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How I would revise our NABC Tournaments

In my opinion, Nationals now leave too much money on the table. There was even an article in a recent Daily Bulletin concerning a pair who attended Nationals simply to find nice restaurants in the area.

It is clearly evident that, like society, there are bridge players with money, and those who like to ”go economical”. Currently the ACBL treats everyone the same, maybe charging a little more for the economical crowd, and giving insufficient customer service for the rich bunch.

Nationals now are basically 11 days. It is time to make use of all the days, encourage foreign attendance, and attract the members want to pay for Enhanced Customer Service.

NABC’s are basically many mini tournaments rolled up into one convention. Currently we basically under price our Premier Events and over charge for our Regional Events, all receiving the same level of customer service. Like airlines, we must step up our service and charges for our “First Class” customers and offer some bargains for our cost conscious attendees.

NABC+ Premier Events present the opportunity to service and profit from our First Class members. We need two Premier Events at each NABC ... aPair contest followed by a Team contest. The Pair contest at the Spring and Summer conventions should start on Thursday, and be four day events. In the Fall it would start on Friday (day after Thanksgiving), and be a three day event. All Premier Events should be at least $100 per person per day. Play would be behind screens for all sessions.

There should be free coffee, other non-alcohol drinks, and snacks, along with the premier playing space. Security Badges would be required and the NABC+ playing area would be limited to participants only. Make everyone feel special. Best directors. Excellent customer service with an expectation the players conduct themselves appropriately. These Premiere Eventsare the money makers.

Then the secondary National Championships, would start two days after the Main Events. Entry fees would be $60 per person a day, would have some amenities, and improved customer service. These events start on Saturday, Wednesday, and the last Friday. The First two are two day pair games, the last one a three day team game. Again, they function as “consolation” events to our very best players.

Every day there wold also be multiple Regional events, charging what the local District charges for their RegionalEvents. Same with I/N events, again charging the local rate. Maybe some “super sales” on days where attendance is projected to be low would attract local players.

The main theme is to attract wealthy individuals from all over the world. If they arespending $200+ a night for a room, $1,500 or more for airfare, plus expensive meals, they should not be concerned about higher entry fee charges, SO LONG AS THERE IS SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. Hotels should be chosen based upon superb reputationand upgraded rooms. No Sheraton in Denver. For example, we should be at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

If I want to go more economically and am a local searching for either gold points, lectures or lessons, it should be easy for me to enjoy bridge on a budget.

The trend is clear. NABC+ and NABC Secondary Events will shrink in size due to our aging demographics and the cost of travel. Make it exclusive to attract the big bucks while giving the economical guy a chance to play with the masses.

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