Hello Parrot Heads! I hope your holiday season is going well and you have recovered from another PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds! The 28th Annual PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds “License to Chill” was very successful in many ways and it all seemed to go down in a few hours instead of days. Time does fly when you are having PHun…The beach in Key West was HOT… Abnormally hotter than normal by 10-20 degrees at times. You may have noticed there is a weather station on the roof of the main stage at the Casa Marina to monitor the weather on the beach and watch the wind speed for any danger to our crowd due to the roof used over the main stage. One day the “feels like temperature” was at 103 F! The average high temperature in Key West for October 31 is 82 F! We can’t control the thermostat on the beach but we can hopefully look forward to normal temperatures returning in 2020.
Sponsors, Attendees, and Volunteers. First I want to thank all of our sponsors and folks who registered to support PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds 2019 as you all pay the bills and we appreciate everyone of you! I also want to thank every volunteer that made the event happen whether you work every day on this event or just a few hours. You know who you are. Remember that you did make a difference to many and you supported this very special event.
Registration. We had a late registration surge as always and similar walk-up support to 2018 as there were many people excited to see all of our music for such a great value. We were told several times what a “bargain” the ticket prices were with people paying what they do for boat tours and theatre concerts around town. I also know that we poured several thousand FREE Margaritaville Tequila margaritas and SOLD-OUT the priced-right Land Shark Lager supply in the Key West area by the end of Saturday! NO we did not run out of beer in Key West but we were selling some alternative brands at a few of the hotel bars by Saturday night. Just a hint to the local distributor…next year BRING A BIGGER TRUCK OF LAND SHARK! Parrot Heads LOVE THAT $3 LAND SHARK LAGER at events in Key West!
Success. We ended the year UP in registration AGAIN from the hurricane Irma year which also followed our 25th annual sold out event. There is a MOTM trend that says we see a dip in registration after a five -year anniversary sellout which we saw at MOTM during the 20th and 25th annual sell-outs. (Yes we keep records and have statistical information) In fact I am happy to say as I said at the Club Leaders Brunch that the 2019 registration number was up 18% from 2017.
Budget. MOTM is in the black going into 2020. That keeps us moving into 2020 and beyond thanks to support from our clubs and watching the spending on the event. Do we need on-going support? Yes of course. PHiP, Inc. and your support by registering for MOTM provides several hundred thousand dollars of stage, lighting, production, crews, promotion, and organization to an event that is registered with the City of Key West. PHiP is committed to have the Parrot Heads buy out the Casa Marina for three nights to bring the best rates of the year to our attendees for this Waldorf Astoria historic resort. We do this because we trust our membership will fill every room and allow us to take over the hotel to have our private Parrot Head Club Member party on the largest private beach in Key West. We all work tirelessly year-round as volunteers and leave some nice donations in the pockets of local charitable organizations while having the party of the year. Think about it. PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds is now 28 years old and still going strong.
Host Hotel The Casa Marina was sold out. Thank you for that support. As I just wrote, we depend on all of the rooms to be filled to support our event and our group always delivers as the Casa is ground zero for MOTM. The Casa staff had our backs from beginning to end. They make it look easy and they really do love the Parrot Heads…they all tell me that over and over.
Reach Resort For those of you who like to stay at the Reach you knew the Reach was under renovation during our time in Key West. I am happy to report the Reach opened on-schedule on December 1 and is looking good! The Reach will return as our over-flow hotel in 2020!
Blood Drive Here is a note from Jeff: Howdy Phlock! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for participating and making our blood drive such a success! This year we registered 165 donors. There were 19 deferrals mostly due to low iron. Three donations were incomplete. We had 8 double red donations. We collected 143 pints this year. Hopefully this will keep our streak alive for another year. Thanks to Fins of the Valley for volunteering for a club donation. I’ll be taking appointments for next year around Labor Day.
Thank you, Jeff Hoffman PHiP’s MOTM Service Chairperson
Toy Drive! Here is a note from Carl: Thank you for all of the Toy Drive support!! This year we collected 14 large boxes of toys and $560 in gift cards. Last year we collected 10 large boxes of toys and $200 in gift cards.
Thank you, Carl Wessling Toy Drive Chairperson
PHiP Club Basket Raffle A special shout out goes to Joe and Lorene Prorok for all of their amazing work on the basket raffle. They inspire me with their hard work and preparation. Every time I walked into the raffle area they are smiling and looking like they are having a party while working! They make it happen! Thank you to all of the clubs who submitted baskets this year! The baskets are the major source of charity revenue.
PHiP Raffle Grand Prize Our winner for the 2019 prize to be used in 2020 is: Norma Hartwell of the Parrot Head Club of Eastern Massachusetts. Norma and her husband Bruce will be headed to PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds 2020 with their event registration paid, 2 free airfares up to $1400, and a three night stay at the Casa Marina! It pays to buy raffle tickets and support our PHiP charity donations!
Charity! Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc. via PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds donated the following amounts: $2500 to the Sister Season Fund. $2500 to the Police Athletic League (PAL). $2500 to Reef Relief and $2500 to the Bahama Village Music Association. Thank you Parrot Heads!
PHiP Scholarship Fund Over $7000 was raised to support our annual gift of $10,000 to three parrot Heads children as they enter college each year. Nice job by David Cohen and all the volunteers for working on this fund raiser.
Food and Drink Specials The feedback on the food and drink specials was great this year. I can assure you there will be on-going work to continue to work to deliver the best food and drink specials we can work out with our sponsors and the hotel. All that said I hope you enjoyed your $3 Land Sharks, FREE Margaritaville Tequila margaritas and shots, $5 cheeseburgers, and other great buffet items each night.
25 % OFF MARGARITAVILLE COFFEE Speaking of FREE! Did you enjoy your FREE Margaritaville Coffee courtesy of Margaritaville Foods this year? Well to continue the goodwill Margaritaville Foods is sending you a holiday gift. This is a PHiP exclusive offer! Thank you to Margaritaville Foods!
Use code MARGARITAVILLEVIP25 for 25% off any Margaritaville coffee item here, https://victorallen.com/
Green Room Our green room gives support and a quiet zone to all of our artists, The green room planning was headed up by Teresa Burchwell again this year. She also managed the gift bag stuffing event and the artist credential deployment. Thank you Teresa. You rock!
Mini Mart Our sold-out mini mart was full of vendors, sponsors, and Radiomargaritaville even flowing into the courtyard. It was a packed house particularly on Thursday morning as Brent Burns played on stage to entertain everyone shopping and looking at all the cool offerings. There was some spontaneous music at times from Coral Reefers who played to the shoppers!
MOTM Security Our security was led by Director of Security Val Dellocono with a leadership team of Carolyn, Rick, and Derrick. They led our 100 plus volunteer security team to keep everything flowing smoothly! Thank you also goes to the Key West Police Department for all of your support! Thank you to everyone who volunteered. We depend on you to help the event run smoothly.
Sound and Lighting Crews We depend on multiple teams to support our multiple stages and production work. I have heard most who come to our event leave saying the sound is as good as any on any stage. JL and Jamison Productions, Ted and the crew at Tech-Tronics, Art and Greg at the Art of Sound, and Chip at PSAV. Thanks to Lubos and Alexis for your non-stop energy and fast response. Thanks to all the crew as I don’t have enough space to thank you all but you know you rock! It was flawless on five stages – small and large!
PHiP Board Thank you to all my fellow board members. First, I want to thank my Assistant Director of Conventions Jim Dellocono. Jim and I spent many nights on the phone and I think our conference calls and email work just to sponsors this year was pretty mind-numbing. Jim is just as passionate about this event as I am and he gives 110% when duty calls. Kathy Pfister the President was there providing support for the general meeting, Lone Palm Auction and other things I am sure I missed due to other duties. Our Vice President is Rick Fyffe who was also the Director of Registration. I know what this man does. I work with him all year long. He works many hours before, during, and after the event to make it go smooth. You be sure to thank him when you see him. Kathy Kaz has been his assistant and will be taking the reins in 2020 as the Director of Registration. Given Rick is the Vice President he will be providing on-going support to our event. Sue Kermis is our Membership Director doing the Club Leader Brunch at the Conch Republic and the break out meetings. She works all year to keep the clubs on track. David Cohen our PHiP Secretary keeps the sold-out Mini Mart and Scholarship raffle moving every year. Charlene Schultheis is the Finance Director and she pays all the bills. This lady is the person I work with constantly to keep the wheels on this event. She writes a lot of checks and makes sure my decimal points work in my spreadsheets. The banking never stops year-round so just know the light stays on that desk all year. Make sure you thank everyone of these people for working on PHiP’s MOTM to make it happen. Without the magicians, the magic will never happen. Don’t forget that.
Lone Palm Auction This year the Lone Palm Foundation which is the charitable arm of PHiP had the annual auction once again at MOTM with lots of one of a kind art and special Jimmy Buffett autographed items. $9,315 was raised from memorabilia and $15,400 was raised from the six special original art pieces at the auction this year thanks to all of the support from our attendees. All of these proceeds go to the fund to help our PHiP club members nation-wide who suffer losses as a result of natural disasters. The Lone Palm Foundation continues to help Parrot Heads across the country by providing grants to help our club members recover from natural disasters. Nice job by the Lone Palm Foundation Board…Parrot Heads helping Parrot Heads. Thank you Parrot Heads for your donations!
Special Things at PHiP’s MOTM this year
Where do I start? All the days of music were great. I could write a couple of chapters in a book about the special sets that happened this past year. I do want to mention that some of our entertainers have now logged 20 or more years coming to this event. That is quite an achievement in itself. There were many moments of cross-pollination as I like to call it. Artists playing with other artists and backing people in bands including many of the Coral Reefer Band playing every day on some set. Much of that participation is worked out in advance and some on the spot. There were many musical moments that don’t happen very frequently and when you witness them in person it is one of those “wow” moments.
Some people told me they thought the Mac McAnally set was the best one they had ever seen. With all of the Coral Reefer band guesting on songs and Coral Reefer alumni Josh Leo playing on several songs some real magic did happen.
The Peter Mayer set on Friday night was pretty awesome with the string section. It is no exaggeration to say that months of planning went into that one performance. I can’t wait to hear the recording that will be released very soon! Standby for an update on the release date.
I would be re-miss if I did not mention that The High South Band probably stirred the most new buzz at the event. This was heard at the event and in the post-survey data. A quick story…High South and Josh Leo were playing the set break on the side stage on Saturday night just before Jimmy and the Parrots hit the stage. Jimmy Maraventano looked over at me and said on the microphone “I am supposed to follow that?” I just smiled. The next thing you know the High South guys were on stage with Jimmy and the Parrots singing Steve Miller’s “The Joker” with them backing the song. If you missed all this in 2019 my suggestion is to register for 2020…more to come.
As I said I could write a few chapters in a book about all of the preparation and conversations that happen to make moments happen in Key West on those stages but at the end of the day it is all about everyone of you supporting all of these talented artists that play our stages while you have the time of your life.
Meeting of the Minds 2020 “Party at the End of the World” The books are mostly closed on MOTM 2019 after a month of follow-up work. As that was going on my cell phone has had a pretty good workout getting ready for 2020. I can tell you some exciting entertainment will be back on the Casa Marina stages again in 2020. It is already well in the works.
Post Event Survey. Our PHiP’s MOTM 2019 Survey was open for two weeks and is now closed. Thank you all who participated for the feedback. The information is looked at closely for future improvements and in the past has been a large driver of decision making in the name of “customer service” for future events. This one will be no exception! There will be some changes for 2020 based on your voting!
WHAT A ROOM AT THE CASA MARINA FOR 2020? WHEN WILL REGISTRATION FOR PHiP’S MEETING OF THE MINDS 2020 “PARTY AT THE END OF THE WORLD“ OPEN? Here is your notice!!
2020 REGISTRATION FOR PHiP’s MOTM AND THE CASA MARINA RESERVATIONS WILL OPEN ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 16th at 08:00 AM EST.
INFORMATION AND LINKS WILL BE PROVIDED IN ADVANCE AS ALL OF THAT SETUP WORK IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW. Please do not call or email in advance as this will not change and a room cannot be booked for the event prior to this date and time.
Finally, don’t forget that we have two places on Facebook where you can get photos and information. PHiP, Inc. is the organization page and the group page for the event is PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds. You will find fast-breaking details and photos on the group page that we do not share publically due to artist agreements.
Happy Holidays Ya’ll. I’ll be back again with information on registration and the Casa Marina as soon as everything is in place next week.
Until next time, I’ll see you, down the road.
Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc.
Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc.
PHiP Director of Conventions
PHiP’s Meeting of the Minds
“Party at the End of the World”
Board Member of the Lone Palm Foundation