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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Combined Conferences Successful Despite Covid-19

I  can report that the irrepressible desire to travel will ultimately overcome the effects of COVID-19. I can say that because I, like 175 other industry members, attended our Select Traveler Conference held August 19-21 in French Lick, Indiana.

Thanks to a remarkable effort by my partner, Charlie Presley, and his staff, we held a conference that was originally scheduled for this March in Cheyenne, Wyoming, then moved out of necessity to Wichita, Kansas, and then moved again to French Lick, Indiana. That last move was made just six weeks out, when Kansas officials nixed any large gatherings in Wichita.

For those of you who could not join us, let me say this:

There were a lot of travelers at the French Lick Resort. In addition to our group, we saw golfers, families, small groups and other types of travelers. All wore masks while in the hotel. Personnel at all entrances took our temperatures each day and gave us an “all clear” wrist band to wear for that day in the property.

Our business sessions required masks and our meals were laid out with four people seated at tables normally set for eight. Our sales appointments were set at eight-foot tables with participants seated at opposite ends. A clear, plexiglass sneeze guard bisected each table.

During an open afternoon, I saw dozens of delegates walking alone or with a friend without their masks on miles of trails that criss-cross the venerable resort. I spent that time outside at its Pete Dye Golf Course, enjoying the sun and watching foursomes make their way along the links.

As I told attendees at our opening session, we were the first group of industry members who refused to allow this pandemic to win. Someone had to be the first, and I’m glad it was us.

I hope to see you at next year’s Select Traveler Conference in Panama City Beach in March!