Estes Park FAQ
Table of Contents
- Congress Location
- What is the facility like this year?
- What is the weather like?
- What about the altitude?
- Is there wireless internet access?
- Is there cell phone service?
- Where should I stay?
- What time should I arrive and leave?
- Can I attend the congress for part of the week?
- I'm staying offsite, can I buy a meal plan?
- I'm driving a car, where do I park?
- What if I’m not currently an AGA member?
- What should I put for my rank?
- What is the Non-participant registration fee?
- What is the youth policy?
- I don't have a credit card. How can I make a payment?
- How do I change my reservation?
- What is the refund / cancellation policy?
- YMCA Policies
- What about alcohol, tobacco, etc?
- What about bringing pets?
- What else about the YMCA should I know?
- Is there transportation into town?
- What about people with disabilities?
- What if I have an emergency?
What is the facility like this year?
The 2020 US Go Congress will be held at the YMCA camp just outside beautiful Estes Park, CO. The town is a popular tourist destination about one hour from Denver, CO. The camp is situated on 860 acres surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the U.S. The Go events will take place in the main Assembly Hall, along with some nearby buildings.
Boredom is not an option here. If you can manage to pull yourself away from Go, there is a plethora of other activities waiting for you.
What is the weather like?
Weather in the summer can vary dramatically over the course of a single day. Daytime temperatures usually run in the 70’s and 80’s (Fahrenheit), but nights can cool down significantly. A light rainstorm in the afternoon is typical. You might bring a variety of clothing layers and check the weather before you come.
Like most mountain communities, the YMCA does not have air conditioning in any of the rooms.
What about the altitude?
The camp’s elevation is 8,000 feet above sea level and oxygen is approximately 45% less dense. If you’re coming from lower elevations, you may experience a slight shortness of breath at first, and some people may also have fatigue and dizziness. This is fairly common. To help prevent these symptoms, drink plenty of water (64 oz. daily), get plenty of rest, eat lightly, and avoid alcohol. This is especially important during the first few days as your body adjusts to the altitude! And adjust it will.
There is also 50% to 80% less humidity in the air than sea level, so this is another reason to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. There will be water drinking stations provided in all major playing areas and lecture rooms.
Your chances of sunburn also increases at higher elevations. Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and protect your eyes with sunglasses.
Is there wireless internet access?
Wireless Internet access is available to all Congress participants. Upon check-in, each participant will receive a login and password that will grant access to the YMCA’s secure wireless network. The network is available throughout the camp.
Is there cell phone service?
At present, there is very limited cell service available at the camp. However, Sprint is building a nearby cell tower and full service may become a reality in 2020. But, be prepared to use a voice-over-internet service like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. to maintain voice contact with the outside world. Newer smartphones also support WiFi calling. Finally, there will be public phones available for guests use.
Where should I stay?
The congress has a large block of economy rooms and hotel-style rooms in lodges near the main buildings. You can sign up for these during registration. There are also various cabins on the property, but these are in high demand in the summer and typically reserved early by members of the YMCA. There are no camping options available on the property.
Offsite lodging and camping information can be found on the Visiting Estes Park page.
What time should I arrive and leave?
Most people will arrive on Saturday morning or afternoon, Aug 1, and leave on Sunday morning, Aug 9, after breakfast. The registration desk opens at 2pm on Saturday. The Welcome Ceremony begins at 7pm. (Don’t miss this one!)
A Friday Night option is available for attendees coming a day early. You can sign up for this during registration. This gives you extra time to relax and acclimate.
If you have time, you may want to extend your trip either before or after the congress, but you’ll need to make all these arrangements yourself. If you are sensitive to high altitudes, you may wish to arrive a day or two early and stay in the Denver area. Lots to do here. The Colorado Rockies will be playing the San Francisco Giants at Coors field on Friday evening, July 31st. Or, visit the Normal Rockwell art exhibit at the Denver Arts Museum.
Can I attend the congress for part of the week?
Yes. During registration, please select the “Per-day” option and the number of days that you would like. The congress does not offer a partial lodging option at the YMCA, so you must either purchase the weekly plan, or find offsite lodging.
I'm staying offsite, can I buy a meal plan?
The congress or the YMCA do not offer any meal plans. You can pay for meals individually at either the main cafeteria, the dining restaurant, or the deli/pizza cafe.
I'm driving a car, where do I park?
There’s lots of free parking areas in front of all the main buildings and lodges.
What if I’m not currently an AGA member?
All Players at the US Go Congress must be current members of the American Go Association. (See Non-participant below.) If you are not a member, please visit the AGA website and join before coming to the Congress. If your membership has lapsed, please visit the website and renew your membership. If you’re not sure about your membership status, click here.
The first step in registering at the Congress will be to verify your membership status. To avoid any extra delays, please take care of this ahead of time!
What should I put for my rank?
In most cases you should put your current AGA rating. If you don’t know your AGA rating, go to the AGA website and search by your name or AGA #. If you don’t have an AGA rating but do have one from a different organization, please consult the Sensei’s Library for some guidance.
What is the Non-participant registration fee?
Anyone who uses Congress plans for rooms, meals, or discounts must be registered at Congress. We recognize that there may be family members that will not be interested in participating in Go events, like tournaments and lectures from Professional Go Teachers. For these we have the much reduced registration fee of Non-Participant for $100 for the week. Non-Participants also get t-shirt and other congress gifts. The guardian of under age youth participants must be registered at the congress.
What is the youth policy?
Each youth (age 17 and younger) must have a designated adult on-site who is also a registered attendee at the Congress and agrees to watch over the youth and be responsible for their behavior. This adult will either be a Legal Guardian (parent or otherwise), or someone assigned to be the “Attending Guardian” at the Congress. The Legal Guardian must fill out and sign one of the Youth Attendance Agreement forms, and submit it before or during Congress registration. If an Attending Guardian is used, that adult must also sign the form to acknowledge responsibility.
I don't have a credit card. How can I make a payment?
A credit card is preferred since it’s the only way to automatically record payment to your Congress account. But, we do accept PayPal and personal checks.
For details about paying by PayPal or personnel check, please contact the Registrar. We do not publish these details as we need to manually update your Congress account.
How do I change my reservation?
We know that you have lots of choices and that you might have found another roommate, or thought of a different room choice. Fear not, this is not like Go where a stone placed is a stoned played! Just “sign in” to your account and click on the Attendee name. This will open your registration form for editing. Review your selections and make any needed changes. Our Cancellation Policy spells out how we will handle refunds. Just drop the Registrar a note if you have a question.
What is the refund / cancellation policy?
A 35% deposit of your total cost is requested at time of registration.
** The deposit must be paid by May 25th at the latest, or your registration will be canceled. **
The balance due may be paid anytime before the congress or during Check-in on Saturday, August 1st.
If you choose to cancel before May 25th, you will receive 100% of your deposit. Before July 1st, you will receive 50% of your deposit. After July 1st, there is no deposit returned. Any payments on your balance over your deposit will always be refunded, up until two weeks after the end of the congress (Aug. 23rd, 2020).
What about alcohol, tobacco, etc?
Alcohol is not allowed in common areas. You may bring your own and consume it in your lodge room, cabin or meeting room.
Smoking is not permitted in any of the buildings. There are several outdoor areas designated for smoking with special fire-safe ashtrays.
The use of marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed anywhere on-site.
What about bringing pets?
No pets, with the exception of service animals, are allowed in lodges and retreat cabins.
What else about the YMCA should I know?
- Room check-in time is 6pm. If you arrive earlier on Saturday, the congress will have a secure area near the congress registration desk where you can safely leave your bags.
- Room check-out time is 10am.
- Accessible rooms are available in the lodges and the YMCA will make every attempt to accommodate your needs. Enter your special request in the field provided on the registration form.
- A coin-operated laundry is located near the Longhouse building. It is open seven days per week, 24 hours per day.
- There is no traditional workout gym, but there are plenty of other opportunities to keep you fit.
Is there transportation into town?
The town of Estes Park no longer runs a daily shuttle service to the YMCA. If you need to get to town, you can either find someone you know with a car, or call Estes Park Taxi at (970) 372-9888. You can also try Uber or Lyft, but their service in the area is extremely limited.
On the Wednesday day off (Aug. 5th), the congress will be running a free shuttle service from the YMCA to various points around town at regular intervals. There will be signup sheets available the day before to help prevent the overload of departing shuttles.
What about people with disabilities?
Each of the lodges have ADA rooms available. The Main lodges are closest to the tournament/dining areas (1 minute walk), but furthest away from the lecturer halls (5 minute walk). The East lodges are closest to the lecturer halls (adjacent buildings), but furthest to the tournament/dining areas (3 - 4 minute walk). There are also a few cabins between the lodges where Go activities will be taking place. All paths between the buildings are paved, but there is a moderate incline from the East lodges to the tournament/dining areas.
If you would like a room closest to the tournament/dining areas, please enter a special request on the registration form, like “ADA room in Alpen Inn”.
Wheelchairs are offered at the YMCA for a $50 deposit. If you need a mechanized cart, please check the Denver area for rentals before coming.
What if I have an emergency?
If there is a health emergency, contact any YMCA staff member immediately to get help. There is a nurse’s station at the YMCA open 24 hours per day. You can also call the main number for help or directions.
YMCA main number: 970-586-3341
Lost & Found: 970-586-3341, ext. 1225
Hospital: Estes Park Health
555 Prospect Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
Hospital Phone: 970-586-2317 (or call 911)