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Gary and Jim are both mostly correct. But if it was personal risk only, it is a relatively simple ethical calculus. But when you consider the chance of also infecting others,  (at the Convention or subsequently at home) you are in a sense asking them to take on the possible health consequences of a decision they were not involved in making. Each of us, when we risk exposure, are not just choosing for ourselves, but for everyone with whom we come in contact. And, to  the observation:  ‘But that means we need to avoid ANY non-essential contact and practice social distancing until there is a vaccine’ I would reply: ‘ Well, Yeah!’ 

This resilient organization has weathered at least one financial disaster ( when Treasurer absconded with the treasury many years ago). I have no doubt we will survive this, as well, if we want IPMS to go on. I know I do. 

Nick

 

 

 

 

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Nick, perhaps you can answer a medical  question about this virus. In the absence of a workable vaccine which does not appear near it seems the only way for a population to deal with this thing is by physical distancing or the hope(?) that a "herd immunity" will develop which certainly will take time and a human cost. 

I know this a tad off topic but I am curious, Is this assessment correct?

Hoping to be able to see you in San Marcos...

Stay safe,

Pat D

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I am no virologist. (Remember that surgeons such as myself are widely considered to be, in fact, stupid.) 

Having made this disclaimer, based on my understanding of all that has been said and what I have been taught in college and med school, I would say you have summed it up neatly and correctly, Pat. 

Best Regards, Nick

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1 hour ago, Nick Filippone said:

I am no virologist. (Remember that surgeons such as myself are widely considered to be, in fact, stupid.) 

Having made this disclaimer, based on my understanding of all that has been said and what I have been taught in college and med school, I would say you have summed it up neatly and correctly, Pat. 

Best Regards, Nick

Hi Guys,

 

I am not a Doctor but I trust them with my life every time I have surgery to put my broken body back together, 28 to be exact .   I had three more procedures scheduled for this year, two carpel tunnel and a new left shoulder.   All of the doctors involved in these procedures, several who are personal friends, have told me to not plan on having any of these done until there is a vaccination or other medical development to affectively deal with the virus presents itself.    And of course as friends they tell me to suck it up and deal with it!!  LOL

 

Be Safe,

Gary

 

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I saw a description of pandemic relief as a three legged stool.  Leg one is self quarinitine and social distancing to reduce spread.  Leg two was an effective treatment after someone developes it.  Leg three of the stool is a vacine to prevent people from getting it.  Right now we only have one leg(distancing) and the hint of a second leg(treatments that are showing promise but aren't a sure thing). It is very difficult to stand on such a stool with confidance.  I have had three heart procudures since March(the last one in a covid restricted hospital) and much as I would like to attend(had my reservations already) I am not going to sit on that stool this year.  Hope to see you all in Vegas

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Just now, PeteJ said:

I saw a description of pandemic relief as a three legged stool.  Leg one is self quarinitine and social distancing to reduce spread.  Leg two was an effective treatment after someone developes it.  Leg three of the stool is a vacine to prevent people from getting it.  Right now we only have one leg(distancing) and the hint of a second leg(treatments that are showing promise but aren't a sure thing). It is very difficult to stand on such a stool with confidance.  I have had three heart procudures since March(the last one in a covid restricted hospital) and much as I would like to attend(had my reservations already) I am not going to sit on that stool this year.  Hope to see you all in Vegas

Oh, and by the way is anyone interested in picking up my reservation at the Embassy Suites?

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On 5/11/2020 at 1:25 PM, JClark said:

Gary if I may answer your points.

   1) We can't postpone/cancel UNLESS you want to organization to eat a 100k bill. We (IPMS) would have to pay the convention center, decorators (IE Tables) not to mention AV costs , food requirements by backing out of the contract that was signed 2 years ago . Plus add in awards that are already manufactured WITH DATES ON THEM.  

  2) No one here or in IPMS would be taking responsibility for anyone attending, that is on the individual attending. It is your choice to go or not. We all have taken a chance every year by attending and catching anything that may be out there. We do not live in a sterile world. So no one is playing "Fast and Loose". Living is a medical risk until death happens.

 3) Agreed it is not required to attend , so again you have the freedom of choice to come or not. 

What I do take exception to is this. Your assumption that anyone who decides to go if the convention is held in somehow insane because they may not agree with your opinion. We all take calculated Risks in life. I drove 5k miles last year to attend, and I would say the odds of being involved in an accident were greater than the odds of catching something and dying of it this year. 

Do I want the convention canceled? Well at the end of the day my or anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter. What matters are contracts and how local governments decide to do business which directly affects those contracts.

 

Jim

Jim,

I have waited to respond until I had a free few minutes, as you are obviously mad and I wanted to try an understand why.

First this is a friendly conversation and no need to get ugly.   Second you need to read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.  If you don't like it address it, but be better than accusing me of writing something I did not about character.

What does concern me is a 6 figure contact being signed with no legal consultation, and the fact that no contract insurance was purchased.   I would be willing to bet though, that if the committee did sat down for a meaningful discussion with the facility, that a deal could be worked out for rescheduling the event until 2023 with minimal if any additional costs, given the current world environment.   Cancelling the event completely, or going forward with a very small event that looses money are not in either parties best interests.

I guess I would feel better if NATS Committee had a conversation to explore possible rescheduling until 2023 vs acting like we have no way out.   So far all we have been told is that the convention center has been receptive to re-negotiation if there is a problem.   I say that such a problem is here right now.   

You all be safe<

Gary

 

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We in Las Vegas are all saddened by the recent turn of events and how it may impact our IPMS brothers and sisters in San Marcos.  Naturally, the National Convention Committee and the boys in San Marcos can count on our support in every possible.  Let’s continue to hope that the situation improves in the next few weeks resulting in the 20’ Nats going off without a hitch. 

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Gary

           Nope not mad at all. I just take issues with a few of your points that's all. I'm sorry if you think I came across as ugly but again i was just making my points. I'll copy and paste your comments and answer them from the 1st post, then the second. 

Your first post> 

A few points and I will be quick.  My comments are as a Modeler, IPMS Member, and a Vendor.   

  1. Postpone the convention until 2023.   Getting the already bought items like shirts, awards, etc for this years convention in 2023 would be a unique way to remember this time.   So, all of it can be used and we all will have a great story to tell. 
  2. Who here wants to take responsibility for someone healthy coming to the convention, getting the bug and either having the virus themselves or worse spreading it when they get home.   Sure, some of you want to play fast and loose with it but until there is a therapy and/or a vaccine, it is a medical risk for everyone.  
  3. In reality, while we all love to come to the NATS for the various reasons, it is not required to attend...it is for enjoyment.  Yes there are many risky enjoyments that Many of us participate in.   None of us will go flying without a preflight and none of us would go skydiving without checking the gear.   If someone, with expertise told you there may be a hidden problem somewhere with the Plane or the chute rig, would you chance it??   No, no sane individual would.  

My wife and I are not in any of the risk categories for COVID-19, but our Doctors, including our Daughter who is a US Navy Doctor, say unnecessary exposure to others is to be avoided....period.   To do otherwise is to take unnecessary risk.......and its is with your life people!

 

     Ok, Point one, What will people recieve? T-shirts already bought? Ok fair enough but you can't hand out already purchased and constructed awards. A decal sheet that may or may not have been produced? as well as programs that now would be useless. Also how would you distribute them? mailing would cost money and I would venture a bet that most people haven't registered for the convention yet and they would be the only ones to fairly receive them so now in essence you have maybe 700 to 1000 registration packs with how many registrants right now? and how many would register given the fact it may still be cancelled? So in reality there are not any "already bought items" save for whatever items the planning committee is selling.

           Point two, Not being mean here just reality, no one is ultimately responsible except for themselves. If you have a fear of contracting something then stay home, or if you fall into one of the associated groups that need to stay home then by all means stay home and do what is right for you. But what may be right for you isn't necessarily right for everyone. So that's when i take exception to your "Fast and Loose" comment. There is currently a vaccine for the flu and how many die of the flu every year? As I said we don't live in a sterile world, we all take chances.

          Point three, Experts can't agree on this let alone try to fix it as they have done with the flu, yes the flu that kills how many each year? And I agreed with you with on this being a required event, it's not. But my point is everyone is not in the same boat. So when you say Someone with expertise says not to go and I may feel otherwise then, (I'm not sane), or (playing fast and loose) And then finally (And it is with your life people) Those are inflammatory comments with the implication that those who disagree are all the things you just called them.

 

Your second post>

I have waited to respond until I had a free few minutes, as you are obviously mad and I wanted to try an understand why.

First this is a friendly conversation and no need to get ugly.   Second you need to read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.  If you don't like it address it, but be better than accusing me of writing something I did not about character.

What does concern me is a 6 figure contact being signed with no legal consultation, and the fact that no contract insurance was purchased.   I would be willing to bet though, that if the committee did sat down for a meaningful discussion with the facility, that a deal could be worked out for rescheduling the event until 2023 with minimal if any additional costs, given the current world environment.   Cancelling the event completely, or going forward with a very small event that looses money are not in either parties best interests.

I guess I would feel better if NATS Committee had a conversation to explore possible rescheduling until 2023 vs acting like we have no way out.   So far all we have been told is that the convention center has been receptive to re-negotiation if there is a problem.   I say that such a problem is here right now.   

 

   

       You're correct it's supposed to be friendly conversation but I think I have already addressed the ugliness with your comments about being insane, playing fast and loose, and it is your life people comments. 

     A 6 figure contract was signed 2 years ago without any thought to a pandemic occurring . I would venture that they probably didn't take into account a possible meteor strike either. Contract insurance, good question, i have no idea if it was bought but would take a guess that if purchased the insurance company would balk as they have with numerous travel insurance plans have balked at people trying to get out of and get money back for lost trips. They weren't covered because they were "Acts of god". So I'm not real confident on how insurance would help in this case. Now betting on the venue rebooking is a BIG assumption and we all know about assumptions. Not saying it couldn't be done or shouldn't tried but don't put all your eggs in that basket because the venue like everyone else needs to recoup lost revenue for the past two months. Letting IPMS off the hook when the city is open for business would be something I don't see happening. I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last.

   The planning staff may be acting like there is no way out because there is no way out. The convention committee are the boots on the ground there and know the in's and out's of these issues better than any of us. You may say there is a problem now but the venue may not see a problem now especially as the city is opening for business . That's why I'm very sceptical of getting out of or re-negotiating a contract.

 

Jim

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On 4/27/2020 at 12:43 AM, SkyKing said:

Is there any chance it could simply be postponed until next year? This what the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society have done. Their 2020 convention, which was to have been held in Albuquerque in late June, will now be held there next year.

I note too, that IPMS North Central Texas has cancelled ScaleFest, which was to have been June 6.

The 2020 Astronomical League Convention (ALCON) was also to be held in Albuquerque this summer.  It has been moved to 2021. 

But that was relatively easy.  First, there had been no bidder for a 2021 convention, so the Astronomical League was very happy to fill that gap.  Second, the Embassy Suites was cooperative, especially in light of the force majeure clause in the contract. Our exposure was $76K, but the exposure was the League's, not the local club's. And third, our financial analysis indicated that we would loose our shirt, pants, and cowboy hats if we pressed on.  Registrations had simply stopped; vendors refused to commit, and speakers were bailing out.

HST, I was the Registrar for ALCON, but have bowed out for 2021.  Although about 80% of our registration team's preparatory work had been done, I wasn't willing to add another year to the already year and a half's work (hundreds of hours) which had blown my 2020 summer to shreds. 

Our club bailed out over two months ago; and it has become clear that we  made the correct decision.

Edited by Highlander
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First, I want to make it very clear that I sympathize with the plight of IPMS, and in particular with the host group.  Further, I am not in a position to offer an informed opinion about the IPMS 2020 convention without seeing the actual contract with the venue.

However, I do have an oversight position with a couple of other international conventions.  For one of them, our host hotel is also a Hilton-brand property (as is the San Marcos Embassy Suite), albeit in another town.   Here is the key clause for my group's contract:

FORCE MAJEURE: Should events beyond the control of the Hotel/Venue or Group, such as acts of God, war, strike, civil disorder, curtailment or interruption of transportation facilities, threats or acts of terrorism or similar acts, State Department travel advisory, civil disturbance, or any other emergency of a comparable nature beyond the parties‟ control, making it impossible, illegal or which materially affects a party‟s ability to perform its obligations under this Agreement as they relate to the Meeting, such party may cancel the Agreement without liability upon written notice to the other party. In the event Group decides to hold its Meeting despite such circumstances, the Hotel shall waive any fees related to a reduced-sized Meeting (including any room and food and beverage attrition fees and any function space rental fees) and shall offer the Group‟s guests any lower room rate offered to guests during the contracted dates.

Is it safe to assume that it has been confirmed that there is no similar clause in the San Marcos contract?

On other fronts, is the date for the 2022 IPMS convention known?

Respectfully,

David Doyle

Edited by ddoyle

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David

             To answer your last question, yes. While I don't know them off hand the dates for 2021 and 2022 are part of the contracts that Las Vegas and Omaha signed.  Now to the "Force Majeure". I'm not a lawyer "Thank god" but the way I read that clause it wouldn't apply to our convention even If it's in the contract. While IPMS may not fulfill the numbers required due to various reasons I doubt the center will see it that way. Since they are open for business (UNLESS) there is a major re-occurance of the virus and everything closes back up. Then IPMS may have an argument. For me that's the key, the highlighted area, while it applies, it's hard to claim that when everything is open. ***BUT*** reading more into it if something like that is in the contract then it may be possible since IPMS may be affected Materially to perform giving the circumstances. It's just what both parties can agree to. Again if it's in the contract. It may come down to IPMS claiming something like what is written and the hotel saying  tough , we're open and it's not our problem your membership didn't show up. A sticky wicket for sure. But I, Like you can only speculate at this point.

 

Jim

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Maybe their could be a virtual convention if worse came to worse.  Loose money on the vendors and maybe other things, but you could still charge the reg fees, etc. 

 

I know. That’s a stupid idea

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Dave Doyle, thanks for the quote on your force majeure clause.  In general,  force majeure applies if forces or events beyond the control of one or both parties cause one or both parties to be unable to fullfill their contractual obligation.  One line of logic is that, if the Embassy Suites is open and local regulations permit the Embassy Suites full exercise of their contractual obligations, then IPMS would have to show that it is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations.  That is doubtful.  But it depends upon the specific wording of the clause and whether IPMS wants to hire lawyers.  It also depends upon the goodwill of the ES, which, as related here, does not seem to exist.  Our ES was willing to work with us and we have been impressed with their goodwill.

Having worked the budget for our convention for almost two years, I am intimately familiar with our spending plan.  Due to cash flow, we delayed spending until the last moment (with a buffer for various delays and catastrophies).  Even though we had a good chunk of money from the Astronomical League, we did not project sufficient cash to purchase shirts, programs, bags, and other paraphernalia until about five weeks before the convention.  It appears that the Nats cash flow allowed significant purchases further out than did ours.

We had signed our contract with the ES about sixteen months before our convention.  But, when the Wuhan appeared on the scene, we addressed the ramifications beginning in January and pulled the plug on our convention in mid-February.  That limited both our exposure and freed the ES to book other events in July, if warranted.

Having been there, I emphatically sympathize with San Marcos.  They seem to be pinned and have to choose between the lesser of two financial and scheduling evils.

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Hi Jim,

Nor am I an attorney.  That said, in the case of my event, we typically have a significant international attendance.  As that is not possible presently, that "...materially affects a party's ability to perform..."  I'd further plea that given the social distancing standards established by CDC, coupled with the high percentage of "high risk" membership of the group, that further affects an ability to perform.

That said, all this is immaterial, since we've not seen the IPMS contract, and we aren't lawyers - but hopefully someone has looked into this area.

PS: I'd still REALLY like to know the dates for the coming Omaha  convention.

Best,

David

www.DavidDoyleBooks.com

Edited by ddoyle

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And just today it was revealed that a coronavirus breakout had been discovered at the Amazon warehouse/fulfillment center in San Marcos.

https://www.kxan.com/news/local/hays/multiple-employees-at-amazon-warehouse-in-san-marcos-test-positive-for-covid-19/

Edited by SkyKing

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On 5/19/2020 at 11:02 PM, ddoyle said:

FORCE MAJEURE: Should events beyond the control of the Hotel/Venue or Group, such as acts of God, war, strike, civil disorder, curtailment or interruption of transportation facilities, threats or acts of terrorism or similar acts, State Department travel advisory, civil disturbance, or any other emergency of a comparable nature beyond the parties‟ control, making it impossible, illegal or which materially affects a party‟s ability to perform its obligations under this Agreement as they relate to the Meeting, such party may cancel the Agreement without liability upon written notice to the other party. In the event Group decides to hold its Meeting despite such circumstances, the Hotel shall waive any fees related to a reduced-sized Meeting (including any room and food and beverage attrition fees and any function space rental fees) and shall offer the Group‟s guests any lower room rate offered to guests during the contracted dates.

Acts of God (Pandemic) - check (unless it is proven that the Chinese manipulated the virus, then it becomes an act of war, so check anyways)

civil disorder - check

curtailment or interruption of transportation facilities - check

State Department travel advisory - check (for foreign attendees, anyway)

Any other emergency of a comparable nature beyond the parties‟ control - check

 

At one point, I believe, the EB required event insurance. If not, the only way to cancel this would be if the facility closes.

Either way, it should certainly be required in the future.

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I have not decided if I will attend.  My immediate concern is lack of detail on the measures that will be taken and the actions that will be required to make the Nats "safer".  To date, all I've seen is that the San Marcos requirements will be followed.

At last check, San Marcos allows 50% capacity for events and facilities.  How will that work at a Nats?

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I registered last night for the Nats. Short of it being cancelled, I plan on attending. This WILL be a totally different feel due to whatever restrictions are still in place, as well as people taking personal actions to keep themselves safe if they feel the need. The vendors area will be smaller, but I'm betting I can still drop more cash than I budgeted....there will be fewer models overall, but I'm betting there will be the same high quality-awe inspiring work for what does make it....and less people overall....but then the banquet tables won't be "elbow-to-elbow" and the rush to find a table won't be as bad! I'm betting it'll still be lots of fun for those of us who can make it!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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On 5/21/2020 at 10:18 PM, ddoyle said:

PS: I'd still REALLY like to know the dates for the coming Omaha  convention.

 

Dave, 20-23 July 2022 per the updated bid presentation I happen to have

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I agree with Gil. I think our demographic being what it is (old guyz) that this may be the smallest nationals in a few decades... too many people just won't feel safe going.

I'll go, and will take whatever precautions we are instructed to take.

I hope the venue/hosts/USA will have plenty of masks & hand sanitizer to hand out, as there will be those who don't think about and will be required to have one to get in.

 

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Just a short precaution, if you are going to the 'Nats be careful about using hand sanitizer and handling  your models. Many of the alcohol / chemical  based hand sanitizers do not react well with the finish coats we use on our models. Some of this stuff tends to linger on your skin....

Edited by patd
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I think it unfortunate that our IPMS leadership doesn't grow a pair and make the right decision to cancel this year. First of all, Texas is a real hot spot right now (as is Arizona where I live). San Marcos is not a particularly safe area. Second, the demographics of IPMS is such that many of us who would normally attend and enter models are high to very high risk. Third, if it is held, the number of attendees and the number of models will likely make any awards a joke. First place out of 2 entries. Wow! Fourth, I'll bet the number of vendors who attend will be less than half in normal times. Finally, travel to and from is problematic at best.

I was planning to go and had a great room rate but have since decided to cancel. Judging by the responses on our local IPMS page, I am just one of many who are doing the same.

Come on, IPMS leadership. Have some gumption. Do the right thing. Forget this year. Focus on Vegas 2021. Why are you having such a hard time with this? I am also a wargamer. Historicon, the nationals of miniature wargaming has cancelled along with the ancillary convention Fall-In in October. The world boardgaming championships has cancelled. Seven Years War convention the same. And right on down the list. Only IPMS has stuck its collective head in the sand and is ignoring the obvious. Sure, it would be disappointing. BUT DO THE RIGHT THING!!

Kevin Wenker

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P.This comment is wholly unfair, argumentative and needlessly insulting. The “hard time with this” which you seem not to have considered is the financial disaster this will be for Len’s team and the National Organization. That this National is going to be -barring a miracle- a monetary disaster is evident. How much of a disaster depends on whether - if I understand the situation correctly- we are shut down by the government in the wake of a surge of Covid as the end of a July approaches or we cancel of our own volition. Again, if I have interpreted the consequences of each of the two outcomes correctly, if IPMS is shut down by outside forces, we lose a lot of money. But if we cancel preemptively, we lose a lot more money. It would be irresponsible of the leadership to undertake the latter decision so soon before the possibility that the former may take place and hopefully ameliorate the financial impact.

Whether I understand this virtually no-win situation correctly or not, I am sure of this: Len and his team and the National leadership are on an agony of disappointment and uncertainty. Your language is inappropriately rude, insensitive  and betrays an unacceptable disrespect for our fellow members who have volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to prepare for what they assumed would be the crowning achievement of their membership in IPMS. 

Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge

P.S. If the Forum Moderator wants to take me to the woodshed for this, I go gladly. Some things just have to be said. Nick

Edited by Nick Filippone
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Len,   what does the San Marcos Embassy Suites see as the 'new normal'?   

There was a report on tonights NBC Evening News which they reported on sanitation and distancing procedures at hotels, centering their report on Hilton Hotels (parent company of Embassy Suites).

blob:https://www.nbcnews.com/2646adf9-0a9c-4d55-938c-ed1096842501

No bellman at arrival,  online check-in suggested, wearing masks required,   one-person elevators,  do not touch the stair railings signs, no buffets,  no room service, distancing marks on floor, enhanced cleaning of public spaces, but limited room cleaning and in-room amenities.

The Hilton Clean-stay program on their website says they will be rolling out their procedures soon.    What does Embassy Suites say they will be doing the end of next month?  

 

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