Not only prominent leaders but even the common people were looking forward to some "gift" from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who jointly chaired the two-day meet.
Some of the leaders like Harish Rawat, MP and a contender for the chief minister's post, had gone to the extent of declaring publicly that the VVIP visit would do a lot of good for the otherwise neglected state.
Even Chief Minister Narain Dutt Tiwari was hoping that the state would benefit out of the exercise for which he had done detailed homework.
However, neither Gandhi nor Manmohan Singh had anything concrete to offer when Tiwari had a brief interaction with them.
Aware of the brewing resentment among locals, who were already agitating over certain issues, Tiwari chose to slip out of Nainital no sooner than the big show was over.
"Nobody knows how many crores have gone down the drain out of the taxpayer's money to cater to the comforts of so many VIPs. We did not mind thinking the big event would bring some special packages for the state," said legislator Narain Singh Jantwal.
"I am not saying so because I belong to the Uttrakhand Kranti Dal. This was the common sentiment of the people here but their hopes have been belied."
"When we saw the city being spruced up for the VVIP visit, we were happy but the visit only made our lives miserable. With heavy traffic restrictions that literally kept people away from the markets, we were the ones who suffered most," felt Gaurav Dutt Joshi, a local shopkeeper.
Sushma Pandey, a student, was of the view that the presence of police personnel all over Nainital was "rather intimidating".
"We are peace loving people and not used to gun-toting policemen positioned all over the place."
"Why at all did Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have to come all the way to Nainital to discuss issues related to agriculture and internal security, which are of very little relevance to Uttaranchal?" wondered Kundal Lal Sah, former principal of the local government college.
Said another professor of Kumaon University, requesting anonymity: "Sonia Gandhi and the prime minister, who often talks about austerity, could have saved lakhs of rupees if this meet was organised in Delhi itself."
Social activist and journalist Harish Pant said: "Visibly, the whole exercise was aimed at getting the Congress party a media hype on issues that have brought much discredit to it. No wonder they brought an entourage of more than 250 mediapersons all the way from Delhi."