Last Monday I contacted my NJ2020 conference committee regarding the viability of holding our conference in the midst of a global pandemic. This was in response to the NJ “State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency” declared by the Governor on March 9th. Universally but regretfully, we agreed that for the safety of our attendees, vendors and presenters, we should cancel the conference. Simultaneously, I contacted the attorneys of both host organizations for their review of the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel contract. Ken Gurge(NRAAO) and John Lloyd(AMANJ) responded that the Force Majeure clause should be invoked which provides an escape from the onerous cancellation penalties.
This Monday the State of New Jersey began mandatory shut downs of all sit-in restaurants and bars, malls and amusement parks. The State has also made the decision to close all of the casinos. Many of you may have received notifications from the Hard Rock if you had standing hotel reservations. International travel is banned and the US/Canada border is now closed. Most states, counties and districts have restricted their employees movements outside of local areas.
Jim Mancini has reached out to Hard Rock regarding our cancellation. He is awaiting a return communication. The social event venue, the bands, the vendors, and the presenters will have to be notified and cancelled. The NJ county’s donations, ad book monies, and sponsors will need to be applied forward or refunded. The registrations will need to be refunded. We have just begun the long process of dismantling this beautiful thing that we have built.
The business meetings of the NRAAO and AMANJ will need to be rescheduled to either a virtual meeting or a specific date and location in the (hopefully) safer future.
Both the NRAAO and AMANJ newsletters which are normally filled with conference information will need to be re-conceived.
Your input and wisdom is welcomed as we navigate this uncharted course.
President NJ – NRAAO