Convention Bulletin 1999 ********** It is time to plan for the 1999 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Last year's convention in Dallas was one of the best we have ever experienced--a great hotel staff, a truly impressive program and exhibits, and fellowship of the highest order. The year before, 1997, we set an attendance record in New Orleans. Atlanta in 1999, however, promises to bring not only a bigger and better program but also likely a record attendance, as we gather to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Jernigan and to continue our march to equal opportunity and full participation through the movement he loved and led.
We will meet at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, a truly beautiful and spacious world-class hotel. Rooms have been reserved for us at both the Marquis and the Atlanta Hilton and Towers, a short walk away. The Marquis, with its 120,000 square feet of meeting space and over 1,600 guest rooms, will be perfect for our convention. The Hilton and Towers has over 1,200 elegantly furnished guest rooms and a number of special guest services.
Once again, our hotel rates at the Marquis are the envy of all. For the 1999 convention they are singles, $57; doubles and twins, $59; triples, $61; and quads, $63. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. There will be no charge for children in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested.
For 1999 convention room reservations you should write directly to Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or call (404) 521-0000. Marriott has a national toll-free number, but do not (we emphasize not) use it. Reservations made through this national number will not be valid. They must be made directly with the hotel. The hotel will want a deposit of $60 or a credit card number. If a credit card is used, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $60 check. If a reservation is canceled prior to June 4, 1999, $30 of the $60 deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.
The Marquis is a beautiful, fifty-story atrium hotel with a panoramic view of this bustling city in the heart of the New South. It is twelve miles north of the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. Those driving to the convention will find the hotel conveniently located off of Interstate 85, by taking Exit 96, International Boulevard, turning left onto International Boulevard, going to Peachtree Center Avenue, and turning right. The hotel is on the right in the second block. There are three excellent restaurants in the Marquis: Allie's American Grille, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Atrium Express, open for breakfast and lunch; and Marquis Steakhouse, open for dinner only. Champions Sports Bar is open until 2:00 a.m. and serves lunch and dinner. The hotel features indoor and outdoor pools, a solarium, a health club, whirlpool, and sauna. Rooms provide voice mail, telephone data ports, and complimentary in-room coffee.
The Hilton and Towers combines a convenient location right across the street from the Marquis with superb accommodations and amenities. Rooms are newly renovated, spacious, and luxurious, with rich cherry furnishings and a warm atmosphere.
Since both hotels are in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Federationists attending the convention will have access to a wealth of restaurants, shops, and other attractions like Martin Luther King Center (1.5 miles), Underground Atlanta (0.8 mile), and World of Coca-Cola (0.8 mile). See later issues of the Monitor for information on tours and other outings into the Greater Atlanta area.
The 1999 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be a truly exciting and memorable event, with a program unparalleled, an exciting city to explore, and a rededication to the goals and work of our movement. Make plans now to be a part of it. The schedule this year is a little different from the one to which we are accustomed. Pre-convention seminars for parents of blind children and other groups and set-up of the exhibit hall will take place on Wednesday, June 30, and adjournment will be Tuesday, July 6, at 5:00 p.m. To assure a room in one of the convention hotels at convention rates, you must make reservations early. Convention registration will begin on Thursday, July 1, and both Thursday and Friday will be filled with meetings of divisions and committees, including the Friday morning annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which is open to all. General convention sessions begin on Saturday and continue through the afternoon of Tuesday, July 6. The annual banquet will take place on Monday evening, July 5.
Remember that as usual we need door prizes from state affiliates, local chapters, and individuals. Once again, prizes should be small in size but large in value. Cash, of course, is always appropriate and welcome. As a general rule we ask that prizes of any variety have a value of at least $25. Drawings will occur steadily throughout the convention sessions, and you can anticipate a grand prize of truly impressive proportions to be drawn at the banquet. You may bring door prizes with you or send them ahead of time to Roger Womble, 3966 Wildwood Lake Drive, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30331-4361.
The best collection of exhibits, featuring new technology; meetings of our special interest groups, committees, and divisions; memorable tours arranged by the host Georgia affiliate; famous Southern hospitality; the most stimulating and provocative program items of any meeting of the blind in the world; the chance to renew friendships in our Federation family; and the unparalleled opportunity to be where the real action is and where decisions are being made--all of these mean you will not want to miss being a part of the 1999 National Convention. Hotel reservations are now being accepted. Make yours right away, and we'll see you in Atlanta in 1999! **********