SATW 2021 Eastern Chapter Meetings

The Board of the SATW Eastern Chapter has adapted the meeting structure in 2021 because of COVID-19. Our members have expressed concerns about flying and about meeting in large groups.

In response to the pandemic realities but with the goal of helping our members network and develop professionally, we have arranged three smaller regional meetings (maximum of 25 members each) for 2021 instead of one larger meeting. We have also made significant changes from our typical chapter meeting format to maximize safety. These are detailed below.

Southern Delaware
May 2-5
(4 days/3 nights, Sunday to Thursday)

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
Blowing Rock
June 13-16
(4 days/3 nights, Sunday to Thursday)

The Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock, North Carolina welcomes attendees of the SATW Eastern Chapter for a mountain getaway this summer. Enjoy stunning views, nearby hikes, and a community of independent shops, art galleries and restaurants. The High Country destination has been voted one of the top mountain towns in the country Come see why Blowing Rock has been a visitor favorite since the 1880s!

Blowing Rock is located in western North Carolina and within a two- to five-hour from major cities.[drive? Which cities? Any train or airport service?]

Host/Hotel: Meadowbrook Inn
Blue Ridge

July 7-10
(4 days/3 nights, Sunday to Thursday)

Offering a rich mix of culture, scenery and flavor, Virginia’s Blue Ridge boasts the largest metropolitan center in the [just Va’s right?]Blue Ridge Mountain chain 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 Procedures and Parameters

Members may select one meeting to attend. If any meeting does not fill up, we will open registration to members who have already elected to go to another meeting, allowing them to attend potentially two or three meetings. If a meeting is still not filled to capacity, we will consider opening up the meeting to other chapters.

Our host destinations and hotels will be strictly following all federal, state and local COVID-19 regulations. We will have a limited number of group gatherings. These will be open to members and hosts only (no guests), will be held outdoors whenever possible, and, if held indoors, will provide ample space for social distancing.

Members will be required to wear CDC-recommended masks at all times (unless eating or treating in designated socially distanced spaces). Acceptable masks include N-95 or a KN-95 masks, a double mask—either a surgical mask topped by multilayer cloth mask or a multilayer cloth mask with an approved filter inserted, and double or triple thick gaiters. We will not allow scarves, bandanas, masks with ventilation, or any other face coverings that have not been CDC-approved for COVID-19 protection.

Masks must cover NOSE and MOUTH at all times when not eating or drinking in an area so designated. Anyone not following these rules will be removed from that event. You will be given one warning. If you violate the rules again, you will removed from the event and banned from all future SATW group events during this meeting.

We also expect attendees and any guests will not put staff at risk at the hotel or any other places they visit during the meeting. If anyone is violating COVID-19 safety rules, the board will support the host and/or hotel if they ask the member and/or guest to leave.

As always, transportation to the host destination is your responsibility. Being able to drive to the destinations was an important factor in planning this year’s meetings, and all are on the East Coast. While they might entail a long drive for some, they are still drivable.

We expect that, for their own 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 host will not provide transportation to or from any airports, train stations or bus stations.* In addition, no transportation will be provided within the destination at any of the three meetings. How you get around is up to you and any fees associated with your transportation while in the destination (whether it’s a cab, Uber, parking, etc.) is your financial responsibility.

Your chapter board and your hosts want 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.

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

Beyond any food provided by the host (if any buffets are included, food will be served by staff members and all safety guidelines will be observed) and outlined on the meeting schedule, you will eat meals on your own for safety reasons. Our hosts will be providing gift certificates to some recommended restaurants for meals on your own. Whether you choose to eat indoors or outdoors or get takeout 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 allowed 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 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 wants to bring a partner, family member or friend that they feel comfortable traveling with may do so. The board and the hosts hope this makes eating and touring on your own more enjoyable.

Please be aware that, in contrast to prior years, guests will NOT be permitted at any SATW events. That includes any welcome event, professional development, breakfast, lunches or final evening events. There will be NO exclusions from this policy. This policy will ensure that we have small group sizes and social distancing can be accommodated.

Further, since the member is 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 all of those expenses. Some locations may have discount passes or coupon books that can be purchased through the Visitor Center for the use of guests.

We are not offering any pre- or post-tours at any of the destinations. Instead, members may extend their stay at the host hotel for up to three days before and up to three days after the core meeting dates. Special member pricing is being offered for these extra days.

On those extended days, the hotel rate will include Wi-Fi, parking and any resort fees but will not include taxes. Members are fully responsible financially for all associated costs if they choose to extend their stay (including lodging cost with taxes, transportation and associated costs outside of hotel parking, as well as meals and touring).

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