2004 Annual Gathering of American Mensa
The 2004 Annual Gathering of American Mensa, ExtravAGanza, was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. It lasted from June 30th through July 5th. Cookie Bakke was the chair. Attendance was 1825, the largest so far for an American AG. Due to hotel and union rules, hospitality was conducted with a more limited selection of food than had been typical of American AGs to this point, although organizers stated that they in fact had managed to negotiate concessions unheard-of for the Las Vegas hotel community in order to supply the degree of hospitality food they did. Despite advance publicity explaining this limited food service, there have still been a number of complaints during and after the gathering about hospitality food, with some attendees comparing it to the 1986 New York "Karen Carpenter Memorial AG".
The Las Vegas AG was originally proposed as a consortium bid not sponsored by any local group, and organized primarily by Mensans in California, but it was ultimately changed to be officially run by the local group for the area, Southern Nevada Mensa, though some of the organizers continued to be based elsewhere (though at least one changed their membership by preference to the local group). The National Office played a greater role in the administration of this gathering than earlier AGs, continuing a trend towards paid staff in preference to volunteer labor.
This AG offered remarkable programs due to the unique character of Las Vegas and its human resources.
This AG, held in a "destination city", resulted in high attendance, but was criticized on the grounds of expensive hotel rooms, restrictive hospitality rules, and less opportunity for social interaction because many attendees were out enjoying other attractions of the host city.
The hotel room rate was $80 on weekday nights, $140 for Friday and Saturday nights.
- Official website (Internet Archive copy)
- Yahoo Group
- Location on Google Maps
- wAGging the Dog (by Peg Shambo, in Going Forward)
- Photo gallery
- Program book (in American Mensa site; requires member login)
Notes and references
- ^ That's how she credited herself, though she's not actually a piece of furniture.
2003: St. Paul, Minnesota (with Mensa Canada)
| Annual Gathering of American Mensa
2005: New Orleans