San Diego Report

Wonderful San Diego

The weather was 70’s in the daytime and in the 60’s in the evenings.  The Manchester Grand Hyatt was great, with good lighting, lots of room and all playing venues in one location.  The food service was expensive but there were plenty of places you could walk or a take a short taxi ride to that were fine.

The Tournament was a success with 12,927 tables, more than anticipated.  The tournament chairs Ken Monzingo and Bonnie Bagley and their volunteers did a great job.  Special congratulations goes to Peter Rank for his production of My Fair Little Old Lady that was available for four nights that got rave reviews.  Also a reading by Gary M. Pomerantz with an enactment of the shooting of Jack Bennett was very well done. By the way, if you have not read his book “The Devil’s Tickets” I strongly recommend it.

The Board approved the management recommendation to hold the 2014 Spring NABC in Dallas, March 20-31.

Membership

October continued the strong pattern of 2009 with a net gain of 623 members.  The total gain for the first ten months is 3039.  District 16 has done its part with an increase of 702 members and a net increase of about 290-300 members.

The districts who use the Cooperative Advertising Program the most are the ones with the largest increase in membership.  The ACBL is creating Branded Radio “spot” templates, which will be offered to clubs, teachers, units for personalization so they can place them at their local radio stations.  A portion of the radio ad fees would qualify for the Cooperative Advertising reimbursements.

Tournament tables are increasing and with our increasing membership, I expect tables to be up next year also.

Real Estate

The target date for the new building in Horn Lake, Mississippi is March 8, with the Library and Hall of Fame to be ready about a month later.  Management is very pleased with the new building and hopes that anyone visiting the area will stop by once it is finished.

Finance

The ACBL is in good shape financially; however, both the 2009 and 2010 budgets show a loss.  To keep the loss in 2010 under $70,000 the Board approved the following increases in fees.

1.Membership dues will increase from $35 to $37; this is the first increase in 4 or 5 years.  Life Master Service charges will increase from $32 to $34.  New member fees are increased from $26 to $28. The new member fee will take effect January 1, 2011.  The other fees will start April 1, 2010.

2.Tournament director’s fees will increase by 8% effective April 1, 2010.

Learn to play bridge

Due to popular demand, the Learn to Play Bridge software has been reprintedon CD format.  The CDs are now again available for teachers and clubs to use as a handout tool to help encourage and promote learning how to play the game of bridge.

General

  • The ACBL had a booth at the AARP convention, there were 24,100 attendees at the convention, it was a 3-day event and it is estimated that 25% of the attendees paid a visit to the ACBL booth.  The ACBL has created a tradeshow strategy plan and if anyone knows of a large trade show you think we would be interested in, let me or the ACBL know.
  • The ACBL now has a Facebook page and Twitter account if anyone would like to join.
  • Election of the ACBL president will be moved to the fall meeting from the summer meeting.
  • A motion passed that the 0-5000 mini-blue ribbon pairs be increased from four sessions to six sessions concurrent with the blue ribbon pairs.
  • ACBL Honorary members of the year (2010) are Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. A very good selection in my opinion. They have generated lots of Publicity for Bridge over the years.
  • The minimum number of boards required for a Newcomer Game is reduced to 6. Which will help teachers when then give lessons to new players?
  • The Board eliminated the requirement to pre alert (5 card weak 2’s and 6 card 3 level pre-empts) and undisciplined pre-empts.  No one was doing this and it was not being enforced.
  • 2010 will be a good year for bridge we have 3 good NABC’s, Reno in March, New Orleans in July and Orlando in November.  We also have an Open World Championship in Philadelphia Oct 1-16.  I plan to attend all four tournaments; I will be looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make these great tournaments.

All the best

Dan


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