Cities United Summit was planned as an in-person event. While some city officials have inquired about a virtual option, it will not be practical and faced many logistical challenges to provide one at this late date.
For those of you planning to attend the conference, please know that the Atlanta Hilton has a policy requiring guests to wear a mask in all public spaces. In addition, the city of Atlanta has reimposed its indoor mask mandate for all properties, public and private, which requires the wearing of a mask indoors and includes fines for non-compliance. All attendees will be expected to follow the hotel policy and city mask mandate order for the safety of all attendees, except during designated meal events and GMA-sponsored receptions. In addition, all attendees are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated, including a booster.
The decision to move forward with an in-person was based on two key considerations:
- Many experts are expecting the number of positive COVID cases to begin declining rapidly over the next two weeks, although it is acknowledged that no one knows for certain what the situation will be at the time of the conference, or the extent of such a decline in cases.
- Over 70% of city officials responding to yesterday’s survey indicated that they are still planning to attend the conference and prefer to meet in person rather than virtually.
While every effort is being made to provide for the safety of attendees, we recognize that some city officials may not be comfortable attending the conference. Therefore, anyone wishing to cancel their registration had the opportunity to do so and receive a full refund provided that the cancellation was received by GMA by no later than Friday, January 7 at 12:00 pm. This short window was necessary since meal guarantees must be provided to the Hilton by the close of business on the 7th. All efforts are being made to process refunds within 14 business days.
To cancel your hotel reservation, please call the Atlanta Hilton at 404-659-2000. Also, please note that to receive a refund on the first night’s deposit, cancellations must be made 72 hours in advance.
We will continue to monitor the COVID situation over the next few weeks and keep you informed of any changes to the current plans.
Thank you for your support of GMA, your understanding of the balancing act of decisions such as this one, and for all you are doing to lead your cities during these challenging times.