Friday, July 18, 2014

World Challenge XXIII Lodging Part III

We have now identified and negotiated with about a dozen hotels. Contracts are being drawn up and we will begin the process of posting the reservation information as we get them. There will be a wide range of prices and amenities. Also, just a little further away by way of the light rail will be some great values.

Patience, my friends. We’re pushing this rope as fast as we can.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

World Challenge XXIII- Lodging Part II

This is the part where I tell you what I’m going to tell you. And I’m doing so because it’s complicated. To review, for the first time in our more than two decades, we’re going to have a two venue event.

The first part will be downtown Phoenix and then we’ll take all the assets to the Zoomtown Raceway in Avondale.

We have been actively engaged in recruiting downtown hotels, doing our best in negotiating most favorable rates.

In the next couple of days we’ll have all the contact information posted right here on the official website of the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.

Prices will include budget prices and great values in some upscale flagship hotels.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lodging: World Challenge XXIII- Part One

Thursday, July 10, 2014 
8:44:50 AM EDT 

The very reason for our coming to Phoenix presents a challenge that we are mitigating through boots on the ground; specifically, finding affordable and convenient rooms during NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Championship at the Phoenix Raceway. Our presence here in Phoenix is being driven by finding the best solution for everyone. 

We will have exposure to the largest crowd ever. But, lodging opportunities are diminished since NASCAR teams have long-term contracts for hotels that are closest to the track. These contracts have been in place for years; so, the critical consideration is to snatch up the remaining rooms before NASCAR fans start their search. 

What makes this event unique is the opportunity to be a sports competition within an international phenomena, with a day off on Friday so that we can move the course to the track. While complicated, this is worth the effort for the exposure for our sponsors as well as our elite athletes. 

Our numbers are predictable, but staggered. Some will attach a few extra days before or after the event. Some, knowing that they will not likely make it into the final days do not plan to be here for the weekend. Others, because of financial constraints want to spend the minimum amount, and will want to show up at the last possible moment for the Wild Card Eliminations. 

Challenge competitors with severely limited resources look for the lowest prices that they can find and are prepared to drive further if necessary. Others want to be in the host hotel, regardless of costs, since convenience is paramount. 

So, giving consideration to all of these factors, we are striving for solutions to everyone’s personal or team parameters. 

We may require up to 300 or more rooms. There is no one hotel that can meet all the requirements enumerated above. So, we’re attempting to nail down a number of options, with contact information immediately available so that you can start making your travel plans. There will likely be a dozen hotels that will have rooms to suit your needs.

It is imperative that you lock in your lodging just as soon as we have identified the toll-free numbers and reservation codes. It is our intention to have this information available within the week. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

My week with Jeanie (and Cheri)

Debbie Davis and Jeanie Allen at P.J. Clarke’s in DC on the 4th
If you’re new to the Challenge, you might not have yet had the privilege of meeting the Swamp Taters, the tandem team composed of Jeanie Allen and Cheri Ardoin. Jeanie is battling clear cell sarcoma, a lethal form of cancer that seemingly strikes physically fit people. 

She’s now part of a clinical trial at NIH (the medical Mecca of the world, the National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland. While this is a hump for Jeanie from her home state of Idaho, it’s a pretty short car ride from our house. And for this, we are truly thankful to be her concierge. The protocol is rigorous; Jeanie was on an I.V. Pump for the better part of a week. She named the device “George.”

When Cheri showed up, the whole mood in the SW Wing moved up a few beats because no one can be around Cheri and not be happy- or amused. 

So, the two of them conspired to produce a video of the day in the life of Jeanie, trapped in the secure campus (and I do mean secure) of NIH.

So, check it out.

You’ll be glad you did. (The sound track is copyrighted, which may explain why the video will not play on some smart devices; view it through your browser.)

We got a special treat from the manager of P.J. Clarke’s at the corner of 16th and K streets on the Fourth. He treated us to a roof-top view of the fireworks on the mall. 

All-in-all a great 4th of July with good food and wonderful friends.