Judy Kay-Wolff

SCOUTING FOR SITES

At our occasional Ladies Monday luncheon tete-a-tete (which include bridge players of all ilks .. active, retired, somewhat inactive and in-between), someone piped up asking if there wasn’t a Sectional coming up soon and where. I was floored for a minute as this event is a bit off the beaten path .. any way you look at it. I retorted it was a three day event .. being held next Thursday, Friday and Saturday with ten and three starting times.  When asked for more details, I briefed them of the following: Because of earlier confrontations about the site and tardiness in coming to a decision, we are departing from the normal site choices. This LV tournament is being held at an unusual location:  The Donald J. Reynolds Scouting Center on Paradise Road down by the Airport. Unlike most tournament locales, there is no overnight sleeping facilities but there are some hotels not too far. In the absence of restaurants .. hot coffee (regular and decaf), hot tea and cold sodas are available at the cost of $1.00 each and six different box lunches are there for the asking (if you order before 10 a.m.). Prices are not listed but the varieties are quite appealing. Guest lecturers, JoAnn and Danny Sprung, will be present on Thursday and Friday at 2:30 .. half hour before the afternoon sessions. There is plenty of free parking and you figure to get home at a reasonable time. My luncheon buddies were startled by the unusual change of venue and suddenly someone asked in which hotel will the March tournament be held. After a hushed silence (as I believe it is still undecided), someone giggled suggesting .. “Maybe the Girl Scout Center?” With that .. we all headed toward our cars. Check out the flyer for more particulars to see if it works for you.


14 Comments

SamOctober 13th, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Is there any information available as to the dates of the next LV Sectional rumored to be held in early 2016? Only a vague March reference is made above. If visitors want to plan ahead, given a choice of venues, they should be afforded information as to exact dates, hotel sites, options of events scheduled, etc. This is particularly necessary to those who will be flying in order to shop early for the best airline rates available. Can you help?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 13th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Good morning Sam:

I am afraid I don’t know much more than you. The only reference was that it was a Sectional scheduled for February 29 through March 4th and as far as the location .. in bold letters: TBD. Apparently, this tournament has been on the books for months, but nothing has been finalized (or at least announced).

I remember in days gone by, Norman and I were always guilty of looking for an excuse to visit Vegas and enjoy the great hospitality, exciting venues, super entertainment and loved the comfort and convenience of playing bridge in the host casino and then making a bee-line to the blackjack tables during the dinner break. In those days, under the auspices of Martha Beecher and Grace Matthews, LV was like today’s Gatlinburg.

I no longer take an active role in bridge events as I did back in Philly for many decades, but I can’t think of a better locale to hold a tournament as LV is still a marvelous vacation venue. However, I have no affiliation with the Unit Board and thus assume no credit or responsibility for whatever happens.

Hopefully, we’ll get our act in shape and very soon you will read the information which you seek. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

JOANIEOctober 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am

With such a conglomeration of hotels in Vegas, how can they advertise a tournament and not know the location four months in advance? What’s going on?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 14th, 2015 at 1:07 am

Joanie:

You are one of many who asked the same question. At one time we had a capable couple who handled those arrangements, but their term was up and others are now in charge of the negotiations. If I hear of anything definitive, I will let you know. Hang in!

SamOctober 15th, 2015 at 1:33 pm

I heard your Unit held a board meeting yesterday. Was anything resolved about the tournament in question and the dubious site?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 15th, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Sam, Looks like you were having technical computer problems, so I removed your duplicate comment. As far as the Unit meeting, it is before 7 a.m. here (too early to call), but sent an email to learn more. Will report back if I hear anything about the February-March venue.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 15th, 2015 at 6:27 pm

To Sam and Joanie,
I can only tell you that I learned unofficially from an attendee of yesterday's meeting that a decision will be made by the end of the month as to a designated site under consideration for the up-till-now undecided February-March Sectional. They announced they are eying a place near The Strip. It is a casino with which Bobby and I are very familiar as we played blackjack there when we first relocated in Vegas. I know nothing about the playing room/s, but it is easy to reach, plenty of free parking and a few terrific and affordable eateries. Hope it materializes as time is running out and players (especially out-of-towners) want to make travel arrangements and circle it on their calendars.

Jane AOctober 16th, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Hi Judy,

I heard the same info last night at a club game, but I was also told that if these plans work out, there will be a great room rate for those who want to stay at this hotel. This will make lots of people very happy, for sure, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. We should know soon as our unit board has to make a decision fairly quickly.

I hope our little sectional next week is fun as well. This will be quite different for a sectional in Vegas, but I am just glad we are able to have something. Reminds me of the sectionals we had back in the day when I was in the midwest.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 17th, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Jane A,

I too am delighted at the possibility of making a deal with the suggested nearby Strip Casino to which someone alluded in a recent email. However, Bobby and I (and many other unit members are horrified by the operation of our Unit’s one man show as well as the refusal to address the outrageous issue of a recorder). Many who played on Wednesday afternoon, intending to stay for the Board Meeting, reversed their thinking and left before the show. It is difficult to understand there were only ten people in attendance at the session of a once popular and successful unit with earlier incredible tournament attendance records.

I understand there is a movement afoot by JoAnn Sprung to organize an affective local teaching program which is a very positive incentive and we wish her well. However, to put aside the Recorder issue which Bobby specifically addressed in June at a special meeting we attended was an obviously deliberate and successful move to postpone the inevitable in defiance of certain mandatory bridge standards.

Sorry for my negative attitude, but I have been around the bridge world too long to just sit by and close my eyes in total horror for the last several month’s unit policies.

SamOctober 17th, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Judy,

The last few posts are most uplifting about the upcoming 2016 Sectional at the rumored casino hotel. It is sad indeed to leave it hanging in abeyance and not tending to it immediately. What could possibly take precedence over a Sectional or Regional Site Selection .. particularly when being hosted at a quite popular vacation location like Las Vegas? It is difficult for me to envision the person responsible not giving the issue absolutely top priority. Without tournaments, bridge would fade into oblivion. Looking forward to good news pronto.

Jane AOctober 17th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Although I am not involved with the board or the tournaments any longer, I agree that this site issue needs to be taken care of now. In regards to teaching programs for beginners and novices, the three major clubs in Las Vegas have teaching programs going on and they has been quite successful. The club in Henderson holds lessons on Friday and then has a 199’s game following. They also recently held the first unit game for 299’s and ten tables showed up. The other two big clubs in our area also have teaching programs, and one of them has novice games as well. All these clubs are attracting new players, so it seems like things are heading in the right direction. Anything additional that JoAnn could provide would be terrific. JoAnn does a great job with her presentations and has taught some more advanced sessions at one of our local clubs and also at our tournaments. Getting some bridge classes in our school systems has still not worked out from what I understand, so maybe that can happen at some point.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 17th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Hi Jane A.

As you may be aware, Bobby (along with other devoted bridge lovers) for many years tried to get bridge into the school systems overseas (as detailed in The Lone Wolff) and had it officially approved in China but when a meeting in Aspen ensued, because of selfish personal motivations of those wanting to involve themselves in the teaching process for financial reasons) .. it suffered a setback of several years. Personal politics, as it usually does, reared its ugly head and delayed it’s long awaited introduction! However, in addition to China, bridge officially came to fruition in about ten other European school curricula. So it is definitely ‘do-able!’ And, incidentally, it is being reflected in the junior results of overseas contestants in recent world competition.

Obviously, having it officially accepted and introduced into our educational program is our long range goal .. but easier said then done. One huge American effort is Learn Bridge in a Day (courtesy of Patty Tucker and Melissa Bernhardt) who actually enjoyed a big turnout here in Vegas a few years sgo and other private individuals and groups have made a major effort to do the same. Warren Buffett’s generous attempt to get bridge into the schools by donating a million bucks to the ACBL was a failed good will gesture as within three months retracted the offer for failure to produce any signs of success or progress.

JoAnn Sprung and her supporters are working feverishly to get the ball rolling here and hopefully the U. S. will eventually realize that OFFICIAL Bridge in the Schools should be mandatory as it is not JUST a game of cards but many facets (logic, reasoning, problem solving, human psychology, thinking ahead, etc.) serve to prepare and strengthen the handling one’s adult life much more easily.

Thanks to JoAnn and her supporters for their dedication to such a worthwhile and necessary objective!

MarthaOctober 18th, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Judy,

Thanks for your kind words. It seems like an eternity ago, but it was a true labor of love.

In the last century Paul Ivaska, Unit 373 President, asked Grace Matthews and myself to be Tournament Co-Chairmen. We accepted. The tournaments were in dreadful shape, poor attendance, three day outings and an inadequate playing space.

We knew that Las Vegas was the entertainment capital of the country and there was no reason that we shouldn’t have successful tournaments. So, we set out to make them the best and the biggest in the USA. We succeeded. We did it by hard work, perseverance, and the unselfish help by the unit members. Tom Schulman was a huge asset and a great Treasurer. We made appointments with every Convention Department in the city that had adequate convention space for our needs. We booked years in advance to accommodate the District schedule. We treated it as a full time business, always looking for new and better ways to run it and saving money in the process.

When I was not re-elected to the Board and left the unit work force, we were running SEVEN DAY Sectionals that were not only the largest Sectionals in the country, but, they were bigger than many Regionals. It turns out that the secret to success was hard work and determination. We wanted it to succeed; ergo, it did!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 18th, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Martha:

What an unexpected pleasure to hear from you. Before I ever had the pleasure of meeting you, I had heard both yours and Grace’s name with plaudits from my Philadelphia friends who had attended year after year. Of course, the economy is different and enormous undertakings like these grow harder and harder. It sounds like you had an extremely compatible staff of volunteers who worked well together. I have always believed that was the key to success. Thank you for reaching out. Encouragement never hurts!

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