I hope this letter finds you, your family, and your members safe and in good health.
Our Annual Conference is scheduled to take place November 12 thru the 17th. As I have previously reported to all of you, our intentions are to go ahead with the conference. Those intentions are further supported by the calls I have received from many members asking when the room block will be opened. It appears that life may be starting to return to some form of normalcy.
I have recently been in contact with the Caribe Hilton and they have communicated to me that they are once again hosting conferences. Their hotel occupancy numbers are increasing every week, and they are following the guidelines of CDC, the Hilton Corporation and Puerto Rico. In our conversations we are hopeful that as we move closer to November the situation will get better and the restrictions that are in place currently, will have changed, making things less restrictive.
None of us have a crystal ball to predict what the situation will be in November, however, I feel we must proceed under the premise that we will be having our conference. I have discussed with the hotel various scenarios of “What If’s” should certain circumstances still be in place when November arrives. To that end we are discussing alternatives and I believe we can be creative enough to cause little disruption to our planned events. What we all need to be cognizant of is the fact that these are trying times and we need to remain flexible. Although things may not be perfect, the ability to get together once again to move our agenda forward and communicate with eachother, is worth the minor changes we may have to endure.
Today I will be releasing the room block. If you are planning to attend, I urge you to make your reservations as soon as possible so I can determine if we will make the room block commitment. The benefits we receive from negotiations with the hotel (lower room rate, resort fee and many other concessions) are based on fulfillment of the block.
We will be offering 4nights lodging to the principle or designee to be paid by NYSPEC. To avoid confusion reconciling the final bill with the hotel, they need those names in advance of the conference start date. When you have made your reservation, email me the name of who is to receive the credit.
Suffice it to say these have been difficult times and it will be good to get back together.
Peter D. Meringolo
NYS Public Employee Conference