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LenPilhofer

IPMS/USA Member
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LenPilhofer last won the day on March 13

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About LenPilhofer

  • Rank
    Assembler

Profile Information

  • FirstName
    Len
  • LastName
    Pilhofer
  • IPMS Number
    49932
  • Local Chapter
    Alamo Squadron
  • City
    San Antonio
  • State
    Texas
  • Gender
    Male

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  1. As I have stated above: "If the planning committee has news regarding COVID-19 and its potential negative effects on the 2020 Convention I will post the info the main page of the convention website: www.nats2020.com." As of right now the main page of the Nats2020 web site states this: "COVID-19 Update! The convention team is still moving forward with planning for the 2020 convention. While we are well aware of all the social distancing and quarantine policies in place around the country these are temporary in nature and we are continuing with the assumption that by late July these will be restrictions will be lifted. The planning team will continue to track this issue closely. Click here for more information from the City of San Marcos." A good place to get up-to-date information from the City of San Marcos regarding government restrictions on public gatherings is: https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/279/Coronavirus-Information-and-Prevention. I have no more information (and more importantly, facts) to share except that planning continues. -Len
  2. Mike...on the Nats 2020 website is a list of all the categories for this year's contest: http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/categories.html. This coming week I will be adding a column where we will list who is sponsoring what category (those that have come in so far) so folks can see as the sponsorships fill up. For now, pick your top three and in the web store item for the category sponsorships is a text box where you can list these top three choices. The first one that isn't already taken will be the one you get. If there is a conflict, our awards coordinator, Rob Booth, will be in touch with you. I realize the sooner I get the list up on the web page, the easier it will be to avoid conflicts. I assure you it is on my short list of things to get done in the coming days. -Len
  3. The 2020 convention items are now up and for sale on the IPMS web store. They can be accessed via the various pages of the convention website - www.nats2020.com - or directly via https://www.shopipmsusa.org/category-s/106.htm. Convention pre-registration will stay active and accessible via these web links until the 16th of June at a price of $55 for adults. After that registrations may be purchased on-site at the convention at a cost of $65 (for adults). While the planning committee is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation across the country and especially here in Texas we are continuing planning for the convention. As usual, please send any questions to me at director.nats2020@gmail.com.
  4. Greetings all, I realize that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm in a rather quick fashion the past few weeks and as a result we are seeing many, many cancellations of a wide variety of events…especially well known events, meets, conventions around the world as well as here in the US. Let me break my response down into fact and opinion. FACT: I have reached out to both the City of San Marcos and the IPMS/USA E-Board to let them know that the convention planning committee is keeping an eye on the COVID-19 outbreak and how it could potentially affect our convention slated for late July. The response I received from the city was that, as of the past week, they consider the threat to be low. Like us, they are keeping an eye on the situation and have, as of March 5th, assessed the threat to be low. Please check out the following link for more info from the City of San Marcos: https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/279/Coronavirus-and-Flu-Information-and-Prev As a result of all the information we have at the current time (March 12th) we are continuing planning for the 2020 convention. All team members are (generally) healthy and continue to nail down details for the upcoming show. In fact, we have been preparing the IPMS web store items (Pre-Registration, tours, T-shirts, trophy sponsorships, etc) to go live early next week. I, as convention chair, will continue to keep a line of communication open with the City of San Marcos on this very topic. OPINION: It is my personal opinion that a lot can happen in the coming weeks and months and at this point it is too early to make any changes. Yes, I fully recognize that airlines are not as forgiving when it comes to cancelling or changing flights but as of this time, I think it would be unwise to make any changes when the show is still 138 days away. From what I have seen in the media a lot of what is being cancelled are shows/events that are happening in the next several weeks. If these drastic measures are successful in the short term then COVID-19 will hopefully be in the rear-view-mirror come show-time. I, like many of you, are very, very excited about the 2020 convention this summer. I will continue, along with Team 2020, give it our very best effort to make it a success. If the planning committee has news regarding COVID-19 and its potential negative effects on the 2020 Convention I will post the info the main page of the convention website: www.nats2020.com. If you have specific questions regarding planning around COVID-19 please e-mail me at director.nats2020@gmail.com but be forewarned I do not have much more info than what is being reported via the various media outlets…and will most probably answer with the words I typed above. Best Regards, Len Pilhofer
  5. Thanks to Mark Persichetti and Team NCC for getting the 2020 National Contest Rules and Categories updated and ready for release. A few updates this year primarily in the Space/Sci Fi class. Check out the updates here: http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/categories.html http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/rules.html -Len Pilhofer
  6. Nats 2020 – January Update Greetings all…here with an update to what is now a quickly approaching National Convention. In 2019 we could all say “it’s not ‘til next year” but now that it is 2020 the convention will be here before we know it (well, at least for me, anyway). Here is a quick run-down of where we are in the planning: Hotels: The Embassy Suites continues to be fully booked for the duration of the convention – all of the IPMS room block is full. There are still rooms available at the overflow hotels: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Country Inn and Suites, and Candlewood Suites. I have started a wait-list for the Embassy Suites and as room reservations are cancelled by IPMS members this spring and summer I will work with the Embassy Suites to add wait-list members. I will follow-up with an e-mail to the member with instructions on how to verify your reservation with the Embassy Suites. If you desire to get on this wait-list please send me an e-mail: director.nats2020@gmail.com. Important: If you wish to cancel your reservation with Embassy Suites please e-mail me first! I will get you a cancellation confirmation number from our group room coordinator at the San Marcos Embassy Suites and it will keep the room from going “live” and able to go to the next person on the wait-list. Vendors: We are about 90% full with vendor table reservations. There are still some tables left. Contact our vendor coordinator – Craig Gregory – at vendor.nats2020@gmail.com if you still desire a table(s). A current floor plan of all vendor locations is available on our website along with a list of all attending vendors (so far). In all, we are going to have 324 vendor tables at the convention. Registration: We are in initial coordination with all the IPMS web store items for the 2020 convention, the most important of these is convention online registration. The team is shooting for March to have the convention registration open for purchase…along with all the related convention items (T-Shirts, tours, etc). We will still have walk-up registration available for those who are not registered by our deadline for online registration…most likely in June. We will post the actual deadline with the web store item when it goes live. Convention Schedule: We have posted our initial convention schedule to the website. It will run similar to past conventions but on the first day, Wednesday, 29 July, we plan on opening registration at 10 AM and the vendor hall at 1 PM. The contest hall – with associated contest registration – will also open at 10 AM. The 3-hour buffer, we feel, will help with the rush to get registered before the vendor halls open to the membership in general. Volunteers: While our target audience for volunteer positions is our local Texas clubs the positions will be open to anyone in IPMS across the country. There are links to our SignUpGenius pages off the main Nats 2020 home page (www.nats2020.com). While the team is still putting together a “thank you” for the volunteers we are leaning toward convention t-shirts for each of the volunteers. Details will be up on the website in the coming month or two. Flying into the convention? We recommend that you fly into Austin, Texas. We will have a shuttle service arranged to get members from Austin-Bergstrom Intl Airport to the embassy Suites and all four overflow hotels on the first two days of the convention: Wednesday and Thursday. Once I finalize the schedule with the shuttle company in the next month or two, I will post it on the Nats 2020 website. I will be communicating with the shuttle company that I envision the shuttle(s) running from noon to about 9 PM each day. Award sponsorships: Around the same time we have the web store items up on the IPMS web site we will have award sponsorship links live as well on the IPMS web store. We encourage all chapters across the country to sponsor a category. Links to these sponsorship items will be up on the Nats 2020 website soon. Contest Categories, Rules, and Forms: We are expecting the updated 2020 contest categories and rules in a few weeks from Mark and Eileen Persichetti. Once I have these, I will post to the 2020 website. Contest forms are already available for download in PDF and Word format from the 2020 website. We will have hard-copy forms on-hand at the contest registration desk at the convention. Theme Awards: The theme award for the 2020 National Convention will be The Six Flags Over Texas. Detail of the awards can be viewed here: http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/theme.html. Seminars: We have an initial, draft seminar schedule set-up and ready to go. Once we finalize the seminar schedule I will post to the website. Expect this sometime in the early spring. Tours: We are close to locking-in two tours: One for Thursday (July 30th) to The Alamo and San Antonio Riverwalk and one for Friday (July 31st) to Fredericksburg, Texas and the National Museum of the Pacific War (aka, the Nimitz Museum). We anticipate these tickets to go on sale with the rest of the convention items. If they sell out, we will look to add additional buses to each trip and then open up more tickets for sale. As usual, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at director.nats2020@gmail.com. In addition, on the staff page of the Nats 2020 website: http://www.nats2020.com/staff.html we have the e-mail of each of the department heads listed. If you have a specific question for one of those departments, I encourage you to reach out to them directly. The Nats Planning Machine will continue to chug along and gain steam as we approach the summer. ~Model On Len Pilhofer, IPMS #49932 Convention Chair, IPMS/USA National Convention 2020
  7. Greetings All, In putting together a convention decal sheet for next year’s event, we’re looking for your ideas for Texas-themed subjects. We’ve come up with several ideas for aircraft, but are still researching Texas subjects that might appeal to military vehicle, automotive, ships, space (other than the obvious NASA ties), Sci-Fi, etc. We don’t want to limit the decals to just aircraft subjects, so … put on your thinking caps and let us know what you want to see. Possible subjects might include law enforcement vehicles, naval vessels, race cars, something with a Texas–themed movie connection … use your imagination. Please send an email with your ideas to Rob Booth: rbooth@hctc.net. Please be sure to note how it fits the Texas theme, what specific kit(s) and scale would be applicable, and include some pictures for reference. Deadline for ideas is December 31, 2019 to allow sufficient time for design and production. Thanks, Len Pilhofer
  8. Greetings All, As expected, the Embassy Suites room block sold out very quickly…in about 4 hours to be exact. There are still rooms available at the overflow properties: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood Suites. I am having problems with the link Haven Management (owner of all 4 overflow properties) gave me for the Country Inns and Suites. I have a note into their room block manager to get back with me on these issues. So, for the time-being, I am not activating this link on the Nats 2020 webpage. I will activate it as soon as the issues are resolved. As a reminder, we will be running a shuttle service between the four overflow hotels and the Embassy Suites during the entire time of the convention. We envision it running between 8 AM and 8PM daily during all 4 days of the show. Other stops will include downtown San Marcos as well as the Premium and Tanger Outlet Malls just to the south of the Embassy Suites and San Marcos Conf Center. As we get closer to convention time next summer, I will put details on the website pertaining to the shuttle schedule and specific stop locations. Our group rooms coordinator that is managing the Embassy Suites room block for our convention will be sending me weekly reports between now and next July on the number of rooms available at the end of each week. More specifically, as those of you that have reservations and then need to cancel because of various reasons, I will see those rooms at the end of each week. For this reason, I am starting a stand-by list for those of you who could not get an Embassy Suites room but still wish to have one come convention time. If you wish to be on this list, please send me an e-mail (director.nats2020@gmail.com) with the subject: “Embassy Suites Stand-by List” and I will add you to my spreadsheet (name and e-mail). I will then send this spreadsheet to our group rooms coordinator at the Embassy Suites at the end of every week. If you are in need of cancelling your reservation at the Embassy Suites please send me an e-mail first (director.nats2020@gmail.com) before you cancel online and I will immediately pass your cancellation request to our group rooms coordinator at the Embassy Suites. She will in-turn send you an e-mail with your cancellation confirmation number and then take the next name off of the IPMS supplied spreadsheet and send that next person an e-mail with a reservation number as well as a phone number to call to link your credit card with the reservation number in order to hold the room. For those of you reading this e-mail/post I ask that you spread the word with other members in your chapters so that if they do have a room and are not on my distro or read the IPMS forum, they know to e-mail me if they wish to cancel. As usual, please send me any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to find you and answer. Best Regards, Len Pilhofer
  9. The Embassy Suites room block sold out in about 4 hours...and as of right now they are at 100% capacity for the convention dates (29 July - 1 Aug). This weekend I will be sending out more updates as to how we are going to manage filling rooms for those that wish to stay at the Embassy Suites as various members cancel their reservations during the upcoming year. I will post an update here on the forum - under a new topic/thread - as well as send an e-mail to all those that have signed-up for my e-mail announcements. Also keep in mind that there are still rooms at the overflow hotels...linked from the convention web page...and we will be running a shuttle between these hotels and the Embassy Suites during the entire time of the convention (Wed-Sat).
  10. I just checked to make sure it works...and, I was able to reserve a room no problem (did not follow through with it so I did not actually take one out of inventory). It is 3:14 PM here on my clock. I'm not sure how much more I can help from where I sit.
  11. Greetings All, First off, my apologies for the hiccup this past weekend on the room block opening. I was on the phone with our group room coordinator at the San Marcos Embassy Suites this morning and they are ready to release the room block to us tomorrow, Tues, 10 Sept, at 3PM central time (4PM Eastern, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific). Before the end of today (Monday, 9 Sept) I will update the website (http://www.nats2020.com/registration_pages/hotels.html) to reflect the link with instructions to the Embassy Suites room block. If you click on the link before 3PM central tomorrow and try to make a reservation it will say the hotel is “sold out”. This just means the room block is not open, not sold out. There are plenty of rooms available - very close to the original 260 in our block, minus some I have carved out for IPMS E-Board and other staff. I have heard a few were able to make reservations but I‘m not going to dwell on how…the point is a vast majority of the rooms are open. Also, I requested more rooms to be available at the convention rate on Tues, 28 July. Embassy Suites stated they can support this. I will be on the phone with our group room coordinator tomorrow right before 3PM (Central) to make sure this goes off without a hitch. The mistake I made this time around was arranging for the rooms to open on a weekend, and if there is a glitch no one is around to address it until Monday. My bad…I’ll remember this the next time I head-up a convention (sarcasm inserted here). You will see another e-mail/forum/FB post from me in a day or two on how we are going to handle the sold-out hotel (once our block is depleted) to ensure those that want a room can get one if someone cancels before June 27th. Too much detail for a single e-mail and I wish not to confuse the subjects. As always, send me any questions you may have (director.nats2020@gmail.com) and I’ll do my best to find an answer. -Len
  12. @mec011Matt...thanks for the heads-up. I have tested the 3 of the 4 links and they are working for me (I am still waiting on additional information on Country Inn and Suites). Did you refresh your browser? I built into the page a meta tag to automatically refresh but sometimes you need to refresh the page manually. In addition, when you click on the links it brings you to the corporate reservation sites for each of the hotels but when you start typing in information (like location) additional fields will open up with our convention specific code: "99801505" in the IATA block. If this number is there, then you are in the right area to make your reservation.
  13. Greetings all, Unfortunately, we have run into some bumps-in-the-road with our room block with Embassy Suites. Specifically, it was not opened today like they had assured me it would be. I have phone calls into the manager’s office with assurances that someone would call me back today (Saturday, 7 Sept). In the meantime, I am going to hold off posting the link to the convention-specific reservation site with our contracted rates until I get the situation resolved. I will send out another e-mail and forum post with a new date and time that the room block will be opened for all to make their reservations. I apologize for this inconvenience. This is my number one priority in the coming days to get this sorted out. -Len Pilhofer
  14. Greetings all, I hope most of you have decompressed after a most excellent convention in Chattanooga just a few short weeks ago. As promised here is the first update of many regarding next year’s national convention in San Marcos, TX. First, the question that I know is on many people’s minds is “when do rooms open up”? The IPMS-specific room reservation links - that give you the convention rate - will go live next Saturday, September 7th at the following time: 11:00AM Eastern 10:00AM Central 9:00AM Mountain 8:00AM Pacific The links will be on the convention website: www.nats2020.com/registration_pages/hotels.html. There will be links for the Embassy Suites plus all four overflow hotels. If you missed my presentation at the Chattanooga convention, I announced that we will be providing a shuttle bus to run (free of charge) on all four days of the convention from approximately 8AM to 8PM each day (we will work to move the last time back to later in the evening on Saturday to take into account the awards banquet). This shuttle will run a loop between the Embassy Suites, the four overflow hotels, downtown San Marcos, and the Premium & Tanger outlet malls. Right now, we’re anticipating it will stop at each location at least once an hour. Speaking of shuttles, we will also be providing a free shuttle service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (i.e., Austin, Texas) to the Embassy Suites and overflow hotels on the Wednesday and Thursday of the convention (July 29th and 30th). This shuttle will make a run once every 2-3 hours starting at noon and make the last run around 9PM. We will have a small welcoming team staffed by the IPMS Austin Scale Modelers Society to greet convention guests and direct them to the shuttle bus stop. If you make reservations with Embassy Suites there will be an option to select parking for $10 per night. Disregard this as parking is free; it is in the contract with IPMS/USA that guests will not be charged for parking. In-room Wi-Fi is also included in the price of the room as per the contract. Theme Awards: We are close to getting the wording down for the theme awards and I will post these to the web site soon (before the end of September). Theme awards will be listed under the “Contest” page of the 2020 Nationals website: www.nats2020.com/contest.html. The details on our various staff members is up on the website as well. For questions on specific areas of the show you may reach out to each of them: www.nats2020.com/staff.html. We will be diligently working on adding details to the website in the coming months once these details are ironed out. We expect show registration to begin in early 2020 to include banquet tickets, tour tickets and various seminars that will require tickets (only a few). The staff is also working on details of the t-shirts as well as the possibility of hats (still weighing this one). Of course, pins and decals are in the works and we will have final designs and products in the spring of 2020. Feel free to reach out to me at this address (director.nats2020@gmail.com) with any questions you might have. If I have an answer, I will most definitely share it. If I don’t, I will work to find the person that does. I will post updated details to the website as well as: Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/IPMSUSA-National-Convention-2020-451660115577640 Twitter: @2020Nats Please feel free to forward this e-mail to as many IPMS members that you know and that would appreciate this information to include any of your internal club e-mail distributions. I will continue to add names to my personal distro list for the 2020 show…which as of the time of this writing is over 350 members. Finally - I sent the above note to all of you that sent me your e-mail address. I got about a 10% bounce back from all the addresses I have collected. If you did not receive an e-mail check your spam filter and ensure it is set to receive e-mails from "director.nats2020@gmail.com". I will continue to add names and send out e-mails in the coming year as details are finalized. Best Regards, Len Pilhofer IPMS# 49932 Director, IPMS/USA National Convention 2020 www.nats2020.com
  15. @SwampFox We have a general idea of offering two tours: one to San Antonio to visit the Alamo and Riverwalk and another to Fredericksburg to visit the National Museum of the Pacific War and the birthplace of Admiral Chester Nimitz. However, first I need a tour coordinator. I am actively working this aspect of the show and hopefully soon we will have the tours details locked down and tickets up for sale on the IPMS web store by this winter, no later than next spring.
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