SATW 2021 Eastern Chapter Meetings

The Board of SATW’s Eastern Chapter has revised the structure of our 2021 meeting to reflect the current realities of COVID-19. Because responses to the Eastern Chapter survey distributed last year indicated serious concerns about flying and about meeting in large groups.

With the goal of helping our members network and continue to develop professionally while taking recommended precautions for remaining healthy, we have arranged for two smaller regional meetings to be held in summer 2021, replacing our traditional one large meeting. (A maximum of 25 members will be permitted to attend each of the two meetings.)

We have also made significant changes to our typical chapter meeting format to maximize the health and safety of all participants. These are detailed below.

Coastal Delaware

Dewey Beach and Coastal Southern Delaware
June 6–9
(4 days/3 nights, Sunday to Wednesday)

Southern Delaware Tourism looks forward to welcoming attendees of the SATW Eastern Chapter’s May meeting to our “nearby, faraway” resort destination this spring! Enjoy the road trip and the genuinely far away feel you’ll experience here thanks to our coastal laid-back vibe, scenic natural setting, and clean, five-star beaches.

Southern Delaware is easily accessible via I-95 and Route 1 South. Our beaches are just over an hour’s drive south from Amtrak’s Wilmington station and a two-hour drive from either Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) or the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

Host: Southern Delaware Tourism
Hotel: Hyatt Place, Dewey Beach
Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Roanoke and Virginia’s Blue Ridge
July 7-10
(4 days/3 nights, Wednesday to Saturday)

Offering a rich mix of culture, scenery and flavor, Virginia’s Blue Ridge boasts the largest metropolitan center in the Blue Ridge Mountain chain of Virginia, for a refined, authentic, metro mountain adventure unlike any other. The region, with Roanoke at its heart, is a premier destination for outdoor recreation and is America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital. Explore over 1,000 miles of hiking, biking and paddling trails paired with exceptional local flavors. Come be a Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge this summer!

Roanoke and Virginia’s Blue Ridge is easily accessible by major roadways, train and plane.

Host: Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Hotel: Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

2021 Eastern Chapter Meeting Policies and Procedures

Members may attend one meeting (you will rank your preference in the survey and be assigned according to space). If any meeting does not fill up, registration will be opened to members who have already elected to go to another meeting, allowing them potentially to attend two meetings this year. If a meeting is still not filled to capacity by Eastern Chapter registrants, we will consider opening up the meeting to other SATW chapters.

The health and safety of our members is of the highest priority. Our host destinations and hotels will be strictly following all federal, state and local COVID-19 regulations. Only a limited number of group gatherings will be held. These will be open to members and hosts only (no guests), will be held outdoors whenever possible for optimal ventilation and, if held indoors, will provide ample space for social distancing at a minimum of 6 feet apart.

Members will be required to wear masks at all times during all chapter meeting events unless eating or drinking in designated areas. Masks or facial coverings must meet standards recommended by the CDC and must cover nose and mouth.

Anyone not following the rules for masking and social distancing will be given one warning before being asked to leave that event. If a member violates COVID-19 rules again, the offender will be removed from the event and banned from all future SATW group events during the chapter meeting.

We also expect that members and any attending guests will not put staff at risk at the hotel or any other venues visited during the meeting. Please know that if someone violates COVID-19 safety rules, the board will support the decision of the host and/or hotel to ask the member and/or guest to leave.

Should there be a question about appropriate or changing COVID-19 regulations in a particular destination, the board and our hosts will ensure that CDC recommendations are followed.

As always, transportation to the host destination is the attending member’s responsibility. Driving distance to the destinations has been an important factor in planning this year’s meetings, and all are located on the East Coast.

We expect that for personal safety, most members will choose to drive their own vehicles and use them to get around the destination whenever walking is not an option. If you do not own a car, we recommend that you rent one.

In most cases, the hosts will not provide transportation to or from airports, train stations or bus stations.*

In addition, no transportation will be provided within the destination at any of the two meetings. How you choose to get around is up to you, but any fees associated with your transportation while in the destination (whether by taxi, car service, bike rental, on-site parking, etc.) will be your financial responsibility.

*Transportation to and from the hotel is available while in Roanoke, Virginia, via the Hotel Roanoke shuttle.

Your chapter board and your hosts encourage you to get out and explore the fabulous destinations where the meetings are being held. However, we also recognize that group tours and transportation could be risky from a health perspective. As such, all touring will be done on your own (see above Transportation section).

Our hosts and their partners will make recommendations and provide passes to popular tourist attractions for each member. Many other sights might be free. You will decide what you want to see, when you want to see it, and how you will get there.

Beyond designated meals provided by the host and outlined on the meeting schedule, you will eat meals on your own for safety reasons. (If any buffets are included, food items will be individually wrapped or will be served by staff members, and all safety guidelines will be observed.)

Our hosts will be providing gift cards or discounts to some recommended restaurants for meals on your own. Whether you choose to eat indoors or outdoors, or prefer a takeout option, the decision is up to you. Members are responsible for any costs above the gift card amount, as well as for the tip on the full value of the meal. If you elect to go to a restaurant for which you do not have a gift card, the entire cost is your responsibility.

Members are permitted to bring a guest to stay with them in their hotel room at no extra cost. In some cases, the hotels have two full or queen beds and our host will allow up to three guests per registered member in the same hotel room. (There may be a small up-charge for third and fourth guests.) This policy means that any member who chooses to bring along a partner, family member or friend may do so. The board and our hosts hope this makes eating and touring on your own more enjoyable.

In contrast to prior years, please be aware that guests will NOT be permitted at any SATW events. This includes welcome events, professional development sessions, breakfasts, lunches or final evening events. There will be NO exceptions to this policy. The policy will ensure that we have small group sizes and adequate space for social distancing.

Further, since the member is offered the privilege of paying nothing or a very minimal hotel cost for guests, our host will NOT provide any meal gift cards or attraction passes for guests. You and your guest(s) are responsible in full for those expenses. Some locations may have discount passes or coupon books that can be purchased through the Visitor Center for the use of guests.

Because of COVID concerns, this year we have moved away from designated, small-group pre- and post-tours. Instead, members may extend their stay at the host hotel at special SATW member pricing so that they can further explore the meeting destination and all there is to see and do within a short distance.

Members are fully responsible financially for all associated costs if they choose to extend their visit (including lodging cost with taxes, transportation, meals and touring).