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2021 Grand Lodge Convention - Tampa

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America
A Fraternal Organization

    Carl T. Seibert, COO/State Secretary



Greetings:

The following information will provide you with details to assist you in making your hotel reservation and travel arrangements for the 2021 Grand Lodge Convention in Tampa. Please read this information in its entirety before clicking on any of the links on the left.

The 2021 Grand Lodge Convention will be held in Tampa, Florida July 4 through July 7, 2021. The Florida delegation hotel is the JW Tampa Marriott Water Street located at 510 Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602. 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 JW Tampa Marriott Water Street (this includes the Endorsed DDGERs) must be made through the Hotel Reservations link on the left. The room rate for 1 king bed or two doubles is $129.00 per night plus $20.21 tax making the room $149.21 per night inclusive.

The JW Tampa Marriott Water Street is located just a short 4–5-minute walk from the convention center. Florida is the only state housed at the JW Marriott.

The Grand Lodge hotel is the Tampa Marriott Water Street located directly across the street from our hotel, the JW Marriott, and the two hotels are connected by a sky bridge on their second floors.

The following convention links are available on the left:

  • Link to Register with the FL State Elks Assn. as a Florida Attendee/Volunteer

This registration is required for all Florida attendees (Elks Members/Non-Elks Members/Spouses/Guests) regardless of where you are staying during the convention. This includes all attendees, all volunteers of the local support committee, commuter attendees/volunteers, etc.

  • Link to purchase day passes to the Florida Hospitality Room - $25 pp per-day, (3) days. (Advance Ticket Purchase Required)
  • List of Florida Convention Attendees
  • Link to Make your Hotel Reservation at the JW Marriott
  • Hospitality Room Hours
  • Link to Purchase Tickets for the Florida Dinner - $55 pp (Advance Ticket Purchase Required)
  • List of Florida Dinner Attendees

The check-in time for the JW Marriott is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m.

Convention attendees will want to plan to arrive in Tampa by Saturday, July 3rd 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.

The JW Marriott offers only valet parking at a cost of $32.00 per day plus tax. This is the daily fee regardless of the number of times you come and go. There are several self-parking parking garages in the vicinity of the JW Marriott and the convention center. The garage nearest to the JW Marriott is the Pam Iorio Parking Garage and it is $12.00 per day. The other is the Convention Center Garage and it is $9.65 per day. Keep in mind, when parking in the garages, the hourly fee starts over each time you leave and re-enter. The links to driving directions and more information on these two parking garages is in the convention links on the left.

For those needing to rent a wheelchair, power chair, or electric scooter please see the link to information on the left for the company Cloud of Goods Mobility Scooter Rentals.

Starting April1st the Online Grand Lodge Registration will open for your name badge and voting credentials. This is required and is in addition to the registration described above and required by Florida. You will do this registration on the Grand Lodge Website at www.elks.org. Their fee is $50.00. 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. Also, registered volunteers of the Local Support Committee are not required to pay this fee. Please make sure you are verified as a volunteer and eligible for free registration by contacting Joe Cooper at joe.cooper99@gmail.com. The Grand Lodge name badges are 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.

Please be advised, the following information might change as the Grand Lodge is considering changes to the on-site registration process this year because of COVID. Registered attendees will be notified if it does! Upon your arrival in Tampa, you will want to make your way to the Tampa Convention Center to obtain your voting credentials and badge. The registration schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 3 – 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.                   Monday, July 5 – 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Sunday, July 4 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.                      Tuesday, July 6 – 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 

The official Grand Lodge Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Tampa Convention Center on Sunday, July 4th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The opening ceremonies will be followed by entertainment which will include food and beverage for purchase. 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 Tampa Convention Center and the District Deputy Designate Seminar will be held on Monday, July 5th at 12:45 p.m. at a yet to be announced location.

The Florida Dinner will not be held in the JW Marriott. Instead, it will be held in the Tampa Marriott Water Street Hotel located directly across the street from the JW Marriott. The two hotels are connected by a sky bridge on their second floors. The dinner will be held on Tuesday, July 6th starting at 8 p.m. Dress for the event is business casual. Tickets for the Florida Dinner may be purchased through the link on the left and will include ticket-holder-only access to the Florida Hospitality Room from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday prior to the dinner.

A highlight of the Grand Lodge Convention each year is the Florida Hospitality Room. The hospitality room will not be in the JW Marriott. Instead, it will be in the Tampa Marriott Water Street Hotel located directly across the street from the JW Marriott. The two hotels are connected by a sky bridge on their second floors. We have been given a great terrace space on the ground floor that opens onto the Riverwalk! We will offer limited food and snacks and we always offer top-shelf liquor. Every Florida attendee, regardless of where you are staying or whether you drink or not, is required to pay the $25 per person per day fee. This is necessary to assist in defraying the cost to operate the hospitality room. The room will be open on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights!

I think you are going to enjoy Tampa, the Grand Lodge Convention, the Sunday night Celebration and the JW Tampa Marriott Water Street!

I am looking forward to seeing you in Tampa this summer and as always, if I may be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!

Sincerely and fraternally,

Carl T. Seibert

Carl Seibert, COO/State Secretary

Florida State Elks Association