This morning I went to see Kelly Martin, general manager of the La Quinta Inn and Conference center. She’s a gem and I will tell you how I know that for sure in a minute.
We came up with the CODE of MORPHY. That is, when you call (563-359-3921) the Inn to reserve a room for the Morphy Chess Festival, you will find that we have a Block of Rooms reserved for our attendees, and you will SAVE B-I-G. $30.00 per nite worth of big. Two nites that’s $60.00. If you come the evening before (smart move) it’s $90. In fact, if you stay three nights at the regular rates it’s like getting the third nite or MORE for FREE! [A NOTE: SOME STAY FOR EXTRA TRAINING OFFERED BY IM MARTIN. So extra rooms may be taken. My advice on this, get your deposits to me EARLY! I know of at least 3 people who have taken training and advice from Andrew at our events. In every case I managed to overhear some of the advice offered. It was ALWAYS good, but not always taken. The results followed in every case exactly what you thought they should be! More hours? Lower per hour price.]
THE ADDRESS OF LA QUINTA
It is: 3330 E. Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA 52807. I do not have GPS and I found it, a block down the street from Red Lobster. A big, tan, 2-story building with a lot of rooms. You can have a King or a room with 2 Queens for $69.95 (I urge registering early). Tastefully decorated, TV, paintings on the wall and every bit as homey (or better) than most rooms I’ve stayed in including New York City at nearly 3 times the price!
Newly remodeled and nicely done.
Where we will be is across the “arch” in the conference building. Lots of parking. We will have a big long “playing” and “working” area. There will be credit card outlets in the room so things won’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are four of them, so you know they have had some significant gatherings there. And a smaller separate room where I can store things we will need for the MAIN EVENT. And, WHAT AN EVENT!
ABOUT KELLY MARTIN
Here’s how I know we have a winner for THE manager. As I mentioned Oct. 23-24 (Friday and Saturday) she looked as if she had something to say and before she could say anything (sorry Kelly) I said, “You are leaving us aren’t you, before then?” I just had a feeling she was being promoted to the Hampton Inn down the street. She was, taking over there. In most of my business life when I get a good location the manager is usually being promoted, this was no exception. So I know she is good. The powers that be have had their eye on her too. Her staff is good, I’ve met most of them too! Their lobby and breakfast area is quite nice. Hot food.
How Can You Beat That Room Rate?
Literally, you can’t. It involved some “hump busting” to find excellent accommodations for my chess festival. Jessica came to my rescue. La Quinta has everything I can think of that you want and need. You are worth it. I didn’t do the “usual suspects” type of route this time although the place we were at in 2010 was on the List and that worked out pretty well didn’t it (the Clarion)?
GETTING HERE AND MOVING AROUND
Remember that movie “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones? It was filmed just north of Davenport, in Dickeyville, maybe 70-90 miles away. We think if we BUILD this Morphy Chess Festival you will come.
People will arrive by car, and plane. We have the Moline International Airport for the fliers.
The LaQuinta doesn’t have a shuttle bus like the Marriott and those kinds of rooty-tooty hotels. But we have a heckuva price to beat that shuttle bus to pieces. There is a place called ACT II which we will most likely be using to get you around and to and from the airport, on time. We will send you the information on that as we get near post time! And, there are always locals who are willing to help out (we call them volunteers) for plane flights AND supper trips, etc. Of course Davenport has always had reasonably priced taxi services! We have you covered.
Because we have more than 1-2 celebrities this time (because it is a Festival) there will be a lot of events and things to do. When I was doing surveys (2002) we had a monster feedback survey in which EVERYONE BUT ONE gave us a big thumbs up (and if you can believe it, the dissenter (I recognized his hand writing) was a friend who was staying at my home!) kept us from getting a perfect “high-five” score. Something like a 97% approval rating! We know you will have a great time. If you aren’t having a great time by noon on October 23rd, say so to me, and I will give the amount of money you paid me, back to you and you can get home. That’s how much I believe in this roster of talent.
If I am able to take a trip this summer I will have a video for the Morphy Festival, chess themed. Can’t promise yet but it’s on the “potential” agenda.
But on the subject of Multipliers I am going to say that if you bring extra ticket buyers ($200 and up) you both will receive a comfortable discount. I am urging purchases NOW because in due course the ticket prices will rise to more than $200 simply because I have to make decisions before the event and I want to have the money issues settled. Probably the next level will be $235-$250. Believe it, some WILL pay because they can!
How do I know this?
When I went to Cleveland in May of 2012, If I paid $2900 early I saved about $500-$1000 over those who paid late! I asked the CEO “How many came late”? She said, “Mr. Long, the cutoff was 200 people. 50 more paid late to tell us at the last minute resulting in 250 people crammed into the big room and they raised about $50,000 more not counting any merchandise those extra 50 may have bought! She said she has run other companies but never saw this kind of a draw at other ones because HE (the master of ceremonies) was that good. She did so well she quickly sold the company while she could get a bigger price that what she paid a year earlier! While I can’t fit into Dan Kennedy’s shoes, I intend to publicize the heck out of this event and hopefully wouldn’t be surprised to see us sell all 75 tickets long before the actual event.
THE EXCUSE BARRIER
Since 1971 I’ve been in the chess business. That’s a while. Many who have missed a Chess Festival but who said they really wanted to come, didn’t. So if we get NEW people to come that is plenty fine with me. You most likely won’t be missing a graduation you probably didn’t want to go to anyway. I hate them. You bring a present, use 4 hrs. worth of gas, waste a ton of time, and you don’t even get a “Thank you note these days.” Almost guaranteed. Many parents today have no manners so what do you expect from their kids?
When I was teaching at the University of Iowa I told my students, “If you miss the test after Christmas Break, there will be no make up test, I don’t have the time nor inclination to help those who won’t help themselves.” If they broke a leg skiing, or their grandma died again, it was simple… they got a zero and no make up exam. I stuck to it and guess what, NO ONE MISSED THE EXAM! I am sure that some other instructors had plenty of missing students because they STUDIED for my test instead of Prof. Gullible’s Test on Basket Weaving in Normandy.
So my work is cut out for me. I really do hope to see you there. It’s just $200 right now. Soon I will be writing about what to EXPECT from this Classy Chess Festival with the Paul Morphy theme. Remember nothing will be rated except the FUN. My son Rob told me something amusing and useful I didn’t know. I mentioned that Simon Williams had a DVD business called GINGERGM. Rob said, “He must be a redhead!” I didn’t know that the Brits called redheads Ginger. Now I do. Andrew Martin and Macon Shibut (Morphy authority) will be there, books to sign, photos to take, and other souvenirs–but first YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TICKET.