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As Jonathan Cohn wrote below, history indicates that there will be multiple cancellation just prior to or on the last date you can cancel without losing the first night room deposit. For Montreal, it is MAY 12. Mark the date and be sure to check at that time. Rooms will open up but how many and for how long is unpredictable. But don't forget. May 12 is the critical last day to cancel without forfeiting your first night deposit.

Background: At the last Toronto NABC, there was no penalty for last minute cancellations. Literally, hundreds of room nights at the Royal York were cancelled within two weeks of the tournament. Consequently, many people did not attend who might otherwise have done so. Further, ACBL failed to meet its room block! and had to pay a financial penalty to the Royal York hotel.
As a result, then CEO Bahar Gidwani instituted the immediate one night deposit when booking. The deposit becomes final and non refundable two months before the start of the NABC. Excellent policy.
14 hours ago
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment 13 hours ago
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You may be thrilled (or not) to learn that after several years of cost cutting, shorter Board meetings, more conference calls, in 2020 the President has announced that the Board will return to four day Monday to Thursday meetings at all three NABCs plus a monthly telephone conference call. so much talk… signifying nothing!
Jan. 17
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Not true. I have booked many Canadian hotel rooms and there are lots of choices. You can book a room with two beds, one bed, a high floor view room, a standard “Run of House” room, a Senior discount, CAA/AAA discount, prepaid room, and so on and so forth. Even Priceline often gives you a choice of bedding with their Express Deals. The price for King rooms are often less than for two double/queen rooms. The problem is that Conference Direct/ACBL gives you NO OPTIONS and NO CHOICES. For $200 a night, we should have those options.
Jan. 17
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Jan. 17
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Sorry if you were offended, Cam. I thought the comment was obviously meant to be humorous although there is some seriousness to it. Reservations opened at the weird hour of 11 AM and before the afternoon was over, you could not book a full stay at Le Westin. Not very fair!
Jan. 17
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Jan. 17
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The ACBL terminated OnPeak and are now using a new housing bureau: Conference Direct. I share your concerns as do many others. Please refer to Ed Judy's Bridge Winners thread at: https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/montreal-summer-nationals-in-july/

and my thread including a letter I sent to the ACBL Board of Directors at: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/open-letter-to-acbl-board-of-directors-housing-bureau-nabc-rooms-montreal-summer-nabc/

Good luck to all in finding accommodations.
Jan. 17
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HUGE renovation. The hotel was closed for almost one year in the 2016-2017 period. Spectacular renovation
Review of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Reviewed August 27, 2017 via mobile
This is more than a makeover, this is s total transformation! The rooms are superb in every way. Comfortable obviously, but more than that, with a real design personality. It was as if we were on a curated journey! Bathrooms spectacular as were all amenities. Service was commensurate with the surroundings: flawless. My feeling is that this hotel now takes on the mantle of the best in the city. https://www.oyster.com/montreal/hotels/fairmont-the-queen-elizabeth/full-review/
Jan. 16
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UPDATE: Just 31 hours or so after reservations opened, Le WESTIN
is sold out most days and the InterContinental is sold out on Thursday, July 16 and Friday, July 24.

The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is still showing availability every day. The cheapest of the ACBL hotels at CDN $183 plus 18% tax, it is not a bad option. A quality hotel just 1 km (0.62 of a mile) from the playing area. ACBL will provide shuttle buses (or a healthy 12-13 minute walk).

GOOD LUCK to all. Montreal in the summer is a great tourist destination!
Jan. 16
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Run of The House means the hotel can give you whatever standard room they have available. You are NOT guaranteed a King bed or a room with two beds. For $200+ a night, you should be able to specify the type of room you require and have it guaranteed.
Jan. 15
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Jan. 15
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Another issue with the new ACBL Housing Bureau is that my confirmation under room type said “Run of the House”. which means that you are unable to guarantee/reserve a room with two beds or one. That is not acceptable to me. ACBL members have no problems dealing directly with a hotel when making reservations for Regional tournaments at the bridge rate. Why do we need to go through a housing bureau for NABC room reservations?
Jan. 15
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UPDATE: Sadly, just 5 and half hours after the ACBL online reservations opened at 11 AM EST, Le Westin shows NO ROOMS AVAILABLE for Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, July 19-21. Is it any wonder NABC attendance is falling and the members are unhappy with this kind of service? Gross incompetence, IMHO.
Jan. 15
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From my FB post this morning: HEADS UP! Reservations have opened for the Montreal NABC, July 16-26, 2020. You can book online at: https://nabc.acbl.org/montreal/plan/

All events will be held at the Palais des Congres de Montreal (Convention Center).

There are no less than five host hotels ranging from CDN $183 to $275 (US $140 - $211) plus taxes which add up to 18%! They all have pluses and minuses. However, one of them – Hotel Monville (primarily for the American Bridge Teachers Association - ABTA) is no longer available. It has been replaced by a Holiday Inn /Downtown (primarily for the Youth NABC) so very few rooms are available.

The three primary hotels for normal (ha,ha) bridge players are the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, InterContinental & Le Westin.

The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is the least expensive (CDN $183/US $140) but it is 1 km (Google calls it a 13 minute walk) from the playing area. ACBL will provide shuttle buses. This may actually be a plus for those who enjoy fresh air and walking. All the other hotels are adjacent to the convention center.

Le Westin is a Marriott Bonvoy property. For the Marriott Platinum and Titanium high-rollers, please note that there is NO Executive Lounge. But you will receive points/miles and free breakfast in the restaurant. At CDN $192/US$147, I expect it to sell out within days.

Hotel Monville, opened in 2018, is modern and innovative (robots deliver room service!) but only offers rooms with one King size bed. Online reviews criticize the “very small” but well-appointed rooms. The hotel responds “All our rooms are made to optimize comfort and practicability. They all have king size beds, a rain shower, a 50 inch flat screen TV and a Nespresso machine.” ACBL rate: CDN $199/US $152. NOT AVAILABLE. ALL rooms taken by the ABTA.

Hotel InterContinental, as with Le Westin, Queen Elizabeth & Monville, are all rated highly but why is it priced higher than the other three hotels at CDN $209/US$160?

Finally the Embassy Suites (A Hilton property) provides suite style accommodations, “free” breakfast with made-to-order omelettes and “free” drinks during Happy Hour. Despite the extras, it gets mixed reviews and at CDN $275/US$211 you are paying a huge premium for your “free” omelet and drink.

July is Prime Time, High Season in Montreal. The tournament is near “Old Montreal” which has excellent restaurants and numerous attractions. An outstanding venue in an amazing joie de vivre city.

But there are no hotel bargains at that time of the year and as is usually the case, when the ACBL comes to town, prices rise. The weeks before and after any NABC are always less expensive. Supply and demand.

There are numerous modest accommodations available if you search carefully, use Priceline, etc. Montreal is a great tourist destination, especially in the Summer.

I urge you to book early as I expect rooms at Le Westin will not be available for very long. If you miss out, be sure to check back on or before May 12 which will be the last day to cancel a reservation without losing the first night deposit.

USA citizens require a passport. At current exchange rates, $1 US dollar equals $1.31 Canadian.
Jan. 15
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Excellent tourist area. It should be a winner. https://web2.acbl.org/Tournaments/Ads/2020/08/2008123.pdf
Jan. 9
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Canadians comprise about 10% of ACBL membership and our Thanksgiving is in October. Cheaper air fare and hotels, not to mention avoiding travel on the busiest US travel weekend of the year, makes a lot of sense.

In San Francisco, I mostly played in NABC events where it appeared that close to half the field were players from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere (Not USA). That number may be slightly high but adding Canadians to non US players and 40% or more are not celebrating the US Thanksgiving Holiday.

Of the remaining 60% of attendees, from every poll, BW article I've read, preferences are split.

There is NO clear consensus to change the current dates where the first NABC events starts the day after Thanksgiving.

I believe there is a consensus to make NABCs more affordable, choose cities with more options for the less well heeled, and to eliminate the per player entry rate and return to an entry fee per team.
Dec. 18, 2019
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“beautiful Puerto Vallarta - very affordable!”. For everyone. PVR is the opposite end of the spectrum from Waikiki. Everything is very inexpensive. The people are friendly, the weather is warm, the food is great, the prices are very low. There are multiple reasons why PVR is such a popular tourist destination and why so many Canadians & Americans snowbirds choose PVR.
Dec. 15, 2019
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Downtown Montreal in July is a fabulous vacation destination, especially for USA citizens who will benefit from the exchange rate and get $1.30+ CDN for every $1 US.

My biggest concern is how many local players will support the tournament and how often they will play given that entry fees for NABC events will be in the range of $40 CDN per player per session.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Richard, you have been predicting that ACBL membership would fall off a demographic cliff for DECADES (I'm sure at least 20+ years). It hasn't. This year, I'm told it is down about 1%. The ACBL has done a good job of bringing in as many members as it loses… going forward… who knows?

Tournament attendance has dropped in 2019, although the numbers are all over the map. Some of the better Regionals (Penticton, beautiful Puerto Vallarta - very affordable! - have been solid or increased) while others have dropped. Overall decrease around 5% but that is just an estimate.

Palm Springs was always going to be down given that the NABC in SF was so close. But 500 tables is a lot.

Going forward, the two biggest issues I see are marketing and new members (always a priority) but perhaps overriding everything else and my number one concern is affordability.

Parking in SF was $80 a night! There were no viable cheap alternatives for housing. At least in Las Vegas, there were multiple less expensive places to stay. You could easily walk outside of the Cosmo, cross the bridge and have an excellent sit down breakfast for $4.99

ACBL management is working hard to address these issues and I hope they are successful.
Dec. 14, 2019
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I've received reports from the usually large Palm Springs, CA Regional (ends tomorrow) that it is going to be down 500 tables for the week. I've tried to check actual table counts for the past few years but the ACBL web site is down for maintenance right now.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Bill, even a broken clock gets it right twice a day ;)!
Dec. 13, 2019
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I find the method of score posting to be quaint (“attractively unusual or old-fashioned”). The way it has always been done. It is exciting as everyone crowds around to watch and calculate the final standings.
Dec. 10, 2019
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I heard that Greco became ill and had to go to the hospital last night. Does anyone have an update?
Dec. 6, 2019
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