Archive for Interviews

Interview With “This Is A Clue”

Here is the final interview from 2011 WRLC Social Media Intern Team. It is with the guys from “This Is A Clue.” On behalf of the entire team, thank you for all the support throughout our internship!

“This Is A Clue” Interview –

Back tour – The in’s and out’s of the T&C Resort


While you were wrapping up your last panel event, half of your social media team was given a back tour about the in’s and out’s of the Town and Country Resort. Patti Bareno, the resort’s Senior Conference Services Manager, dove into the details of what goes behind signing up the conference and business from the hotel’s end.


The most important thing I learned on the tour was that even though the resort could have accommodated more guests this weekend, Town and Country Resort finds a balance of catching revenue while balancing a win win situation for the resort and it’s clients.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is an edited version of the notes that I took on my iPad while walking and listening to Patti. The order is random, but the information is interesting.

Look out for the secret fact toward the end. A/C issues…


Conferences start in the sales department. Conferences are typically booked years in advanced. A reason for this is that both ends of the deal have to negotiate terms. Some of these things are amenities and accommodations.


After the sales department does their bit, Patti Bareno( then takes over to ask the details about the people coming.

Some things she needs to know are:

Who should she pay attention to? Who’s in charge? Who’s important? Ex. Speakers, Directors, VIPs, etc.


Here is a list of details I learned that were interesting but I didn’t have much to say about:

  • A master account is arranged and pays for breakfast, security, etc.
  • A schedule of events is a day by day program and how it’s set up.
  • The ballroom is set up days in advanced due to audio/visual technologies.
  • WRLC received upgraded audio due to an event that used the equipment on Wednesday and it was cheaper for the hotel to upgrade WRLC rather than paying a crew to tear the equipment down and set up again.
  • The crew sets up chairs in a manner that allows the crew to split the ballroom by simply moving the floating walls.
  • All the linens for the hotel are stored in one HUGE linen closet. No joke, it’s huge.

Key facts about the kitchens at the hotel:

  • The banquet kitchen is used to accommodate the ballroom whether the amount of people ranges from 40 to 4000.
  • There are about four sub kitchens.
  • Recently, the banquet kitchen served a conference that required breakfast, lunch, and dinner for around 4000 people recently.
  • The hotel has a bakery for cakes, desert, pastries and etc.
  • There is a special kitchen for cold food production.
  • In the cold kitchen, chefs set up baskets that re meant to be delivered to VIP’s.
  • We were able to see the kitchen for the hotel’s upscale Trellises cafe. It was grand.
  • All 5 restaurants have their own kitchen.

On the tour, I was able to see the front desk, which I wouldn’t have seen because DECA members did not individually check in. I wish I would’ve checked in here as an individual because the hotel drives their gusts along with all luggage to their room in their motorized carts.


The hotel is completely family owned and is now on it’s third generation. This means the first owner was the current owner’s grandfather. As opposed to corporate or franchised hotels, Town and Country Resort can take extra special care of it’s conference guests. For example, they can comp many VIPs with free parking passes and other accomodations.


LOOK OUT! There are Info boards located throughout the Resort that have a map, your location, and a program of events posted daily.
COOL FACT: DECA was the main guest among the guests.

On the map, the brown buildings are guest rooms and the yellow buildings are conference spaces.

The resort has around 1000 conference spaces. To put that into perspective, we only took half the rooms.



Everything with bookings for conferences are fair and negotiable.

An example is the resort allows guests 15% down slippage with rooms.
That means, if a guest books for 100 rooms and only needs 85 on the day, the resort pardons the shortage and only charges 85 rooms. However, if the gust booked 100 and only fills 70 rooms, they still pay for 85.


A look in personal hospitality:

Patti keeps track of favors others do for her.

DECA agreed to set up a day late so the resort could book an event that generated high revenue for the resort.

She’s happy to accommodate those who accommodate her.


More quick facts about the hotel:

  • Town and Country Resort was the first convention center/hotel In California.
  • Employees eat in their own dining room for $1!
  • From the hearing impaired, the visually impaired, to the physically handicapped; the resort accommodates anyone needing a little bit more
  • The resort has the ability to receive freight from it’s 2 loading docks.
  • GES decorated our exhibit.
  • The next convention is for the Dairy Farmers of America.
  • The marine core ball had a dance floor, those men love to dance.

We got a sneak peak into the men and women of the resort fix major problems. John, the Chief Engineer, let us see his workspace and told us about his work.

“Anything breaks, we can fix it.” -John

The ac unit in the ballroom was broken today . The ac tech ordered the replacement part and fixed it between 12:15 and 2:30 while we went to lunch.

Vince Velez WRLC 2011 Video Journal

     Before I get some much needed rest (currently 2:43 am), I’d like to share my youtube channel with all you wonderful DECA members. I’ve been posting videos to my channel that have to do with WRLC and they range from getting ready, to actual events, and to interviews. There’s even footage of my chapter’s 7 1/2 hour bus ride here. Although after learning what happened to Social Media Intern Ross Snyder’s bus, I can’t really complain. (Check out the story Get Stranded, then GetDECA)


Here’s the link to my youtube channel and I try to publish the videos right after I film them!



Vince Velez reminding you to GetDECA!

So many that are ready to GetDECA!(Get Psyched/Get Entertained)

     I’m currently sitting in the middle of the ballroom where there are tons of DECA members hustlin’ and bustlin’ to win challenge after challenge. Everyone is running to the next post like there’s nothing else in this world and that their lives depends on solving the next puzzle. At this moment, I can think of one man out of the many speakers that could’ve inspired such drive. bill Cordes.

     Bill Cordes seemed to move all 1200 DECA members with his opening speech. He highlighted the value of being involved and giving anything you do everything you have. He truly drove home the point that what you get is what you give. What you do in these next few years significantly affects the rest of your life.

I learned a few things from Mr. Cordes:

  • Don’t be bored, only boring people are bored.
  • If you can’t have fun in Hawaii, you have no chance in Kansas.
  • Parents say dumb things.
  • When you make a mistake,it’s time to say “NEXT!”

I then decided to have with the man of the night himself.
Bill, what did you struggle with in High School?

“Grades, I made the honor roll once in High School.”

How was everything besides grades?

“I did real well socially and I was an athlete…. I played football, basketball, and I ran track.”

What do you think of everything so far?

“It’s rockin’ ”


With that, I’d say WRLC so far is a success and I hope that It’ll only get better. As always, this is Vince Velez reminding you to GetDECA.

Get Stranded, Then Get DECA!!

Wednesday night at about 4 P.M. two DECA chapters from Arizona, Pinnacle (My Chapter) and Desert Mountain, headed out on our bus for San Diego. After reaching the half way point the driver noticed that the bus was performing strange. After a pit stop the driver decided that the bus could make it so we chugged on. By this time it was about 8 P.M. If you have ever driven the route from Phoenix to San Diego you know that about 90 miles outside of San Diego the road begins to go over mountains. Well the bus reached the bottom of the first hill and began to climb. Shorly after starting the climb the engine sputtered out and died. From there it was a series of unfortunate events. Our group remained in that position, 90 miles outside of San Diego, for about one and a half hours. Upon the arrival of a mechanic the bus was able to continue on at about 15 mph. About one mile later the bus stopped again. The mechanic quickly made some adjustments and we continued on at a very slow pace. This cycle continued for about 30 miles until a replacement bus arrived. At this point it was about 12:30 A.M. After moving the luggage in the freezing cold wind we were back on the road and arrived at our hotel shortly after. “It was quite an experience,” said Pinnacle DECA chapter member Zack Usie. Overall everyone was just happy to reach San Diego and are now very ready to Get DECA!!