Hindsight is... 2021!
Recent Updates on the 2020, scratch that... the 2021 Convention!
Posted April 27, 2020
The site/link to allow folks to register for the Opryland Resort is not live yet. Our recent email told you it would be, as that is what we were told then. However, due to furloughs at the Resort, the website and link are not live yet. We will inform you via social media, and likely email, once we have confirmed it is live and you can register for your resort room.
Posted April 24, 2020
Some new info is available in our email newsletter. You can read the info at this link.
Posted April 15, 2020
New dates for the 36th National Garden Railway Convention will be May 30th through June 5th of 2021. It appears that hindsight is not actually 2020, but 2021!
We have officially gotten word from Marriot and the Gaylord Opryland Resort that the convention can be transferred to the dates of May 30-June 5 of 2021. We ask for your patience as we figure out details and get our plans finalized - again - for events in 2021. We are hopeful that most events and plans can be moved back one year to make the transition easy for everyone involved.
The DGRS (Denver) and BAGRS (San Francisco Bay Area) clubs have been working closely with us and all have agreed to bump plans back by one year. So Denver will host in 2022 and the Bay Area in California will host again in 2023. Nashville will be the place to be in 2021. We will do our best to keep everyone up-to-date as we re-book events and venues in Nashville.
Marriott has sent emails to convention attenders who reserved rooms for the Opryland Resort, and they have stated they have a link in the email that allows you to re-book for next years convention. If for some reason the link is not present, or does not work, do not panic. We will have a new link posted on our website once we receive it.
Admittedly, they asked us for a few days head start to send you messages and sent notice almost immediately to folks, so we will need a little time to re-organize and get in touch with folks who have questions. However, things look good for being able to move all events, meals, BBQ's... pretty much everything back to 2021! (Our venue booking is already moving forward, full steam ahead.)
Please be patient with us. We are doing everything we can to get things re-organized for 2021. Folks already had a lot to think about, but you can now change your travel plans and get ready for NGRC in 2021 in our beloved Nashville, TN. We know this will be a memorable event for everyone!
Once again, the new dates will be for May 30th through June 5th of 2021.
Apparently hindsight is 2021! :)
Posted April 11, 2020
We have received several inquiries about the status of the 36th National Garden Railroad Convention given the Coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping through the country and world. This update is intended to inform you about the status of the convention and our discussions going on behind the scenes. The Governor of the State of Tennessee has issued a “Home is Safer” order and asked non-essential businesses to close until at least April 15th. This order could be extended to a date further in the future depending on the Coronavirus circumstances. The Mayor of Nashville has ordered all hotels, bars and restaurants to close with the exception of on-line take-out and delivery food orders. This order also affects the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort.
The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort has furloughed all their employees until at least April 26th. This date is also subject to change. Because of this furlough communication between the Convention Organizing Committee and the hotel has been challenging and limited during this furlough period. We are attempting to negotiate moving the 36th Garden Railroad Convention from 2020 to either the first or third week in June 2021, without incurring significant cancellation and changes fees for breaking our current contract with the Opryland Hotel and Resort. The hotel is currenty still holding us to our May 31st to June 6th, 2020 dates.
Many of you have received emails from the Marriott giving you information that you may cancel your room reservations up to 24 hours prior to the event without penalty. However, this does not relieve the National Garden Railway Society from their contractual agreement for the block of rooms, vendor hall, etc.
Currently we have invested more than $25,000 for convention cars, advertising, and other expenses which are all non-refundable. We have invested an additional $30,000 in down payments for the hotel, vendor hall, food guarantees, and optional activities for our guests to enjoy during the week of the convention which may or may not be refundable. If the Organizing Committee were to cancel the convention ourselves, we would lose the $ 25,000 we have already invested plus we would be financially responsible for more than $75,000 for the hotel room nights in our block plus the full amount to rent the vendor hall and to the pipe and drape company plus any other deposits that are non-refundable. It is in the best financial interest of the Nashville Garden Railway Society to patiently work through all of these issues with the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort. We have everyone’s safety and health in focus and this is why we are trying to reschedule the convention to 2021 and are hoping for a quick resolution with the Opryland Hotel and Resort so we can provide everyone with a convention that will be enjoyable and to the standards of previous conventions. In the event of a complete cancellation, these are the ramifications we are facing. We ask for your patience as we continue our negotiations with the Opryland Hotel and Resort.
If you need to contact us, the convention email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this difficult situation.
2020 National Garden Railroad Convention Organizing Committee