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All comments by Jack Feagin
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I am a strong supporter of the ACBL but if this is venting I am okay with it. Neither the ACBL BOD or Unit or District officials understand the process of securing these major contracts and we are set up for failure if we don't use outside professionals or we hire someone with a great deal of experience in big time hotel meeting negotiations. Hopefully on the contracts they get additional professional help.
Oct. 20
Jack Feagin edited this comment 13 hours ago
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So once again somebody we hired someone for another position and they will be trying to negotiate these multi dollar contracts for NABCs. Does his qualifications have him prepared for getting us the best deals. I would like to review his background and again urge him to consult with meeting planners who make deals for big conventions.
Oct. 20
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This is a big country with many cities that have good places and an airport. We don't have to settle we just need to work harder on the problem. It doesn't always have to be in the 10 biggest cities. Yes, you have to be careful in picking smaller cities but some would give us a great deal. Some are just outside a major city.
When the total cost of a room gets close to $ 200 a night many players I know just skip it and win 8 masterpoints for a one session club game. To have a big tournament you need more than the elite or bridge winners members.


By the way it may be 50-50 on start times with bridge winners members and I know the BOD won't allow it because it made their committee meetings hard. However, the average bridge player is 70 plus and the starting times are not popular with them. Yes we offer some regional events at 10 and 3 but at a higher cost plus parking and high hotel cost. They just choose their club or a local regional most of the time.
Oct. 20
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The membership meeting is only at the Summer NABC
Oct. 20
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We have a great piece of business for the right hotels. Many cities have hotels that have fairly empty hotels on the weekends and we can sell out two weekends for them and put over 3,000 people on their property for 11 days. I have been dealing with hotels for a long time in Atlanta and I was involved for many years with the Mid Atlantic and District 7 hotel deals. We can get better deals. I know this from talking with the hotels but also with professional meeting planners who do this on a nationwide basis.

Our approach in the past has been to promote from within and sometimes just using people with little business background in making deals. Professional meeting planners might well seek proposals from many cities at the same time who were seeking new business. You need someone with knowledge of the hotel business and market conditions etc. We have used people from within who maybe knew something about the bridge world but they lack the background to get the best deals.

I do not know the new person or his background but it would still be very worthwhile to consult with professionals. I intend to ask for his background because getting better deals is critical to the ACBL.

I remember back in the days of the COI and our investigations into why the ACBL was near bankruptcy I saw one of our standard letters to hotels seeking proposals. In the second paragraph was a sentence making sure they were going to give our BOD members the Concierge level which should have been sought after we secured our major goals. In hotels their big suites are necessary to get big business. When we take theirs for 15 days including BOD meetings it impacts their business opportunities. If you think of it has just being a freebie you don't understand their business. Hopefully management and the BOD will consider taking a different approach.
Oct. 19
Jack Feagin edited this comment Oct. 20
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As to suites I believe there are a couple more are given out. Like in Atlanta Bob Heller had one for either being Chairman of the Board or the host District Director.

In any event many things need to be changed. Many groups use video conferencing for some of the meetings but 25 plus makes for a huge meeting.
Oct. 19
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looks like my director District 7 Bob Heller voted for it but at least he tried to get the Board to cancel the Hawaii trip for the BOD.
Oct. 19
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Does he have any experience in negotiating 11 day multi million dollar contracts with major meeting venues?
Oct. 18
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I have been recently urging again that the ACBL seek outside help in making these NABC contracts worth millions of dollars rather than promoting somebody out of accounting or the directors staff to do this job. This is the perfect time since they fired Wendy.


My guess is they won't.
Oct. 18
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Peg 2019 ATLANTA Regional main events 10 and 3 after the first day. Schedule to be released within the week. A large and very popular regional.
Oct. 18
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Congrats
Oct. 6
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I don't the name of what I play. I like it and I would like to know the name.

x=penalty oriented partner will pass if they have something to contribute.
2 multi partner is expected to bid 2

2 majors
2 and 2 natural

2 no trump over one no trumps big unspecified two suiter announcing a game if we have a fit.

2 partner bids 2s which can be passed or raised with s. If the 2 bidder bids a major over 2 they have that major and unspecified minor.
If the 2 bidder over 2 bids 2no trump both minors. if 2 bidder bids 3 over 2 a one suit club hand.

this system has worked well over the years.
Sept. 29
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Thank you.
Sept. 11
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That compliment goes to Joe Sherwood and Judy Fendrick
Sept. 5
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But using them 4 or 5 days before impacts what a hotel can offer another major convention. Talk to a high level hotel executive and they can perhaps make it clear how they are related to major hotel business.
Aug. 14
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Someone suggested that taking the hotel major suites for 14 or 15 days probably didn't matter. Not true to tie up major conventions a big deal is having their best suites for that business. Using it four days or so beyond our convention is a big deal to a hotel.
Ask a high-level hotel person. It's a free deal maybe in the ACBL mind but it is a big deal in some cases.
Aug. 14
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Not suggesting anything other than the fact that we have a good piece of business and the hotels will give us certain benefits, perks or concessions and currently a good many benefits we are currently getting are directly or indirectly linked to those large and long BOD meetings.
Aug. 13
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that may be true but in dealing with hotels they are going to give you x amount in concessions so if you take for the BOD meetings it will reduce what the hotel is going to give on other items like room rates or lower F&B costs and there is a real value for the comp suites or rooms for the BOD etc
Aug. 13
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I agree
Aug. 13
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I have done a great deal of negotiating hotel space for bridge sectionals and regionals including Regionals outside of Atlanta. Hotels like other businesses place a certain value on our business. We have a great piece of business. Two weekends where the hotel sells a large number of rooms etc is a good piece of business.

For some time we have relied on in-house staff members to negotiate these million dollar deals as part of their on the job training. Atlanta volunteers will have to do 3 NABCs in 10 years because the ACCBL has trouble making deals. 2013,2018 and 2023.

A big focus of the ACBL has always been to make sure arrangements for the BOD meetings are part of the concessions perks by the hotel. I have not seen an NABC hotel contact in a long time but one of the concessions the ACBL actively seeks is how those 30 plus hotel rooms for the BOD and staff will be handled. You need to understand a big asset of the hotel is their major suites. If we require the hotel to give up their major suites for 15 days it impacts their ability to make deals in another time period and this can be a major concession by the hotel which effects your total package they will give you.

When the ACBL tells the membership that the average cost of their BOD meetings is $ 75,000 (I presume that when this statement was made Hawaii was left out of the average of $ 75,000) they are hiding the true cost because we are probably taking a good portion in our hotel concessions relating to BOD meetings. In the old days, the first inquiry to the hotel was will the BOD members get the "concierge level. I would like to see the calculations of the $ 75,000. I am willing to bet there are hidden costs not included or thought about in arriving at this figure. I am going to ask for these calculations. Do you think I will get them?

In negotiating each hotel contract, the concessions the ACBL is seeking for our business the lowest priority for the ACBL is getting a discount on F&B that the local committee will provide to the players. As a result, a small bag of trail mix or a two bite size pie cost $ 9. In seeking regional contracts, the three highest priorities are room rates, parking and discounted F&B for the players.
Aug. 13
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