Meeting 2014

Working Group on Language Design

  • Dates: Sunday, June 1 - Friday, June 6, 2014
  • Venue: Skamania Lodge, near Portland, Oregon
  • Host: Andrew Black

Skamania Lodge

I have made arrangements for five nights (Sunday to Thursday inclusive) at Skamania Lodge,, a beautiful resort about 45 minutes drive from Portland International Airport (PDX).

I have negotiated a room rate of $110 per room per night (subject to sales tax, which is currently 7.7%, and occupancy tax, which is currently 2%). There is also a resort fee of $17 per room, which includes unlimited free local calls; 24 hour access to Technology Room; wireless high-speed internet in guestrooms, Gorge Room, Cascade Dining Room and River Rock Lounge; access to three scenic hiking trails, family putting green, health club, pool and outdoor hot tub; tennis and basketball court time; bike rentals parking, coffee in the main lobby; and a copy of the USA Today Newspaper. Total per room per night will thus be about $138. If you find this rate too high, there is always the option of sharing a room with another attendee, which will halve the rate.

To lock in this rate, you need to book your room by 28th March. Either telephone 800-221-7117 (+1 509 427 7700 from outside the USA), or go to, and use group code 1XQ1P4 in the "Reserve a room" box at the top of the web page. (Click on Promo Code; enter the group code, and then click BOOK NOW. Alternatively, use this link to insert the dates and group code for you). After 28th March date, rooms may still be available, but may be at a higher rate. Also, the group may be subject to a penalty. So, please book early!

Skamania has an excellent restaurant, and less formal dining in the bar. I have negotiated a meal plan for us to eat together in as a group, starting with breakfast on Monday, and finishing with lunch on Friday. The meeting fee will be $500, which includes registration, audio-visual services, use of the meeting facilities, meals, and an off-site excursion.

You should plan to arrive at Skamania on Sunday evening, 1st June. Dinner on Sunday is not included in the meeting fee, but there are good options for food at the resort. The meeting will commence at 9am on Monday 2nd June, and finish with lunch on Friday, 6th June.


The nearest airport is Portland International Airport (PDX) in the eastern suburbs of Portland, Oregon, about 50 miles west of Skamania. PDX is well-served by internal flights from all over the USA, and by international flights from Tokyo, Vancouver, Canada, and Tornonto Canada. Portland also has a Railway station with long-distance trains to Seattle, Oakland, and Chicago. The MAX light rail system connects the Railway station to the airport.

It's impractical to get to Skamania by public transport. I'm hoping that enough members have chosen to drive to Skamania, or rent a vehicle, that we are not going to hire a private bus. However, this means that you will need to coordinate ride shares amongst yourselves. Please update the spreadsheet to indicate your flight into PDX, your scheduled arrival time, and the names of the people that you plan to ride with. In case the self-organization fails, Robert Dockins (a postdoc here at PSU) has offered to rent a vehicle and drive the extra people to Skamania taking as many trips as necessary.

If you wish to rent a car from PDX, the cheapest option appears to be Alamo, which operates from an off-airport lot (they have a shuttle pickup). Rates start at $30 per day for a midsize car ($218 per week).

Driving from PDX

The simplest route is to head South on I-205 from the airport for 1.5 miles, and then East on I-84, signposted "The Dalles". This will take you into the Columbia River Gorge on the South (Oregon) side of the River. After 36 miles, get off I-84 in Cascade Locks, cross over the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. On the Washington side of the Columbia River, turn right on WA Route 14; Skamania Lodge will be on your left in 1.5 miles. The trip should take about 45 minutes.

If you have time to spare, it is well worth while getting off of I-84 East in Troutdale (Exit 17) and taking the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway instead of the interstate. The Scenic Highway will rejoin I-84 in Warrendale, at exit 24. The Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway will give you magnificent views and the chance to see several waterfalls and take some short walks.


Once you book with the lodge please register here so that we can plan meals, transport, and the excursion.


On Wednesday afternoon, we will take an excursion to see some local sights in the Columbia River Gorge, followed by dinner at a restaurant in Hood River. Details here


For this meeting we are going to try a slightly different schedule than usual. Rather than meeting all day and socializing at night, we will have afternoons off and have meetings before and after dinner. You can use the afternoons for walks, discussions, work, or whatever you want. Thus, the schedule will look as follows on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday:

  • 07:00 to 09:00: breakfast
  • 9:00 to 12:30: meeting (3.5 hrs)
  • 12:30 to 13:30: lunch
  • 13:30 to 17:00: break
  • 17:00 to 19:00: meeting (2 hrs)
  • 19:00 to 20:30: dinner
  • 20:30 to 22:00: meeting (1.5 hrs)

On Wednesday we have an excursion, so the program will look as follows:

  • 07:00 to 09:00: breakfast
  • 9:00 to 12:00: meeting (3 hrs)
  • 12:00 to 13:00: lunch
  • 13:00 to 22:00: excursion, including dinner

On Friday we only meet in the morning:

  • 09:00 to 12:00: meeting (3 hrs)
  • 12:00 to 13:00: lunch
  • 13:00 end of the meeting