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Dave, You can spin numbers anyway you want. I can draw out your number out to 16 years and the east and Midwest get 4 more conventions while we don't get any. What I am saying is the E-Board doesn't always have to award the show to the best bid IF they can go west once in a while and not loose money. The society will be looking at a situation in 2018 where there hasn't been a show in the west since ours in 2010. * years is way to long and the Presidents message of "Just bid" doesn't cut it since the west has made very acceptable bids. The E-Board may not be bias towards the east and Midwest but they don't always have to follow the money. That's my point! if both make money why do they pick the one that will kill it and alienate the modelers in the west for the sake of $$$...

 

 

Jim

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We don't track ages or birthdates so there is no way of knowing a definitive answer. I am sure it is probably late 50's or so.

 

 

We in the hobby talk a lot about the aging of modelers and the impact on IPMS and the larger hobby, so it would be nice to have some data to watch any trends. Let's start collecting age as soon as possible.

 

Steve

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2001 Chicago may have been the first "out-of-rotation" Nationals. That was supposed to be a Western Zone year. We were approached in March 1999 as a previously unsuccessful bidder to pull a bid together because no Western Zone chapter had put in a bid by the December 1998 deadline. Other recent unsuccessful bidders were approached as well, but only we responded. In mid-April we were made aware that we might have a belated bid from the Seattle chapter as competition. At the bid meeting in 1999 Orlando, we were indeed the only two bidders. Ours was put together from scratch in just weeks. Seattle's bid was based on their successful 1992 National at their same venue.

 

Because we had been invited to submit a bid, we were assured that the Seattle bid would not automatically receive the nod just because it was the Western Zone's "turn" in the rotation cycle. We had a 50-50 chance. We received the nod at the 1999 National after a formal bid presentation.

 

I do not know if today we could use the same venue again because of the price issue. We, too, had another convention (bigger) added into the facility on top of ours, and we were not told about it until after we filled our room block and tried to add more. We went to neighboring hotels for the overflow room blocks after the primary would not provide any more rooms. We had trouble with the other group raiding our assigned seminar rooms for chairs for their meetings in other rooms.

 

Our banquet room had a side room that was isolated by a moving partition. When it was time for the awards presentation, we filled the side room with chairs and then opened the wall so the seated guests there could view the presentation screen along with the dinner guests. It worked quite well.

 

I drove 3 days from Chicago to reach Phoenix twice, 2 days to Orlando and Walt Disney World twice, 2 days to Virginia Beach twice, one day to Columbus twice, one day to St. Louis once, and one day to Omaha three times (twice for R5 Regionals). I'm like many older gents with a spouse along for the ride and to split the driving; I'm less comfortable with the long, long drives as the years go by. It's two days each way to Columbia and one day to Omaha. We shall see.

 

Ed

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I was only at the Nats for Friday and Saturday. Didn't have any issues getting into restaurants and the elevator situation only seemed to be a big issue right after model pickup on Saturday night. Every nationals I've been to that is always the case. I just relaxed in the bar area and watched the 31 girls :smiley2:

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We don't track ages or birthdates so there is no way of knowing a definitive answer. I am sure it is probably late 50's or so.

 

 

We in the hobby talk a lot about the aging of modelers and the impact on IPMS and the larger hobby, so it would be nice to have some data to watch any trends. Let's start collecting age as soon as possible.

 

Steve

 

 

We're getting into a sidebar here but the problem of getting the "youngsters" involved is at the local level.

All you have to do is read some of the sci-fi forums around the net. You read accounts time after time of 20-30 somethings "kids" coming to a local meeting with their Gundam, Ma.K, X-wing, etc... and having the "old" guys who are huddled around the 10th Bf-109 on the table look down their noses at the kid's model. The comment is something to the effect of "You'd be a good modeler of you built something real." This, of course, gets read by 100s of people on the forum who pass the story around, and soon IPMS is known as a club of old grouchy guys.

So it's incumbent upon the "old guys" at the local level to keep their mouths shut, and accept the kids model whether they think it's junk or not.

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The benefits of moving to a more centralized planning system:

 

1. Bidding can be handled further out avoiding potential conflicts with other conventions that are coming to the same town. The two year horizon is too short. As we look at 2018 and 2019 dates here in Atlanta, there aren't many good slots.

2. Things don't have to be re-learned every year when a new host takes over. If you pull from a national pool of experienced volunteers that know how to operate the systems, then can avoid a lot of pit falls (which are mostly small) that we tend to see every year.

3. Money from the conventions really don't need to be split between local and national. And then with all of the proceeds going to the national side, some of that money can be spent on improving show infrastructure. I know the Atlanta 2005 crew spent considerable amounts of money on local infrastructure that if it was existing, we would not have had to lay that out.

4. We never have to worry about a "no bid year."

5. We can try to look to a true west coast show by looking at spots in the west where there might not be enough local support, but the right kind of facility to host a show.

 

But honestly, after reviewing this, I'm wondering if we should be spending our efforts in other areas (which for me is a completely different set of windmills to tilt).

 

Regardless of how we proceed with planning the national, we need to be doing everything we can to maximize the show's impact on promoting the hobby and making it more of an event that folks are excited about attending.... And that's a whole different set of issues.

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Paul said: "Regardless of how we proceed with planning the national, we need to be doing everything we can to maximize the show's impact on promoting the hobby and making it more of an event that folks are excited about attending.... And that's a whole different set of issues."

 

And THAT is where ONE location for the Nats comes into play. Once you stop worrying about bids, and who's going to host, and where it will be held; you can start concentrating on the event itself.

 

I know some people lament that they'd miss traveling to different places, or that perhaps they'd be jaded with one location for the Nats after a few years because they'd have seen all of the local tourist attractions. But, is travel and local tourism really the reason to attend our Nats? To me, it's not! In fact, the wife gives me grief if I suggest that we make the Nats a part of our "vacation" because vacation is OUR time (not my modeling time!).

 

If, as Paul suggests, we start looking at ways to make the Nats something to be excited about attending, we don't need the lure of travel and local tourism to get people there. We could make seminars and speakers a larger part of the Nats. We could try to re-involve the manufacturers once more, but this time at a level that involved more of the attendees. I'm sure we could come up with many other bright ideas from our members in suggesting what would make THEM want to attend!

 

It might be tough to find ONE place that would work. Then again, as Jim Clark has pointed out, if the venue in Omaha is SO convenient and profitable (and it's certainly centrally located to the country), then maybe that's a place to try to start. Centralizing the Nats committee jobs and expanding the volunteer base to all attendees could solve the man power problems that come with one location. And as also suggested above, perhaps it's not the end of the world (or IPMSUSA) if every Nats isn't a record setter, or if it sort of cycles through some ups and downs while being a steady (if not spectacular) success.

 

No matter where we locate the convention, be it one place, or in a regular rotation; SOMEONE will be inconvenienced EVERY year. Perhaps it's time to put IPMSUSA's best interests ahead of ANY particular coast!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Some interesting ideas floating around here...

 

Back in my Boy Scout days in Ft. Lauderdale, there would be a huge Camporee held at Holiday Park, in downtown Ft. Lauderdale: The Scoutmasters' Camporee. The Scouters who organized it were known as the Scoutmasters' Camporee Committee (SCC), and it worked in a similar fashion to what Paul and James are suggesting:

 

There would be four Chiefs--the Chief and three Vice Chiefs. Obviously, the man who was in charge of the current Camporee was the Chief. Here's how he got to be Chief...

 

New Scouters were brought into the SCC as a 3rd Vice Chief in March of every year. For that year, they were basically there to watch and learn. They would also serve as the Vice Chief for that year's Fall Encampment. Once the Fall Encampment was over, they would be bumped up to 2nd Vice Chief and a suggestions for a new 3rd Vice Chief were nominated. This was usually late October/early November.

 

Now that he's a 2nd Vice Chief of the SCC, his main duty that year was to act as the Chief of the Fall Encampment. He had a secondary duty, that being second in charge of the Memorial Day activities--the SCC also organized a rather large, rather eventful slate of activities for Memorial Day that included a parade, a BBQ, and canoe races. At some point, it was expanded to cover the whole weekend--additional activities included a 10K bicycle race and a 5k run...

 

Once the year rolled around again, he'd become the 1st Vice Chief. His primary duties were the Memorial Day activities and acting as the Vice Chief for the big Camporee in February.

 

The following year was "his" Camporee. By the time a Scouter got to that point, he had been Vice Chief and Chief of the Fall Encampment, been the Vice Chief and Chief of the Memorial Day program, and had served as Vice Chief for the previous Camporee--in effect, he climbed the ladder and learned all the positions of influence on the District's major outdoor events over the previous three years. Once "his" Camporee was over, he became a Member Emeritus of the SCC and helped to guide later Scouters in their various duties as Vice Chiefs and Chiefs.

 

You had to be nominated to be able to serve. Scouters actually worked hard to be recognized and nominated to the SCC, and once they were confirmed as a 3rd Vice Chief, they had their work cut out for them for the next four years. My father did it, and he enjoyed the process. Of course, my father enjoyed Scouting almost as much--or more--than my brother and I did...

 

If we could gear these IPMS/USA National Convention Steering Committes along similar lines, we may have something...

 

Ralph

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And THAT is where ONE location for the Nats comes into play. Once you stop worrying about bids, and who's going to host, and where it will be held; you can start concentrating on the event itself.

 

How does that come from the single location? Right now nothing is precluding the e-board from promoting the Nats as much as possible, after all they are not involved in the organization of the event, it is taken care of by a local club, yet nothing gets done. If we went to a single location all of the potential volunteers will be busy on the event and there will still be no one to do the promotion of the event.

 

I know some people lament that they'd miss traveling to different places, or that perhaps they'd be jaded with one location for the Nats after a few years because they'd have seen all of the local tourist attractions. But, is travel and local tourism really the reason to attend our Nats? To me, it's not! In fact, the wife gives me grief if I suggest that we make the Nats a part of our "vacation" because vacation is OUR time (not my modeling time!).

 

To you it isn't, to me it is. I have to spend a lot of money coming from the West coast to the event, so excuse me if I want to see more than just the model room (vendor room is not a draw to me at all since my modeling tastes are so esoteric that there is rarely anything interesting for me there).

 

It might be tough to find ONE place that would work. Then again, as Jim Clark has pointed out, if the venue in Omaha is SO convenient and profitable (and it's certainly centrally located to the country), then maybe that's a place to try to start. Centralizing the Nats committee jobs and expanding the volunteer base to all attendees could solve the man power problems that come with one location. And as also suggested above, perhaps it's not the end of the world (or IPMSUSA) if every Nats isn't a record setter, or if it sort of cycles through some ups and downs while being a steady (if not spectacular) success.

 

If Omaha it is, then I'll definitely stop going. It's an interesting place once or twice, but more than that - no thank you. Besides it's very inconvenient to fly to - there are no direct flights there from either coast. This adds time and money to travel and makes it less attractive to come.

 

No matter where we locate the convention, be it one place, or in a regular rotation; SOMEONE will be inconvenienced EVERY year. Perhaps it's time to put IPMSUSA's best interests ahead of ANY particular coast!

 

Funny how you continue to ignore the fact that many people just can't afford the nationals just for the sake of the IPMS USA. I don't know the statistics but i looks like every year there are the same 30% of the people who fly in from everywhere, and the rest of the people are the ones within the driving distance of the convention. They are not putting the interests of the coast ahead of the IPMS USA, they simply cannot fly for whatever reason (be it money, health or the size of their models). If we pick one location the people who are in that 70% and are not withing driving distance will be forever deprived of the Nationals experience.

 

Vladimir

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Good points Vlad but as it is now ( and you know this living on the west coast) how many members will still be waiting for a Nats by 2018 that live where we do? The rotation kept the west relevant, now granted if no one bid from the west then the west had no room to complain. But as it is now I don't believe we will see one unless we're (The west) the only ones bidding on one.

Is there a perfect answer? probably not but the society needs to figure out what they want and then go down that road. Don't say you're for the members and then do something else alienating a chuck of the membership for money. If it is about money then Omaha has provided a great venue to pursue that option. If you want to spread it out then see if we can get a deal with the Embassy suits and see how many venues like the have in Loveland and Omaha are around the country and we then plant ourselves there??? That way you spread it and make a ton of money. Provided they will deal with us. But really lets look at it. Those two venues are out in the middle of no where, that's why we got the deals we did. Those places are starving for business and we provided it.

But if I had to look into a crystal ball and venture a guess then I would say nothing will change. Once we miss a convention then maybe something will change but until our hand of forced nothing will happen. I do not bet but I would on that ;-)

 

Jim

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On the west - Jim continues to make this "for the sake of $$$." Fact is it costs more to hold a convention out there. So it's not just about money or more profit or anything like that it's about cost. If you compare a nominal western bid with a nominal midwestern bid, it's just going to be apples and oranges. It's literally going to take a year where you have all western chapters bidding on the show in order to have a western bid look favorable. And right or wrong, if you want the most members to get to the show you hold it somewhere central more often than not. That's not to say you have to do it all the time, but that does have to be a consideration when comparing bids. I'm sure there are statistics that could be done to back that up. Just plot the members on a map and then draw driving circles around different locations and you could see what percentage of the membership is covered. It's just pure, unbiased mathematics.

 

Does it suck, for the west? Sure it does! As has been said, the rotation at least kept the west somewhat relevant. But then quickly we started to see spots in the three-year cycle where it wasn't working, starting with Chicago back in 2001...

 

The idea of putting the show in a centralized location and leaving it there probably just doesn't work. I believe the society would adapt, but the reality is, as the graphic showed a few pages back, that the country is just too big for it to really work - until you change attitudes about getting to the national convention.

 

On centralized planning - I think this is something that should be at least closely reviewed. Where can we save? Where can we spend money to improve show infrastructure? Could we afford some degree of professional planning and operations if we weren't splitting the money between the national office and the local chapters? Lots of ways to structure the leadership, and the work gets lighter and lighter as it moves forward, especially if you're willing to spend a little bit to pay for the professional planning.

 

Now - and most importantly - regardless of all this squabbling about who runs the show or where it's held, we do need to do everything we can to improve how attractive the national model show is. This is something that should be easily agreed to by everyone. We can improve the seminars, we can improve vendors, but most importantly we need to reach out to more modelers. Right now, and I'll stand behind this, IPMS is there to serve its own members and has lost track of the bigger picture of modeling. the IPMS convention is there to serve long time members and does little to sell itself to new members or unaffiliated modelers.

 

Note, this isn't about attracting more kids to the hobby, this is about attracting more modelers to our show, and that IS an area where we can have a very positive impact without any concern toward where the show is or who is running the show.

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Oh and as far as 2018 (and maybe 2019 as well) is concerned, I'm thinking you're going to see some very strong bids from non-western parts of the country.

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And right or wrong, if you want the most members to get to the show you hold it somewhere central more often than not. That's not to say you have to do it all the time, but that does have to be a consideration when comparing bids. I'm sure there are statistics that could be done to back that up. Just plot the members on a map and then draw driving circles around different locations and you could see what percentage of the membership is covered. It's just pure, unbiased mathematics.

 

 

 

Paul, those of us who live in the west believe that this is nothing less than a myth. If you look at southern California, you have the second largest and seventeenth largest metropolitan populations in the United states within an hour of each other. Draw your driving circles and you throw in a lot of other large population centers with about 20 million people. If you throw together Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC you only get about 16 million. Omaha doesn't even get close to that, so someone smarter than I needs to do your "unbiased mathematics" and see what actually works but the east coast population myth is just that. Frankly, until we get a plot of member density, you will never know for sure how that works.

 

As to the cost, if you stay out of tourist destinations the costs are not likely to be any worse east coast or west if you go to comparable sites. You can do and Anaheim/Orlando once in a while and then an Omaha/Sacramento for the most part, but completely ignoring the west coast on any basis is going to cause "local" IPMS members some real heart burn.

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Not suggesting ignoring at all. And yes, you'll get superb attendance from California for a California show. That eight to ten hour circle will get almost everyone up and down the coast. However, as soon as you go east, that's where those driving circles fail.

 

Again, I'm not advocating against the west, just pointing out realities. And no, Omaha isn't the greatest example of what I'm talking about. But, if you're comparing Indianapolis, Dayton, Columbus or even Atlanta, that story changes quite a bit.

 

And avoiding tourist destinations might help a bit. But I'd have to compare real numbers to know. Sacramento might work. But going back to the point of comparison between Phoenix and Omaha, it was all about cost, Phoenix is just a more costly destination, and based on business travel, I believe most of those western destinations would suffer from the same cost issues.

 

All that said, I was trying to move beyond that discussion - if you read my post above, it was more about no longer arguing about the "where" or the "who" of the national convention, but rather about improving the attraction.

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Paul, your comments about making the convention more appealing to unaffiliated modelers...even the general public that simply finds modelbuilding interesting but not necessarily for them...brings up a question that I haven't seen addressed. Have there ever been any conventions that focused on publicizing the convention...and even the ipms/usa itself...on the general media? I'm talking local newspaper(s) and television news. Keep in mind that local tv news...whether 6:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m...are always looking for human interest stories as fillers. Find a local IPMS member who will be attending the convention and promote him (or her) to the news station as a potential story subject. That way you can tie in both the Convention and the IPMS.

 

Then there's radio ads on local talk shows...or even music stations. Advertising cost is generally very low. And keep in mind that model railroad clubs will frequently create a modular train layout that can be transported and set up at a local mall for the Christmas season. Believe it or not, they charge admission, with some of the proceeds going to a charity of their choice. IPMS could do something similar to promote the convention.

 

Richard

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Paul, you stated> Now - and most importantly - regardless of all this squabbling about who runs the show or where it's held, we do need to do everything we can to improve how attractive the national model show is. This is something that should be easily agreed to by everyone. We can improve the seminars, we can improve vendors, but most importantly we need to reach out to more modelers. Right now, and I'll stand behind this, IPMS is there to serve its own members and has lost track of the bigger picture of modeling. the IPMS convention is there to serve long time members and does little to sell itself to new members or unaffiliated modelers.

 

Well here's an idea, have the show out west once in awhile. Now that you have come out and said Atl is bidding or thinking about bidding for 18 or 19 then why should anyone out west bother putting in the work to bid when all it will happen is to get rejected once again. The whole "Just the way it is" rational is Ticking a lot of western modelers off. We certainly don't see the attitude of IPMS as being inclusionary. And then questions get asked like yours as how to be inclusionary, REALLY?

 

Paul, you are a good friend and I do agree with a lot of what you say BUT this one baffles me. If you want to truly reach out to modelers then reach out and come west. Even if IPMS has to take a hit from a projected profit of 20K down to 7K. As it Is now we're only good enough if no one from the east bids and they (IPMS) is forced to pick a site out here as they have no other choice.

 

Who knows it may be time for IPMS/(Western USA)... And not as a chapter of IPMS/USA but more like an independent society like IPMS UK.

 

Jim

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On the west - Jim continues to make this "for the sake of $$$." Fact is it costs more to hold a convention out there. So it's not just about money or more profit or anything like that it's about cost. If you compare a nominal western bid with a nominal midwestern bid, it's just going to be apples and oranges. It's literally going to take a year where you have all western chapters bidding on the show in order to have a western bid look favorable. And right or wrong, if you want the most members to get to the show you hold it somewhere central more often than not. That's not to say you have to do it all the time, but that does have to be a consideration when comparing bids. I'm sure there are statistics that could be done to back that up. Just plot the members on a map and then draw driving circles around different locations and you could see what percentage of the membership is covered. It's just pure, unbiased mathematics.

 

 

Well, isn't it great to see how the rest of the IPMS views us on the west coast... I'm starting to think that IPMS doesn't deserve my support at all...

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I am curious, was there an official "rule" that the convention site will be rotated, and that rule has now, officially, been changed?? I thought that the rule, (whether official or just a fairness convention) applied as long as a club from the next area, submitted a bid within the required parameters (including bid submission schedule). If there was no bid "on the horizon" at the appropriate time, then the bidding was thrown open to all areas equally.

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Yes for years there was a constitutional requirement that bids had to be rotated through the three arbitrary regions of the US from East--Central--West. In a bid year for a East show for example, if no clubs in the East provided an intent to bid by January 1, then the bids were opened to all areas of the country to assure we had a convention in some location even if it was not the intended target region. There was also a requirement the convention needed to be between July to the end of August--so with that requirement gone it is now possible a bidder could propose a Spring Break or even Christmas convention--but the change has never been broached and we continue to have bids come in for late July to early August dates. Because that rotation was breaking down more times than it was working and at least 50% of the time the bidding was being opened to the entire country, in 2011, a constitutional amendment passed that did away with the rotation requirement and from year to year the convention can now be anywhere at any time with no rotation plan and no date range requirements.

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Thank you, Larry. I probably voted "For" the change without too much thought and have since, cast it from my memory. With hard feelings from west coasters, I wonder if it was such a good idea. Perhaps consideration should be given for the absent region to have a second chance for priority and if they miss that, then priority moves on. Priority would not excuse late bids, of course. If late, then competition follows. If lateness becomes habitual and a burden to the society, then perhaps the bidding schedule should be altered so that there would not be any undue burden to the society. I have to agree with west coasters, that they will probably never be able to compete evenly again with the present rules, in fact, probably no one will be able to compete with Omaha.

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While the constitutional requirement to rotate the bidding for the Nats is gone, there is NO reason that any Eboard cannot voluntarily attempt to follow a rotational bid schedule. All they need to do is publicly (and hopefully aggressively) ask for and pursue bids from the desired region up to a certain cutoff date. if that region doesn't produce a serious (as in written) bid proposal by the cutoff date, then they throw it open to the rest of the country.

 

This is, in essence, a return to the old system and as such carries with it the same problems that led to its demise: a lack of bids from the desired regions- leading to short notice bids from others. However, they are also free to do this or skip it from year to year, since it's not required by the by-laws, according to how well it's working.

 

However, we've also improved some things such as IPMSUSA fully funding the Nats, a regular registration system, and the awards program since then. And, I think the new Eboard will seriously look at "centralizing" more of the Nats committee jobs. All of this makes shorter notice bids less of a problem. Add to that the fact that we now have no less than 3-4 semi-regular hosts over the last 10-20yrs (VA beach area, Columbus, and (yes) Phoenix) that the Eboard can turn to in a crunch.

 

Centralizing more Nats jobs and (perhaps) a willingness to "help" (subsidize?) certain areas will make it more possible for more clubs to make bids, making it more likely a desired region can bid for the Nats. I'm not sure that IPMSUSA can actually make this work ALL of the time, but they need to be seen TRYING to make it work in order to keep from alienating a segment of the membership.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Gil> Add to that the fact that we now have no less than 3-4 semi-regular hosts over the last 10-20yrs (VA beach area, Columbus, and (yes) Phoenix) that the Eboard can turn to in a crunch.

 

 

AAAAA you may want to re-think at least one of those sites. I know Va Beach/Hampton were/are mighty ticked off. I can say I'm not real thrilled at the moment either , especially if we here in Phoenix are only seen as "good enough in a pinch"..... They turned to us this year and we all see what happened.

 

Just sayin

Jim

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