Straight Talk About Ranger Rendezvous 44 - Jacksonville

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Joshua Tree National Park, California
Dear ANPR Members,
We're all aware of the current surge of the Delta variant of COVID and that Florida is one of the states with the greatest increases in cases. For this reason, some of you understandably might be hesitant to make a commitment about attending the Ranger Rendezvous in Jacksonville in mid-October. For this reason, I want to give you an update of our arrangements, based on my recent site-visit to the Southbank Hotel Jacksonville Riverwalk, the venue for our Rendezvous.

We met with the sales staff of the hotel and discussed not only our program details, but how the hotel is meeting concerns about the virus. I was impressed by what the hotel is doing and how flexible they will be to meet our needs. Their general policy is that if you aren't vaccinated, you must be masked when in any public portion of the hotel. Of course, they have no way to enforce that provision, but what's important are the additional actions the hotel has taken and will take to meet our specific needs. These include:
  1. They will meet whatever requirements we establish at the time of the meeting for distancing related to meeting room arrangements.
  2. They are doing sleeping room "refreshes" only every three days, rather than the usual daily service. This not only limits the probability of virus spread, but also is environmentally more beneficial in terms of reduced use of water and energy needed for laundry and cleaning. They will still respond to any specific needs (such as for additional towels) from occupants at any time between "refreshes."
I believe that, generally speaking, our members are more likely to be vaccinated - being current or former providers of visitor services - than is the general public. This in itself is a positive relative to our gathering for the Rendezvous. Although there is no way we can require it, we certainly expect all attendees to be vaccinated. Unless you have legitimate reasons for not being vaccinated but choose not to be, frankly we prefer that you not attend.

All this said, we encourage you to go ahead and register for the RR. The program is looking great and Jacksonville, especially the Southbank/San Marcos area, has much to offer. Full refunds for registration fees are available until September 12, and reduced refunds available thereafter, should you need to cancel. Your hotel deposit is refundable if you cancel at least 24 hours prior to the first night of your reservation.

Go to: for the latest information on the Rendezvous and to register. You can go to:
to make your room reservation.

There are still a few program presentation slots available, so if you are interested in presenting a topic of interest to the participants, there is a link to apply at the bottom of the Rendezvous information page.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me.

Bill Wade
ANPR Treasurer and Rendezvous Manager
Association of National Park Rangers
Educate • Engage • Empower
5625 N Wilmot Road
Tucson, AZ 85750

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