by Janet Dickelman
What a great way to begin the new year with the tentative tour schedule for the 2017 American Council of the Blind conference and convention. Convention dates are June 30th through July 7th. The Nugget Casino and Resort in Sparks, Nev. is the place to be for all the affiliate and committee programming, informative and inspiring general sessions, lots of social activities and the chance to mingle with friends old and new!
Below is our preliminary schedule; complete tour descriptions will be provided closer to the convention. Please keep in mind that tour schedules are subject to change.
Friday, June 30
1. Three unique museums in one visit! At the Fleischmann Planetarium, touch the earth as it revolves; feel bodies of water, mountains and land masses. Feel the craters of the moon; experience the power of the sun. Watch a movie about space and enter a black hole simulator. At the Museum of Natural History, explore Cuba’s extraordinary biodiversity and unique culture through immersive exhibits. Visit the Titanosaur, a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur. The species is so new that it has not yet been formally named by the paleontologists who discovered it. The W.M. Keck Earth Science & Mineral Engineering Museum houses an outstanding collection of minerals, ores, and fossil specimens in addition to mining-related relics. Lunch and time in the gift shop are included in this amazing tour!
2. Tahoe Dinner Cruise: You’ll receive a glass of champagne as you board the boat and be served a plated dinner. After dinner sit on one of two decks; one has a band, the other will be more conducive for visiting.
Saturday, July 1
1. Tubing down the Truckee River: That’s right, lay back in a tube and float down the Truckee River. You will be wearing a life jacket and helmet; guides will be there to help you along. After tubing, enjoy a picnic lunch that includes soda and beer.
2. City bus tours: the always popular narrated tour will tell you about the history and culture of Reno.
3. National Automobile Museum: Celebrating America’s Love Affair with the Automobile. 3,000 vintage vehicles are housed in this museum; we’ll have a special white-glove hands-on experience. If you joined ACB in 2011 for a visit to this museum, you’ll want to go again; exhibits change often. In addition to the automobiles, you’ll learn a bit about the history of various time periods. Enjoy lunch among the automobiles!
Sunday, July 2
1. City bus tours — see Saturday’s description.
2. Green Horn Creek Ranch: Swim in the outdoor pool, take a horseback ride, fish in the stocked pond, or lounge on the saloon porch in a comfy rocking chair! Take a wagon ride and enjoy a cookout with all the fixings.
Monday, July 3
1. Nevada State Railroad Museum: Hear the sounds of train whistles and the hiss of the steam engine! Lots of hands-on railroad memorabilia. Take a 25-minute ride on a steam engine train!
2. Blackjack Tournament Training: Learn the fundamental rules, terminology, strategy and etiquette that are unique to table games. Casino dealers demonstrate possible combinations, explain the odds, and show how you would be paid on a winning hand.
3. Slot Machine Tournament: Play slots for a prescribed time period; at the end of each round, scores will be tallied and top scorers will win free slot play.
Tuesday, July 4
1. ACB Texas Hold-‘Em Tournament: Here’s your chance to match your poker skills with other ACBers, even if you have never played before. The dealers will teach you how to play before the tournament begins. Prize money awarded based on the total number of players.
2. Slot Machine Tournament — see Monday’s description
3. Blackjack Tournament
4. Fourth of July festival: Just steps from the hotel is the Nugget-sponsored Fourth of July Festival. Music, crafts, food vendors and a huge fireworks show. Join our “tour” and enjoy it all!
Wednesday, July 5
1. Churchill Vineyards and Spirits: Information on how wines and various spirits are made; tour will include time for tasting and shopping.
2. Sweet Tooth Tour: Visit Kimmi Candy Company for a video on candy making, a factory tour, a stop in the sample room, and lots of time for candy buying! (Note: Guide dogs cannot be taken into the factory, and all attendees must wear hair nets. The factory is only a portion of the tour. Make arrangements with a friend on the tour to stay with your dog while you are in the factory, or you can forego that portion of the tour if you’d prefer.)
3. Nevada Aces Game: Join in the fun at this minor league baseball game. The Aces are the farm team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and will be playing the Tacoma Rainiers, Seattle’s farm team. Enjoy a great buffet of pulled pork and barbeque chicken before the game.
Friday, July 7
1. Virginia City: Visit this historic town, including a narrated trolley tour, a trip into a gold mine, a Wild West show, and lots of time for shopping. Lunch on your own.
2. Dinner and a Show: End your week with a great meal and a stage show TBA.
Staying in Touch
Once again this year the conference and convention announce list will be filled with information! To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to email@example.com. If you received updates for the 2016 convention, you need not subscribe again.
All rooms at the Nugget have refrigerators and safes. Room rates at the Nugget are $89 (single or double occupancy) with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 13.5%. Effective June 2016 there is also a $2 per day tourism tax added to each room. When you book your reservation, one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.
Included in the room rate is the hotel resort fee, which covers:
· Round-trip shuttle transportation to and from Reno-Tahoe International Airport
· Complimentary wireless Internet in guestrooms
· Daily complimentary bottled water, 2 bottles per room per day
· Unlimited use of the year-round Atrium Pool
· Unlimited use of the Fitness Center
· Full service concierge
· Valet and self-parking in the secured covered parking structure
To make reservations, call 1-800-648-1177 and ask for group code GACB17. You may also make reservations online by visiting www.acb.org and following the 2017 conference and convention link.
2017 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, email@example.com
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.