Carl T. Seibert, COO/State Secretary
I am looking forward to seeing everyone in St. Louis this weekend! It looks like the weather is going to be pleasant and not too hot!
Remember each of you made your reservations directly with the Hyatt. If your needs change, please contact the Hyatt. I will not be able to do anything to help you with room reservations.
The Florida delegation hotel is the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch located at 315 Chestnut Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. The convention rate for most rooms is $134.44 per night inclusive of taxes. Should your rate be different it is because you booked outside of our Florida room block or you booked after our cut-off date or you booked an upgraded room or you booked for a date when there were no rooms remaining in our block for the convention rate.
The Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch is located directly across the street from the St. Louis Gateway Arch. In fact, there is no hotel closer. There will be eleven other states collocated with us in the Hyatt, the largest of which are Ohio and Indiana, and our sister states of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.
The check-in time for the Hyatt is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m.
If you drive or rent a car, the Hyatt has only valet parking at a cost of $25.30 per day inclusive of tax. The Mansion House parking garage is an option and is located directly across the street from the back of the Hyatt. The cost to park there is approximately $16 per day.
Most major car rental counters are located a short shuttle bus ride from the St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). The airport is located about 14 miles (25 minutes) from the Hyatt. There is an Enterprise Counter located in the Hyatt.
The Grand Lodge hotel is the Marriott Grand St. Louis located directly across the street from the America’s Center Convention Complex. Our hotel is about a 15-minute walk from the convention center however buses will run between the hotel and the convention center daily. One way by bus will take less than 10 minutes.
The Opening Ceremonies begin on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. in Hall 4. Exalted Rulers and Alternate Delegates are required to attend all general sessions and the opening ceremonies. The final general session of the convention will end around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
The Grand Lodge Registration fee is required to be paid by Elks members only. There is no fee for Non-Elks registering with an Elks member. Everyone must do this as your name badge is required to gain entry to all meetings and your voting credentials are required to be in your possession to be able to vote during the legislative session.
Upon your arrival in St. Louis, you will want to make your way to the America’s Center Convention Complex Hall 3, to obtain your voting credentials and badge. The registration schedule is as follows:
Saturday, June 29 – 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday, July 1 – 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Sunday, June 30 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 – 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The official Grand Lodge Opening Ceremonies will be held at the America’s Center Convention Complex on Sunday, June 30th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The opening ceremonies will be followed by entertainment until 8:30 p.m. Members and accompanied guests are encouraged to attend. Florida attendees are encouraged to wear orange jackets or orange shirts to all sessions of the Grand Lodge and to sit in the area designated for the Florida delegation starting Monday. There is no reserved seating for the opening ceremonies on Sunday, but I am sure someone will make sure to hold some seats for Florida. Just look for the Orange! Also, be reminded that all Exalted Rulers or Alternate Delegates are required to check-in with their Endorsed District Deputy prior to the beginning of each official Grand Lodge session.
Our State Sponsors have challenged us to be loud, proud and visible! This year we have made some plans to assist us in this regard. On Monday when you arrive in the convention center you will have NO problem finding where Florida is sitting and throughout the sessions the convention attendees will have NO problem seeing and hearing the Florida Elks! Stay tuned!
The Ritual Competition will take place in the America’s Center Convention Complex. Florida’s best, Bradenton Lodge #1511 will perform Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. They are the first to go off and will certainly set the bar high! WHEN they advance to the finals those will be held Monday between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Please plan to attend the Bradenton performance and show your support!
The District Deputies Designate Seminar will be held on Monday, July 1st from 12:45 to 3:00 p.m. in meeting room Landmark 5 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel and the Exalted Rulers Ball is no more! It has been replaced by the Celebration on Sunday following the Opening Ceremonies and will include free entertainment along with food and beverage for purchase.
The Florida Dinner will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch on Tuesday, July 2nd starting at 8 p.m. Dress for the event is business casual. The menu will be St. Louis Barbecue. Tickets for the Florida Dinner have been mailed to all who have bought them and includes a ticket for access to the Florida Hospitality Room from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that night prior to the dinner. The Grand Ballroom will open at 6:00 p.m. following this reception.
A highlight of the Grand Lodge Convention each year is the Florida Hospitality Room. Every year it becomes more and more costly to operate our room and this year is no exception. We have been given a rather large suite on the 18th floor next to a similar suite for Ohio. I have been in communication with Ohio and we are working together to share the expected throng of convention goers we are sure to attract. Our room will operate this year a little differently than in the past, think more like those at our state convention. Guests will flow in and out of the room and this will give our attendees more opportunity to visit other states and even other hotels. We will still offer limited food and snacks and always offer top-shelf liquor. Every Florida attendee has paid the required $75 per person fee to assist in defraying the cost to operate the hospitality room. In thanks to you we will open the Florida Hospitality Room to Florida-Only for the first hour of each night Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This will allow you to have first dibs on the catered snack items each night and the ability to get a drink before the throngs arrive!
I think you are going to enjoy St. Louis, the Grand Lodge Convention, the Sunday night Celebration and the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch!
I am looking forward to seeing you in St. Louis this summer and as always, if I may be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!
Sincerely and fraternally,