TO: MFSIA Members
FR: President Don Bigger
RE: Changing the Month and Date of the Annual Conference
17 May 2018
As many of you know, 2018 is the last year of our current three-year contract with the Park Place Hotel for our annual MFSIA Conference. For the last few months, we have been in negotiations with the Park Place Hotel regarding our next three-year contract. We wanted to bring you up to date with what is happening with our talks with their administration.
A Texas-based company has purchased The Park Place Hotel; it just happens that calendar year 2018 is the last year of our current 3-year contract. During contract discussions, the management has informed us, in the future, we can keep the same weekend we have always utilized, but there will be significant increases in room rates. Evidently, over the past few years, the month of October has become what they call “a prime/high demand time in Traverse City for hotels.” Also, with the improvements that are being made now (Conference Center, Pool/Gym, rooms, etc.) and future additions, it is explained the demand for the hotel has rose – therefore, the rates will need to rise with that demand. Part of this assessment is the fact they will also be completing Tower lodging renovations by this spring and completing the “Wing” lodging renovations next winter.
Here are the items the Park Place Management has brought forth to the Association:
#1) We are one of the longest-standing conferences in their facility, and they can work with us within certain parameters. Management has said they can work with us on rates, but it cannot conflict with weeks and days that are considered “peak times.” The current October conference dates fall within “peak times.”
#2) They can no longer give us the state rate for rooms.
#3) Starting in 2018, The Park Place midweek rates are at $169.00-189.00 and weekend rates are $269.00 during the peak times. The management expects rates to go higher as they make improvements to the rest of the hotel.
To keep room rates lower, we inquired about moving the Annual Conference to a different month -could the Association obtain lower rates then what we would be getting during our previous October weekend. Management advised us the best rates would be the first week of December, and they
would work with us on a lower rate, due to our longevity within the facility. We were then provided the following rates that would be honored if we sign another 3-year contract with them:
December 3 - 8, 2019
Tues -Thu Fri – Sat
December 2 - 5, 2020
Tues - Thu Fri – Sat
December 1 - 6, 2021
Tues - Thu Fri – Sat
In review of the surveys and discussion comments from the previous conferences over the last decade, including the last five years specifically, we have found the following:
#1) Overwhelmingly, regarding the surveys and comments provided, participants want the conference to remain in Traverse City.
#2) Many participants must pay out of their own pocket to attend the conference, rather than having departments compensate their registration and lodging requirements.
#3) Participants enjoy the courses held and the variety provided (which only can be scheduled based on the classrooms available at the hotel).
#4) We have restructured the compensation for instructors in the last two years and streamlined the hotel subsidies provided to instructors. The new hotel room costs incurred by the organization by keeping the October date would be substantial, forcing us to raise the rates of the conference for our membership, which could be catastrophic to the overall conference attendance.
#5) The location of Park Place, being downtown, was great for walking distances to many different activities, and driving to local attractions.
#6) October is already a very busy month for statewide conferences; November brings firearm deer season, in which many areas don’t train or would not want to train during that timeframe.
#7) Through discussion with the Park Place in-house administration, they believe as the improvements continue, the rates will continue to rise, and this may be revisited in the future – so locking in the next three years, at this point, is very necessary.
With all these factors being reviewed, and a vote of the Executive Board in the affirmative, I am advising the MFSIA Membership of the signing of a new contract with Park Place Hotel with the above stated Annual Conference Dates for 2019 – 2021. We wanted to get this out to you as soon as we could, so you can plan future conference dates.
Over the next three years, we will continue to review comments, suggestions, and ideas in order to determine what the best course of action is for our members and Association in 2022 regarding the Annual Conference.
The Michigan Fire Service Instructors Association has established an annual educational scholarship grant program which is sponsored by various sponsors.
Awards will be made each year to a Michigan high school graduate to assist in
paying tuition at
an accredited Vocational/Technical School, a community college or a
four-year college or university. One grant in the amount of $500 will be made annually.
Each year we ask for nominations from our membership for the MFSIA Instructor of the Year. The nominees come from all five regions of Michigan and from this select group, the MFSIA
Instructor of the Year is selected. Winners are also selected as Regional Instructor of the Year.
Individuals receiving this award need not be a member of the MFSIA.This years Regional winners will also be awarded a years membership to MFSIA
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