Thanks for the encouraging words, Starchild!
National bylaws permit states to combine conventions if both parties agree to the arrangement. The LPC's 1988 convention was held in Las Vegas in a combined contract with the LP of Nevada. We haven't tried doing this since that long ago time well before my becoming an activist. Joe Silvestri is in the loop on all of the proposals and is querying his own Executive committee as to whether this proposal is feasible. Since the costs are reduced in accordance with increased attendance, it makes perfect sense that our financial risk would be reduced if delegates from both organizations split the cost, risk and rewards of thinking outside of the box. A WIN-WIN for both parties.
I'm particularly excited about the Poker Tournament, which could possilby be the highlight of the convention if we have enough interest. Delegates from either state can enjoy our standard Saturday fundraising banquet, then for another $70, play poker for the party (the winner would split the pot with the Party). And the more people we attract, the more money we (and the lucky/skillful winner) will make! Another WIN-WIN.
The room blocks were simply based on our experience from last year, when we booked a total of 30 rooms for the Long Beach Marriott, and easily filled them, though our contract with the hotel was not dependent on filling the room block. With most people attending from out of town, we didn't feel it would be unrealistic to book the same number, and hope more people show up. As you can see, there are plenty of rooms in all the casinos, and if delegates can find a better deal at any of the dozens of fine tourist hotels in the area, they can use the money they save playing poker, or skiing, or gambling or engaging an all the other delights of a resort area (not to mention the nearby legal brothels). Another WIN.
The free room night for every 45 rooms booked means that our hospitality suite could be comped either one or both nights of the convention (if we book a total of 90 rooms or more over the course of the event), saving the party significant funds, or saving us the cost of covering a room for a guest speaker we might otherwise be unable to afford to invite. Or the LP of Nevada's suite could be comped one night, saving their funds as well.
Most of your questions see to concern the Harvey's/Harrah's proposal. Unfortunately the way WordPress displays posts, they appear in reverse order from when they were posted. Did you have concerns about the other venues listed? One additional benefit of the Harvey's/Harrah's contract would be the ability to designate one of the hotels or one of their individual towers as the "Party" hotel, which can accommodate delegates who intend to get by with much socializing and very little sleep, and specify that delegates who wish to have a quieter convention with more sleep than revelry can be booked in the "Quiet" hotel or tower. This will mitigate the noise problems we've had to deal with at past conventions, and the casinos are all exceptionally tolerant of loud, raucous parties, so our usual antics won't necessarily raise any eyebrows here.
The Horizon also has two towers, and appears to do a good job at promoting other events booked at the facility (flyers for all the featured shows were distributed throughout the facility, as well as a wine-tasting and book-signing event taking place the weekend I was there). As for what kind of displays are allowed, we'll need to negotiate that with whatever hotel is chosen, as they all probably have certain policies that may not be all that different. Each proposal includes room for vendor tables and break-out sessions as needed. Meeting room rental fees are waived provided we sell a minimum quota of food and beverage services. Booking more rooms for functions shouldn't be a problem.from a financial standpoint, and would all depend on demand from other groups that might need space.
There are 24-hour restaurants open at all the hotels except for the Crowne Plaza, the casinos are open all night, and the pools and fitness rooms are probably open all night, though I will need to check on the availability of the spa facilities.
Certainly one of the goals of having the convention here is to build more activism in this area of the state and Steve Kubby's City Council campaign has given us a much more visible presence in the area. Gary Bryant's assembly campaign received over 10,000 votes, or 9%, one of the highest totals of any candidate this year. This is an area that is receptive to our message and willing to give our candidates and our ideas a chance to prove themselves. It is entirely appropriate that we raise our profile here and build a more powerful and popular local party.
The date of the convention is firm, as determined at the August 14 LPC ExCom meeting, which is why we could not sign a contract with our first choice venue, the Sacramento Doubletree. Had they been available the weekend of April 8-10, we would never have needed to explore these other options. This is within the last two weeks of the official ski season, so all the resorts should still have plenty of powder to enjoy. I know you'll be eager to take advantage of this opportunity!
I'm excited about this convention and the potential for having FUN while we're doing the WORK required to move our party forward. And joining forces with our neighboring state organization will make this all the more valuable in fostering more collaboration and cooperation to help achieve our goals.
Thanks for sharing this information with others and please let me know if you have other questions or concerns.
Terry Floyd, Chair
2011 LPC Convention Committee