While suggestions are always welcome to make the club a better place for all, unfortunately that was not what I was looking to discuss in this thread.
I was more trying to head off the inevitable posts by those club haters who I was sure would eventually chime in.
After spending 10+ years taking suggestion and discussing each and every one of them, I was actually hoping to take my first few months off.
However I will mention a few things here since I didn't want anyone to get the wrong ideas.
Volunteers - 2 years ago I addressed the volunteers at the reception as I do every year. The purpose of that discussion was to ask every volunteer what would they like to see as a 'Thank You' gift for the work they do. This was partially because of another member who tried thier best to cause disenchantment among the volunteers by telling everyone they could that the BOD has decided to take away the meal from the volunteers while still feeding themselves....... but that's another story completely.
The point of me bringing up that discussion is that the majority of people told me that they didn't expect anything and were volunteering for the love of the club. There were several other suggestions as well but not one of those people told me that they would prefer to get early admission to the convention.
In fact many of our volunteers are not even interested in attending the convention at all.
Roughly 10-15% volunteer at the registration desk and many of them never set foot inside the door.
Membership - there are a lot more benefits to membership than just being allowed to preregister.
We offer an award winning magazine, access to the club library, mentor programs, ability to join in special giveaways, attendance to the Wednesday trade session, access to the full club membership directory (not available to non members), and yes the ability to pre-register for the convention.
The South Point - contrary to what I have read here there are many factors in deciding a convention location. Bourse floor size, availability of break out rooms, catering costs, access to dealer loading and unloading, room rates, resort fees, security, advertising, availability of restaurant choices, availability to hold our get together, banquet, poker and blackjack tournaments, location and overall price.
None of the factors take into account being comfortable with a location and not wanting to make a change.
Over the years I have personally spent hundreds of hours researching locations, sending out RFQ's, speaking with salesman and management, making site visits as part of a selection committee and reviewing the results.
2 years ago the committee visited 5 sites for potential future locations. Every one of them had issues and not only did the South Point offer us the best deal, other than location they met every other qualification. We even visited the Orleans.
I have to dig out my notes but I believe that the rates were higher there as well as there were loading dock issues. I also believe they were one of the casinos that refused to waive the resort fee which saves our members $19 a day at the South Point.
We did the research and found the South Point to be our best option so we signed a 2 year contract.
Now I realize you don't like the South Point and from your posts I gather you choose not to stay there for the convention. I realize that you as well as others would like to see us closer to the Rio and the WSOP. But consider for a minute that there are many people who don't feel that way. I had over 100 emails and people who told me that the South Point is the best place we have ever held the convention and they hope we never leave.
Those comments come from both attendees and dealers.
Remember we have not always had the convention at the South Point. That is our 5th location including 2 years at the Orleans where we left because of facility issues.
Now I am not saying your comments are not valid at all. What I am saying is for every person who honks we should move, there are others who feel very different.
I hear all the time, why don't we move the convention to the middle of the strip or to the palms right across from the WSOP. Well how many people will stay at the host hotel with a $300 a night week be rare?
How many dealers will we get if we charge $700 a table to cover costs?
How many attendees would come if we charge $50 a day to get in?
All things to consider when we look at potential sites.
The Splashbar - not sure why this is an issue but I have seen it mentioned several times already.
The Splashbar is not a bar at the South Point, its a state of mind.
The original Splashbar was at the Rivieria when they had the show Splash.
When they closed the show and changed the name of the bar we still had a Splashbar.
When we moved to the South Point we appointed a new Splashbar.
If we move to another location that will be the home of our new Splashbar.
So, I can't imagine anyone saying we don't want to move the convention because of the Splashbar because it was never at the South Point to start with.
Getting poker stars to sign autographs - Sounds like a great idea doesn't it?
Have you ever tried to get a star poker player to appear at an event?
I ask because I have numerous times.
The bottom line is for $2000 you can get a player that no one has ever heard of.
If you want someone like a Helmuth or Ivey, expect to shell out $50-75k or more as that's what they charge. I could not find one person that would do this for free, especially during the busy time during the WSOP.
Not a bad idea at all, but something we have tried to do numerous times before with no luck.
Now with all that being said I don't mean to discourage suggestions and I mean absolutely no disrespect. I just didn't want people to think that these things are newnideas that have been ignored in the past.
Once again I appreciate the discussion and can assure you that Jerry will discuss all your suggestion with the rest of the board just like we do with all suggestions.
Thanks again and hope we talk some more next time in the 'Smoking area'