I'm so excited! I live in Omaha and my mom is the president of my club, one of the four clubs in the area that are helping (minimally) with the event. It's so exciting to see people on here mentioning my city, where I have lived for 13 years, over and over again!
Contrary to popular belief, there ARE things to do in Omaha. We have a really nice children's museum, a great zoo with a great aquarium (not the best choice in January though), some fantastic museums, and a ton of shopping centers and strip malls.
Also, the $120+ Hilton isn't even the best hotel for the price. There are some nice and less costly hotels downtown near the Century Link, and the traffic isn't so horrible that it would be a nightmare to stay at a hotel in West Omaha and rent a car to drive downtown every day for the events. Sure, not as convenient, but a much more financially conscientious plan. I live in West Omaha and it's only about a 30 minute drive to the border between Nebraska and Iowa during rush hour if there are no accidents on the interstate- the longest it's ever taken us is 45 minutes, and there were two accidents on the interstate our direction. To get to the Century Link versus the border, you take off at least 5 minutes, so expect a 25-35 minute drive if you drive from West Omaha.
My coach just bought her tickets on Friday morning and she got an all-event pass, the $970 or however much ones, for the front row! And she got two tickets, the other ticket will be occupied by either her sister (who is the vice-president of our club), her nephew (who I skate with), or one of her skaters.
Also, apparently you have to be 18 yrs old to volunteer at Nationals. I'm nearly 15 years old (sixteen days until my birthday!), so I'll be 16 when Nationals is going on, so not old enough to volunteer. Not fair, in my mind. Sure, they don't want ten year olds being ice monitor or anything, but if you're old enough to drive, shouldn't you be old enough to volunteer? Sorry, excuse my little rant about that, I just had to get it out.
In Greensboro, the ice sweepers were from ages 9 to 13 and they had to be at least preliminary level. They're supposedly going to use the same requirements in 2013. Here in Omaha, there are barely any skaters between those ages and above that level. So they'll get maybe ten skaters that qualify, if they get REALLY lucky. They'll get the amount they need if skaters come from Kansas City, St. Joseph, Des Moines, Ames, Sioux City, etc. And even if skaters came from all those cities, they'd still have barely enough. My personal opinion is that they need to open the age and level boundaries. If I was in charge, I would make the requirements to be at least Freeskate 4 and between 8 and 18 years old. Then we could get a lot of skaters that could help.
Some people just don't think about our skating community here... We have four clubs that are helping, three from Omaha and one from Lincoln, and we have about 40 skaters who are currently taking lessons and competing with my club, which is the largest. So say the other clubs have 30 each, which is about right, and 15 from the Lincoln club. That totals to about 115 skaters. Take out 20 for adult skaters and skaters who are 18 or older. 95. Take out the approximately 20 skaters who are under 8 years old. 75. Take out 20 of those who are Basic Skills skaters. 55. Take out 30 of those who are below Preliminary. 25. Take out the 20 of those that are older than 13. 15 skaters. That would be if every skater was able to do it, and if we had the number of skaters we have now, which is doubtful, because this is the largest number of skaters that the area has ever had that are above pre-preliminary.
ANYWAYS, after that lengthy rant that nobody probably bothered to read, I'm going to stop rambling and post this comment! If anyone has any questions about Nationals, just reply to me, and if I can't tell you the answer, I'll ask my mom. (I didn't say this above, but not only is my mom the president of my club, but she is one of the main coordinators of the event, and a coach with my club is the co-chair of Nationals.) If you read all of this, kudos to you, haha!