March 17, 2020
Dear LAI Members,
During the past two weeks, LAI International Officers and representatives of the Ely Chapter, (Richard Wilson, Ely Chapter President, Jennifer Tammen, LEW Chair and staff) have had several discussions regarding the feasibility of holding the Land Economics Weekend (LEW) April 30 – May 2 in Chicago. After extensive discussions we recommended to the LAI Executive Committee that this meeting be postponed due to the possible risk of members contracting the COVID19 virus should that meeting be held as previously planned. We also have been in discussion with the Los Angeles LEW planning committee as our solution will directly impact that event.
Here is the solution that was adopted by the LAI Executive Committee:
The LEW scheduled for April 30 – May 2, 2020 in Chicago be postponed tentatively to September 10 – 12, 2020 and be held in Chicago. The dates for the postponed Chicago meeting are the same dates that were originally scheduled for the LEW in Los Angeles.
The LEW that was originally scheduled for September 10 – 12, 2020 to be held in Los Angeles, now be held April 15-17, 2021 in Los Angeles. No other chapter has expressed interest in holding a LEW in the Spring of 2021.
The shifting of both meetings is recommended because the costs of postponing both meetings and rescheduling them less than six months later from the original dates, allows LAI not to be charged cancellation fees that would significant. The Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles is also willing to allow us to reschedule our meeting date without any penalty. However, the only dates available in March, April or May of 2021 are April 15-17, 2021. We have checked that these dates do not coincide with Easter nor Passover.
We are currently in negotiations with both hotels. We will be sending out further rescheduling details as soon as they are finalized. At this point, please do not contact the InterContinental hotel to change your hotel reservations as this could further delay our ability to finalize new dates with the hotel. We will be refunding LEW registration fees upon request, and there will be an option to simply transfer your registration to the new date once finalized. Our hope is to have everything finalized by March 31, 2020.
The Spring 2020 Board of Governors meeting be held electronically at a date to be determined.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to all involved in this effort. This was truly a collaborative effort. Special thanks to Richard Wilson and Jennifer Tammen of the Ely Chapter, Karin Chao (President of LAI Los Angeles Chapter), Kathy King, LAI International Vice President, Gary Leach, LAI Treasurer, Craig Binning, LAI Assistant Treasurer and Sheila Hamilton, LAI Executive Director. By working together, in an ever shifting environment, we were able to develop a solution that will protect our members and allow us to gather again when we can be safe in the locations we had previously agreed to meet.
Sheila D. Harris, PhD, LAI President
Richard Wilson, LAI Ely Chapter President
Jennifer Tammen, LAI Ely Chapter Chicago LEW Committee Chair