More than 15 months of hard work by the rooming team culminated in the release of the Recommended Lodging List (RLL) on March 18th at 12pm. A team of approximately 40 brothers were trained in how to contact accommodation providers and how to negotiate acceptable rates and inspect rooms. Equipped with this training the brothers reached out to properties throughout the Melbourne CBD and up to 1 hour away from Marvel Stadium.
Did properties jump at the chance of accommodating some of the expected 50,000 delegates? Surprisingly, no. After approximately 6 months of persistent efforts, only 700 rooms had been contracted. With a goal of 4,000 – 5,000 rooms and only weeks until the release of the RLL, the task looked impossible from a human viewpoint. However, with continued effort and much prayer the goal of 4,000 contracted rooms was reached by March 18, with a total of 5,000 rooms being achieved a week later. And the work goes on, with rooms continually being added to the RLL as agreements are organised with more properties.
How did the release of the RLL go? Well, you could say with a bang! Or a crash! There was so much traffic on the website when the RLL went “live” that the site could not take the volume. After a brief period it was up and running with the IT brothers having to expand the capacity triple-fold. Our delegates truly were keen to secure their accommodation as soon as possible!
Things on the jwrooming website have quietened down to a steady pace and when the Melbourne brothers began booking two weeks after the March 18 release, there were no issues at all. The jwrooming website mailbox has so far received around 300 emails for assistance with accommodation in Melbourne. Also, a few properties that were either very economical and/or close to Marvel Stadium booked out straight away, but there are still plenty of rooms available.
There is no doubt that Jehovah is supporting the hard work and preparations for the 2019 Melbourne International Convention. — 1Chron. 28:20.