The main page is back online. The server operator would like to apologize for the breif downtime of the site today, but the traffic caused by the twitter storm that happened prevented the server from being able to serve all the requests, and this page was created to at least bring the clientele of this event the news. Please use the chi-fi.org link in order to continue browsing the site as normally expected.
The original content of this temporary page is preserved below for the numerous social media links and news article links regarding these actions.
Dear Valued Attendees,
We regret to inform you that Chi-Fi 2014 will not be taking place at the Westin Chicago River North as planned. After several meetings with the staff of the Westin, we had concerns about the ability of their staff to create a welcoming and accepting atmosphere towards our attendees. A senior Westin employee referred to our staff, attendees, and guests as “freaks,” and hotel staff expressed their disapproval of our anti-harassment policy. As we want to put the safety and enjoyment of our guests and attendees first, we requested that the hotel make changes to ensure that our attendees and guests be treated with the same respect as any other Westin hotel guests. By mutual decision, we agreed to part ways with the hotel. We wish to make clear that these views were expressed by staff of the Westin Chicago River North and do not reflect the opinions of the Westin brand or Starwood Hotels. We are grateful to certain individuals working for Westin and Starwood who have been supportive throughout these discussions. Our organization does not condone any sort of retaliatory actions against either Westin or Starwood.
Given the close proximity of this cancellation to our event, we do not believe we can throw a successful convention as planned in March of 2014. Instead, we are choosing to push Chi-Fi 1 to the spring of 2015. We are confident that the majority of our Featured Guests, Artists, Vendors, Exhibitors, and Registered Attendees will support this change and allow us to port their registrations to 2015, given the circumstances. However, full refunds are available upon request. To cancel hotel reservations, please contact the Westin Chicago River North directly. Planning is already in the works for our 2015 convention. Information on the new venue and dates for Chi-Fi 1 will be coming soon.
In addition, we wish to thank all of the individuals who have supported Chi-Fi with at least one special event in 2014. We are in discussions with a local venue to host a Saturday-only event on March 29th, 2014, when Chi-Fi 1 was originally scheduled. We plan to have parties, musical performances and a small Artist and Vendor Area. We hope to make this event very affordable for all, and free to anyone who registers to attend Chi-Fi 1 in 2015 (including our Vendors, Exhibitors and Artists). Please watch our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information coming soon.
We are so sorry that things have not worked out as we hoped for 2014, but we believe that this outcome is much better than hosting our convention in a hotel where our attendees and guests are not welcome. We hope to see you at our event in March 2014 and at Chi-Fi 1 in the spring of 2015.
Chi-Fi Con Chair
A signed PDF copy of this letter is also available.