. Team managers then receive an overwhelming amount of questions and concerns from parents who are worried if their child is registered and allowed to play.
We hope that by signing this petition, that LNHL Executive will reconsider their decision to enforce the requirement for teams and parents to book accommodations through events connect; thus, giving us the freedom to choose our own accommodations. After all, it is we as parents who are paying for our children to travel and play in our favourite annual March break hockey tournament.
Miigwetch for your support.
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