The Braille Monitor                                                                                         December, 2003


Convention Bulletin 2004

The Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel
The Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel

It is time to plan for the 2004 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. This year we are returning to Atlanta and the beautiful Marriott Marquis Hotel, site of the 1999 and 2000 conventions.

Once again our hotel rates are the envy of all. For the 2004 convention they are singles, doubles, and twins, $59; and triples and quads, $65. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. No charge will be made for children fifteen and under in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested.

For 2004 convention room reservations you should write directly to the Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or call (404) 521-0000. The hotel will want a deposit of $60 or a credit card number. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $60 check. If a reservation is cancelled prior to June 1, 2004, $30 of the $60 deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

The Marquis is a beautiful, fifty-story atrium hotel with a panoramic view of this bustling city in the heart of the New South. It is twelve miles north of the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. Those driving to the convention will find the hotel conveniently located off Interstate 85, by taking Exit 96, International Boulevard, turning left onto International Boulevard, going to Peachtree Center Avenue, and turning right. The hotel is on the right in the second block. The Marriott has three excellent restaurants: Allie's American Grille, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Atrium Express, open for breakfast and lunch; and Marquis Steakhouse, open for dinner only. Champions Sports Bar is open until 2:00 a.m. and serves lunch and dinner. The hotel features indoor and outdoor pools, a solarium, health club, whirlpool, and sauna. Guest-room amenities include cable television, coffee pot, iron and ironing board, hair drier, and dataport.

Federationists attending the convention will have access to a wealth of restaurants, shops, and other attractions like Martin Luther King Center (1.5 miles), Underground Atlanta (0.8 mile), and World of Coca-Cola (0.8 mile). See later issues of the Monitor for information about tours and other attractions in the Greater Atlanta area.

The 2004 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be a truly exciting and memorable event, with an unparalleled program and rededication to the goals and work of our movement. Make plans now to be a part of it. The schedule this year is a bit unusual. Preconvention seminars for parents of blind children and other groups and set-up of the exhibit hall will take place on Tuesday, June 29, and adjournment will be Monday, July 5, at 5:00 p.m. Convention registration will begin on Wednesday, June 30, and both Wednesday and Thursday will be filled with meetings of divisions and committees, including the Thursday morning annual meeting, open to all, of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind.

General convention sessions begin on Friday, July 2, and continue through the afternoon of Monday, July 5. The annual banquet will take place on Sunday evening, July 4. To assure yourself a room in the headquarters hotel at convention rates, you must make reservations early. The hotel will be ready to take your call or deal with your written request by January 1.

Remember that as usual we need door prizes from state affiliates, local chapters, and individuals. Once again prizes should be small in size but large in value. Cash, of course, is always appropriate and welcome. As a general rule we ask that prizes of all kinds have a value of at least $25. Drawings will occur steadily throughout the convention sessions, and you can anticipate a grand prize of truly impressive proportions to be drawn at the banquet. You may bring door prizes with you or send them ahead of time (identifying the item and donor and listing the value in print and Braille) to Thelma Godwin, 1705 Paradise Drive, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30307.

The best collection of exhibits, featuring new technology; meetings of our special interest groups, committees, and divisions; memorable tours arranged by the Georgia affiliate; the most stimulating and provocative program items of any meeting of the blind in the world; the chance to renew friendships in our Federation family; and the unparalleled opportunity to be where the real action is and where decisions are being made--all of these mean you will not want to miss being a part of the 2004 national convention. We'll see you in Atlanta in 2004!