Be prepared for any type of weather during the meeting. It could be 105F (40C) and 95% humidity (corn sweat conditions), or 75F (24C) overcast and chilly, but tornadoes are unlikely.
There is free wireless access many places in Ames (except, perhaps, your hotel). Campus is completely covered, and most cafes and eating places have free wireless too.
Places to stay
The blocked hotel rooms will be released to the general public this week, Friday July 13th. Rooms may be available after this date, at the conference rate, but its not guaranteed.
- Gateway Hotel & Conference Center, $99/109 per night. 2100 Green Hills Drive, Ames IA 50010 (map), 1 (515) 292 8600, email Michelle Bryngelson.
- Holiday Inn (currently called Comfort suites), $99 per night. 2609 Elwood Dr, Ames IA 50010 (map), 1 (515) 268 8808, email Carol Springer.
- Memorial Union Guestrooms, $71/81 per night. 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50010-1130 (map). Ph: 515-296-6848. Fax: 515-294-1105.
- Best Western University Park Inn & Suites. $65/70 per night. 2500 Elwood Dr, Ames, IA 50010 (map). (1) 515 296 2500, email Emily Halvorsen
To get these rates, make sure to mention you're attending useR! 2007.
Things to do
- Visit the Reiman Gardens and butterfly house. The butterfly house is a lot of fun with hundreds of butterflies from many different countries, and there are lovely gardens to explore, and a nice cafe to eat at.
Places to eat
- Pita Pita. Don't let the dingy appearance put you off - Pita Pita has the best pitas, falafels and salad bar in town. Great for a quick lunch or snack. (map)
- Thai Spice. Thai spice serves delicious, authentic Thai food. A solid favourite of the local organising committee. (map)
- Stomping Grounds. Good coffee and great hot chocolates, also serves food and alcohol. Best outdoor seating in Ames for enjoying a beer in the evening. (map)
- The Cafe. A bit further from campus, but worth the trip. Serves contemporary American cuisine in cafe and restaurant areas, mains in the $10-20 range. Also sells artisan bread and the best cakes and desserts in Ames. (map)
- West Street Deli. Hearty American sandwiches, two minutes walk from campus. Only order a whole sandwich if you're feeling really hungry. (map)
- La Fuente. The best real Mexican in Ames: authentic, delicious and plenty of food. (map)
- Hickory Park. American style BBQ, and very popular with the locals, so get there early or late on Friday nights and weekends. Try not to eat too many ribs so you still have room for the ice cream sundaes. (map)
- Great Plains Pizza for true midwestern style pizza. More cheese than you can poke a stick at. (map).
- There also two great Indian places close to campus. India palace (map) has a great (and cheap) lunch buffet, and Cafe Lovish (map) has a more limited selection, but has super friendly staff, is even cheaper and has great chai.