Carl T. Seibert, COO/State Secretary
The following information will provide you with details to assist you in making your hotel reservation and travel arrangements for the 2018 Grand Lodge Convention in San Antonio. Please read this information in its entirety before clicking on any of the links on the left.
The 2018 Grand Lodge Convention will be held in San Antonio, Texas July 1-4, 2018. The Florida delegation hotel is the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk located at 889 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. All attendees are responsible for making their own travel arrangements (only endorsed DDGERs make theirs through Grand Lodge), and all hotel room reservations for the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk(this includes the Endorsed DDGERs) must be made through the “Make Your Hotel Reservation” link on the left. The room rate for single & double occupancy is $127.26 per night inclusive of tax, and a two-bedroom suite is $254.52 per night inclusive of tax.
Because Florida’s original room block filled in its entirety the first week it opened an overflow property was obtained. The overflow property is the Marriott Plaza San Antonio located at 555 S. Alamo Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. The room rate for single & double occupancy is $131.93 per night inclusive of tax.
The link is titled “Make Your Hotel Reservation” but for now it is only a room reservation request. When your request form is completed and sent to me you will be placed on a waiting list. We have only 145 rooms in San Antonio, so we must first make sure that all those required to attend (98 ERs, 14 DDs, the Florida Ritual Team, etc.) get priority. Once the period for the ERs to make reservations has passed, we will begin assigning rooms to everyone else. WE DO NOT AT THIS TIME HAVE ENOUGH ROOMS FOR EVERYONE! However, the Grand Lodge is working to secure more rooms at an overflow hotel. We should know more around the end of March. Be forewarned though, the rates might be higher! It is very important that you respond quickly to this request and request a room reservation. This way we can give the Grand Lodge a firm number on the additional rooms we will need. You might also want to go ahead and seek alternative lodging in case you do not receive a room at the Florida delegation hotel or if the Grand Lodge is unsuccessful in obtaining more rooms. Your alternate reservation(s) can always be cancelled! It would also help us tremendously if you are able to share a room with someone.
Please do not call the Marriott Riverwalk or the Marriott Plaza as they will not be able to help you. You will just be referred to me! Incidentally, the number of rooms Florida has used in the last three years (Reno, Houston & Indianapolis) has been 145. We had to request an additional 50 rooms in an overflow hotel due to the popularity of this year’s convention!
The San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk is located directly across the street from the convention center; therefore, the Grand Lodge will probably NOT operate buses from this hotel. Busses will be operated from the Marriott Plaza. There will be several other states co-located with us in the Riverwalk. They are Georgia, Alabama and Arizona. Mississippi will be in the Marriott River Center located about a block from our hotel. The Grand Lodge hotel is the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and it too is located directly across the street from our hotel.
The Marriott Plaza San Antonio is located about a half mile from the Marriott Riverwalk and is a 3 to 4-minute drive from the Marriott Riverwalk. To walk it, it is less than a half mile and would take 10 minutes. Add another 5 minutes to get across the street to the convention center.
The following convention links are available on the left:
- Link to Register & Pay the Required $75 pp Florida Hospitality Room Fee
This registration is required for all Florida attendees regardless of where you are staying.
- List of Florida Convention Attendees (those who have completed the above $75 pp registration process)
- List of State Hotel Assignments
- Link to Make your Hotel Reservation
- Hospitality Room Hours
- Link to Purchase Tickets for the Mexican Fiesta Themed Florida Dinner - $49 pp
- List of Florida Dinner Attendees (those who have purchased a ticket)
You will want to plan to arrive in San Antonio by Saturday, June 30th as the Opening Ceremonies begin on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Exalted Rulers and Alternate Delegates are required to attend all general sessions and the opening ceremonies. The final general session of the convention will end around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
We have not been provided yet with details on the Grand Lodge 150th Celebration. We do know it will take place on Sunday immediately after the opening ceremonies and in the convention center. We have been told that food & drink will be available for purchase. Please check the Grand Lodge website at Elks.org for updates.
Both Marriott’s check-in times are 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m. at the Marriott Plaza and 12:00 noon at the Marriott Riverwalk.
Neither Marriott offers an airport shuttle. They recommend Super Shuttle – fee $18 one way. The estimated taxi fare is $22.
If you drive or rent a car be forewarned that parking will be costly! The Riverwalk offers valet parking ONLY at a cost of $44.17 per day inclusive of tax. There is a parking garage (the convention center garage) about a block from our hotel. The cost to park there is $10 flat rate. The Marriott Plaza has parking on site for $25 per day plus tax.
Airline discounts are being offered through the Grand Lodge and are posted on the Grand Lodge website www.Elks.org. Once there click on Members Only, login to Elks.org, scroll down on the left and click National Convention, then scroll down on the left and click Discounts.
Most major car rental counters are located on-site at the San Antonio airport. The airport is located about 9 miles (14 minutes) from the Riverwalk. There is a Hertz Counter located in the Marriott River Center located one block from our hotel.
The information on wheelchair, power chair, or electric scooter rentals is located on the Grand Lodge website. See instructions on how to locate it on the GL Website above in Airline Discounts.
You will want to do your Grand Lodge Registration for your name badge and voting credentials online on the Grand Lodge Website at www.elks.org. This registration is required by the Grand Lodge and is separate from, and in addition to, the $75 pp Florida Elks Hospitality Room Fee/Registration done through our link on the left. The Grand Lodge has not yet placed on their website the link to do the online Grand Lodge registration. Once they place the link and open their registration, probably sometime in April, the fee will be $50.00. If you do not do the online registration and instead wait to register and pay on-site, the cost is $60.00. The Grand Lodge Registration fee is required to be paid by Elks members only. There is no fee for Non-Elks registering with an Elks member. Everyone must do this as your name badge is required to gain entry to all meetings and your voting credentials are required to be in your possession to be able to vote during the legislative session. See instructions on how to locate the GL Website above in Airline Discounts.
Upon your arrival in San Antonio, you will want to make your way to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center to obtain your voting credentials and badge. The registration schedule is as follows:
Saturday, June 30 – 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday, July 2 – 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Sunday, July 1 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 3 – 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The official Grand Lodge Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Sunday, July 1st from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The opening ceremonies will be followed by the 150th Celebration. Members and accompanied guests are encouraged to attend. Florida attendees are encouraged to wear orange jackets or orange shirts to all sessions of the Grand Lodge and to sit in the area designated for the Florida delegation starting Monday. There is no reserved seating for the opening ceremonies on Sunday, but I am sure someone will make sure to hold some seats for Florida. Just look for the Orange! Also, be reminded that all Exalted Rulers or Alternate Delegates are required to check-in with their Endorsed District Deputy prior to the beginning of each official Grand Lodge session.
The Ritual Competition will take place in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The District Deputies Designate Seminar will be held on Monday, July 2nd at 1:00 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and the Exalted Rulers Ball will be held on Tuesday also at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. This Tuesday evening is also the Mexican Fiesta Themed Florida Dinner. We apologize that our dinner is held the same evening as the ball but there is no other day! Of course, we encourage everyone to attend the Florida Dinner!
The Florida Dinner will be held at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk on Tuesday, July 3rd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The theme for this year’s dinner is Elegant Mexican Fiesta and guests are encouraged to dress the part! Tickets for the Florida Dinner may be purchased through the link on the left.
A highlight of the Grand Lodge Convention each year is the Florida Hospitality Room. Our room will offer our customary top-shelf beverage offerings along with limited food and snacks. We will also have a DJ and karaoke for entertainment. Unfortunately, we will require only a few 50/50 volunteers this year as this is another one of those cities where all the food and liquor must be provided by and purchased through the hotel. This has become the norm as of late, but, as is our custom, we will host a wonderful hospitality room complete with fun, camaraderie, food and libations! Every Florida attendee will be required to pay the $75 pp hospitality room fee when registering through the “Registration” link on the left. If you will not be staying at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk you will still need to use the link to register. Please know that 100% of the hospitality room fee collected is used to help defray the cost of operating our hospitality room.
Dining and entertainment will not be a problem in San Antonio as the Marriott Riverwalk is located directly on the famed San Antonio Riverwalk and near the Alamo and the Marriott Plaza is only a 4 to 5-minute walk to the famed San Antonio Riverwalk. Food and entertainment are abundant along the Riverwalk. There will be waits to get into restaurants and attractions.
The San Antonio Elks Lodge #216 is located at 15650 Market Hill in San Antonio. It is 17 miles (25 minutes) from our hotel. I am sure the Lodge will be holding several events while we are there, and I will post any information I receive on our website. The Lodge phone number is (210) 697-3331.
You are going to love San Antonio, the Grand Lodge Convention, the 150th Celebration and the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk!
I am looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio this summer and as always, if I may be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!
Sincerely and fraternally,