I liked the hotel format.
Back in the 60's and 70's, I hitch hiked all across the US and Europe. I did my share of rough traveling and real rough camping (underpasses, abandoned buildings, farmers fields, ...), and I enjoyed every moment of it.
But now I am a little older, and possibly wiser, and my family and I vacation at very comfortable places that would not have let me in the front door 30 years ago (and I don't blame them!) I really enjoyed sitting at the "free" happy hour at Embassy Suites while it rained in Charleston. And I liked wandering around the vendor area inside the convention center; I spent more time and money than I did at the other two rallys I attended (York and Moodus). The only minor disappointment was the beer tent/music being away from everything else; after the awards ceremony, I did not feel iike getting on the bus to go hear the band.
See you in Spokane (if they have good hotels...)