Still catching up on the news after my week-long sojourn in Italy, but I couldn't believe that some U.S. government agencies actually have put in place policies that prohibit them from meeting in certain cities. At least some in our government realize how dumb this is and are doing something about it, but this knee-jerk numbskullity (I know, it's probably not a word, but I like it) has got to stop.
Everyone, take a deep breath, then look at what your meeting is trying to accomplish, what type of venue will help you accomplish it, and a location that works for your meeting goals and your attendees. Find a property that fits with what you need at a price you can live with, period. There are some great deals to be had at resorts right now, and in fact I've heard a few stories about how planners ended up paying more at a low-end property than they would have at a great five-star because the powers-that-be wouldn't allow them to use anything higher than a three-star, regardless of the actual cost/value ratio. That's just stupid. Ditto for blacklisting entire cities for some perceptual issue that may or may not exist.
If you can show that your choice was the appropriate one to help you achieve what you need to achieve at a reasonable price, that's all that should matter. I'm getting mighty sick and tired of hearing about how fears about how a meeting will be perceived is causing people to make decisions that in fact end up being wasteful, inappropriate, or just plain bad.