Although the amount of snow has varied greatly during the (twelve, since 1992) meetings that the SIAG-DS has held at Snowbird, Utah, there are two constants. The first is the feeling that your head is swimming, due to overstimulation from too many interesting talks, the altitude, or both. The second is the sneaking suspicion that the booming size of our activity group and popularity of the meeting has made Snowbird, even with its tremendous advantages, perhaps less desirable and that a better, more accommodating meeting place could be found elsewhere. This perception has led to a biennial debate during the business meeting about alternatives to the Snowbird location. Since a contract is in place for DS15, which will be held at Snowbird, the first opportunity for a change of venue would be DS17, the SIAG-DS meeting to be held in May, 2017.
The officers of the SIAG-DS and SIAM staff explored various options and identified the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa outside Phoenix, AZ, as the most likely alternative to Snowbird. The case was presented to the membership at the DS13 business meeting in May, 2013. During the discussion a suggestion was made to poll the members of the activity group as to their preference for either one of the two options: Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort or Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. On behalf of the Chair, Hans Kaper, and the other officers of the SIAG, SIAM was asked to send a staff member to the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa to evaluate the meeting and lodging facilities, food options, etc. and compare them with those available at Snowbird. The findings were summarized in an e-mail message to the membership, and each member of the Activity Group was invited to indicate his or her preference in a survey during the fall of 2013.
The survey received 139 responses. Of the total, 69.8% voted for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, and 30.2% voted for the Sheraton Wild Horse Resort and Spa. Subsequently, the SIAG-DS officers asked the SIAM office to proceed with planning for DS17 at Snowbird. The officers thank all activity group members who participated in the survey.
Hans Kaper and Tim Sauer