Parents Weekend

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by VaMom2013, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. VaMom2013

    VaMom2013 Member

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    Hard to believe I just booked my hotel for what will be our LAST Parents Weekend! Seems like yesterday I was a blubbering mom on I Day watching my son board the bus. Trust me... time flies!

    So just a reminder since we all know they fill up fast.... it's time to book those hotels!
     
  2. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    Just so you don't feel alone, we booked the house we stayed in last PW about two weeks after we left CoS last September. It will be a crazy weekend for us. DD will be a C2C and DS will be a C4C (in need of sleep). We will be sharing time between squadrons this year :shake: We always look forward to PW.
     
  3. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    we will be in same boat C2C and C4C at least except DS and DD. At least DS will have a car.
     
  4. MomofFutureLeader

    MomofFutureLeader Member

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    Parent's Week-end 1st Time

    So, my husband and I are really pretty novice traveler's. Our DS is our MOC's Principal Nominee to Air Force Academy so we anticipate a BFE in a couple of months. We would really like to attend Parent's week-end and feel that we should go ahead and get reservations in now before everything is totally booked. I am hoping that some of you who have been before can make suggestions as to what are good hotels in the area. We don't want to go with the cheapest that we can find and then regret it but we don't want to dramatically overpay either as we would like to keep the expense within reason. Any suggestions from those who have been and are familiar with the area? Where have you gone that you would recommend and/or where would you suggest that we avoid at all costs? We don't need super fancy, but clean and safe would be nice, free breakfast would be great, but not mandatory. When would you suggest that we plan to arrive? Not sure yet whether we will drive or fly, depends on flight costs. If we fly then I imagine that we will also need to rent a car. Any insight would be much appreciated.
     
  5. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    Go ahead and book hotel and rental car you can always cancel those. Air you might want to wait or get insurance at least until you drop him off at BCT. It depends on what you want to do - we ususally stay at a hilton brand since I have status there but there are lots of hotels in the area but they are starting to fill up and the rates are much higher than normal. We usually stay in the area thursday and friday and then do something sat and sunday. The first year braodmoor had a special 50 % off which made it a good choice to relax for the weekend and see things in the area the weather was nice so kids just hung at pool after brunch on sunday (the give mil discount.)Just watch to see if they have a sale like that again.

    Last year we went to denver and stayed downtown say les miz ate at elways and stayed at the ritz. the rate while it seemed high at 379 gives you 100 per day credit at elways (which the kids loved) and a 50 min spa treatment per day and valet parking. the effective rate is around 150 bucks with the benefits which is less than you will pay for the homewood or embassey in the springs that weekend. there are also many hotels in denver with weekend specials. we went to museum there and hung around the outdoor mall downtown. other choices are going up to mtns for those days. Key is to book something and you can always change.
     
  6. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    We decided after our first year with our 2014 cadet to rent a house. There are several companies that rent in the Springs. With the 5 of us it is just more economical than renting two rooms at a motel/hotel. We actually stay by the zoo in the Broadmoor area. It worked really well for us, but again it depends on your circumstances. We like the idea that we didn't have to wait for the room to be cleaned, had access to a washer and dryer in the house, and were able to cook all meals we wanted to eat at the house. We arrive on Thursday just early enough to grocery shop and then get our cadet a take out dinner to share on the hill. All the fun stuff starts on Friday, you don't want to miss it if it is your first year there.
     
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    We stayed at the same hotel in COS all 4 years that we went to Parent's Weekend. The Staybridge Suites on Commerce Center Drive, just off the Woodmen Rd. exit. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially with a Doolie. The two-bedroom suite sleeps 8 and was $289/night our last year there, and it is great for giving the cadet his own room/space to sleep if he/she wants. Since your cadet may not want to go out much due to having to wear blues everywhere, the kitchen in the room is plenty big enough to do full meals. It also includes a full buffet breakfast each morning which was appreciated by everyone in our family. Two or three evenings per week there are evening snack buffets, too.
    The convenient access to the Academy South Gate also made it easy to get to the Parent's Weekend events. We never left the area after Saturday, and there is a lot to do right in the COS area. There are a lot of hotels in the Academy Blvd exit area, and the Woodmen Rd exit. There are also some newer ones to the North by the Briargate and Interquest exits. All of them will be fairly convenient to the Academy. I would just find one that fits your budget and needs.
    Plan to arrive the Thursday before PW if at all possible. You will probably get to meet up with your cadet Thursday evening for a bit. Also, classes start early on Friday morning and it is best if you are there right away in order to spend the day going to classes with your cadet, rather than having him or her try to meet up sometime during their hectic Friday.
    If you fly in, I would check the rates into both COS and Denver airports. Sometimes the flights into COS are comparable to Denver, sometimes not. The rental cars are usually much cheaper in Denver. The drive isn't too much different, either. It is about 50 minutes to Denver, 25 minutes to COS from the Academy.

    Stealth_81
     
  8. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    MomofFutureLeader, we have a C4C (freshman), so we've only been through 1 Parents weekend, but we also went out for Inprocessing, plus I went out for A Day in August, so I've seen 3 different hotels. My recommendation would be to check a site like Expedia, hotels.com, etc. and see what hotels/rates/etc are available--compare for features you want. Don't panic, though, and book the first one you see. We didn't make reservations for Inprocessing week or Parents Weekend until March when the BFE came, and had no problem getting hotel rooms then at good prices ($100ish range), so you have time. We stayed very close to the Academy for Inprocessing (Drury Inn), which worked out great for us, but stayed further south by 25 and Lake Ave. intersection for Parents Weekend for a little space. Keep driving distance in mind for Parents Weekend--you'll need to be at the academy early if you're going to Friday classes with your cadet (we arrived before 7, I think classes started at 7:30 or maybe a little later), and traffic can be very slow as all the parents descend on the academy. And for the football game Saturday (which is mandatory for cadets), our cadet had to be there at 9:30 for the tailgate party before the noon game (they are allowed to spend Friday night at the hotel with you) and again, traffic is something to keep in mind. I know some people stay in other towns besides Colorado Springs, it just depends on how much driving you want to do, how early (or not!) that you want to get up, etc. We also took our cadet shopping on Sunday and bought a computer monitor and a few other things that we then took to his room at the academy and he set up, so we were glad we were close enough to be able to do that easily. One thing we did that ended up being a plus was we booked 2 adjoining rooms for Saturday and Sunday nights--he could then sleep later if he wanted, plus he did homework in one room while we watched TV, worked on the laptop, etc. Just a few things to think about!
     
  9. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    I meant to say "while we watched TV, worked on the laptop etc. in the other room". Couldn't find an edit button!
     
  10. batmom

    batmom Member

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    Question about parents weekend

    Do you know what dates are scheduled for parents' weekend in Aug. 2012?
    Are grandparents also allowed to attend this weekend?
    What suggestions do you have for renting a house? Is there a particular company that you suggest to locate home rentals for that weekend?
    Thanks for the help and this forum!
     
  11. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    Grandparents are welcome but keep in mind there is alot of walking there is some shuttle bus service from the parking lots to the visitor center.

    most people arrive thursday aug 30th. You can go to classes friday morning and there is a parade around 11 am on the parade field. squads have activities/open house in afternoon with cookouts and stuff. cadets can leave with parents that night and need to be back for football game tailgates sat morning and are dismissed after the song at the end of the football game. c4c are due back at 7 pm on monday evening c1c (10 pm)
     
  12. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    PW is usually over the Labor Day weekend. As Texasrocks states, many show up on Thursday. You can take food up to your cadet and eat with them near the chapel if you want. Our first year there we got in pretty late on Thursday so our sons wouldn't miss much school. Last year we left much earlier in the day and were much happier because we got to spend more time with our cadet.
    There is a full schedule of events that you can participate in as much or little as you want to. You are able to attend classes if you want, or your cadet wants you to (I let my cadet lead with things she wants to do). I have yet to have this experience as my DD really doesn't want to drag the whole family to her classes. She did take her brother last year, he is will be a cadet in the class of 2016.
    As for homes for rent, we have used Home Away. However, you could google home rentals and there are any number of companies that have listings and a rough estimate of what they charge per night. It just worked better for our family, with 5 a room alone is just not enough.
     
  13. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    We did get to attend classes with our son (a C4C) over PW. I would say (at least in my son's classes) more parents/siblings attended classes than didn't--very few cadets were alone. All of his professors had special things set up with parents in mind--Chemistry experiments, an Arabic Q and A session to show off the cadets' growing skills, Engineering demos. Most had coffee/refreshments available also.

    But if you don't want to attend classes (or your cadet prefers you don't) there are plenty of things set up in Arnold Hall (think of a typical college student union I guess) to see/do. Just keep in mind that if you leave Arnold Hall and decide to enter the cadet area again, you'll need a cadet escort. You won't be allowed to just wander up to their squadron floor to meet them at their room like in a typical dorm.

    Texasrocks is absolutely correct about the amount of walking that will be done--from classes to parade field to lunch at Mitch's back to classes again then to squadron activities in the afternnoon. The shuttles pretty much just take people from parking to the perimeter of the cadet area, you'll be walking to go from classes to lunch etc. And remember that you'll be at a much higher altitude than most regions of our country, and if you're like me, you'll be huffing and puffing at some point (for me it was hauling up 6 flights of stairs to get to my son's room!). And the cadets have to attend these activities--their squadrons will let them know what time they can sign out (usually after the squadron open house--for us it was about 4:30 or 5 I think). I was glad we brought his younger brother, and that we attended all his classes/activities, but for us, the grandparents would have had a very difficult time.
     
  14. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    And don't forget sunscreen!!!
     
  15. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    My PW tips: Book hotel early. We used Hotwire and aimed for 3 star hotels on the north side of Colorado Springs. ( We ended up at Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield...both offer breakfast, clean, etc.) We booked a rental car at DEN airport several months early, but then saw prices plunge a couple weeks before PW and thus saved about $200 on just car rental. We booked hotel room for Thurs and Friday in Colorado Springs. However, after football game, we left immediate area and stayed near Boulder in a 4 star hotel (via Priceline) for $60.00 per night. (Last year we got our son a separate room with prices that low.) We visited Breckenridge and Vail on Sunday which was fun. This year will be somewhat different because our son will have a car (the perks of being a junior.) We already have reservations at the Embassy Suites for Wed-Sat morning. Plans still up in the air for Sat and Sun night. By the way, plan on flying out of DEN on TUESDAY. It's hard enough saying goodbye Monday evening without having to rush up to DEN for a late night flight...much better to have a quiet evening without the hassel in COS or Denver and fly out on Tuesday.
     
  16. skt

    skt Member

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    Our son is a C4C. We used vrbo.com to rent a house for the week before I-Day and Homeaway.com to book one for Parents' Weekend. We were pleased with both. I think we made our reservations for both in February. VRBO.com seems to have more houses on their site, but I'd check both. For Parents Weekend, we have parents and an aunt who attended all classes. There were cadets there with parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Some had quite a few with them and it wasn't a problem. There is a lot of walking, so everyone needs to be able to get around pretty well. We have one 2 grandfathers who would have been fine; one grandmother who couldn't have handled it. The girlfriend and younger brother joined us on Saturday since they had Friday night commitments at school. Our son loved having the house so he didn't have to worry about wearing his uniform to go down to breakfast, etc. Some apparenlty like getting out and doing things during the weekend but others, like ours, prefer to stay in the house all weekend. We were also able to meet our son's sponsor family that weekend, which made his first interaction with them a little more comfortable.
     
  17. Jarhead

    Jarhead Member

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    Do any of you guys have experience with parents weekend at the Prep School. I know its the same weekend but other than that we don't have a clue.
     

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