I don't think there are any problems with going downtown for the meet. Sure, its a hell of a lot less convenient for some, myself included, but if the proper size space is being donated, then we should take it. Yes, there are a lot more costs connected with this as well. Parking being a big one. But if we our choices are limited....
I also think we should charge a small fee for attending. nothing much, 5, maybe 10 bucks. if we won't be having as many sponsors, we need to build our budget for future locations. We can't always depend on the kindness of our vendors.
I'm going to drop a quick note to the girl I was working with at the Westin. maybe she would be willing to do something. assuming she is there at all outside axpona.