June 15, 2016
Dear Members of the Emergency Medical Transport Community,
As you are aware, the 2016 Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) is in Charlotte, North Carolina in late September. Please know that AAMS, our AMTC partner associations, the air medical providers in North Carolina and the City of Charlotte understand the strong feelings many have regarding the ongoing legislative issues in the state. We are proud that AMTC is and has always been an event that welcomes everyone, from all backgrounds and critical care transport professional disciplines, in a collaborative networking environment designed to advance our industry.
AMTC contracts, because of the size of the conference, are signed five to six years in advance of the actual conference dates in order to get the most beneficial pricing and availability of facilities. For example, we are working on finalizing the AMTC Contract for 2022 right now and will sign that contract before the end of 2016. The contract for Charlotte was signed in 2011, well before any of the current issues even developed. Because AAMS is bound by those hotel and convention facility contracts, attempting to move it to another city, within 180 days of the conference, would have resulted in AAMS paying the cancellation fees for Charlotte and paying the expenses involved with finding a new host city and hotel, restaurant, and conference facilities at the last minute – essentially paying for two AMTCs this year. That would not only affect AAMS, it would also result in financial losses for each of our partner associations (AMPA, ASTNA, IAFCCP, NAACS, and NEMSPA). Because of the short timeframe, it would be irresponsible and financially unfeasible to cancel AMTC in Charlotte and attempt to relocate it to another host city. The City of Charlotte has successfully hosted a variety of conferences and events as the current events in North Carolina play out, including the recent Critical Care Transport Medicine Conference (CCTMC) in April.
Additionally, the critical care transport programs in North Carolina have been very enthusiastic and supportive of AMTC in Charlotte since it was announced. They have been working with us on this particular AMTC for more than a year, and they are very excited to share their part of the world with you.
It is also important to note that the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) has been in constant contact with us, and very transparent about their efforts to mitigate the legislation. We applaud the CRVAs efforts to make it very clear that the city is open and welcome to all attendees, especially through efforts such as their ‘Always Welcome’ inclusion campaign.
Since relocation is not an option at this late date, we are moving forward and it is our privilege to bring you another world-class conference for international providers of air and critical care medicine. We support everyone in our communities and our programs worldwide transport every patient-in-need regardless of their backgrounds, financial status, or beliefs. We welcome everyone!
Chairman, AAMS Board of Directors
Read on for the official statements from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) and the collection of our host hotels…
We are extremely concerned about the state legislation in place as we continue to hear negative feedback and potential event cancellations from our customers. Our city has worked incredibly hard to build a thriving visitor economy over the last 20 years, which has welcomed major events and conventions that greatly give back to the city and the state of North Carolina’s economy and overall quality of life. This issue is in danger of setting us back from the progress we’ve made in positioning Charlotte as an attractive, inclusive destination. Our city has long had a track record of creating an environment that not only values diversity, but strongly embraces it. On behalf of the visitor economy that represents one in nine jobs across the Charlotte region, we strongly urge that state and local leaders find a resolution that represents the best interests of our city and state.
– Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)
Hilton hotels strive to be meeting places for people from all walks of life, regardless of beliefs, race, color, national origin, religion or sexual orientation. As places of public accommodation, Hilton hotels do not discriminate against any individual or group. Our goal is to provide quality accommodations and a pleasant environment for our guests, employees and members of our community visiting our hotel.
– Hilton Charlotte Center City
At Hyatt, we celebrate a world that’s as diverse as our people and our guests, and we fundamentally oppose any legislation that enables discrimination. In fact, Hyatt President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian was one of many executives who signed a letter to North Carolina Governor McCrory to ask that its laws protect all residents and guests from discrimination.
– Hyatt Place Charlotte Downtown
At Omni Hotels we have always prided ourselves on ensuring the safety and security of all guests and we are confident that, regardless of the final outcome of the legislation, we will continue to do so. We have stayed in close contact with city leaders as this legislation has developed so as to be fully informed and will continue to be accommodating to all guests while adhering to legal guidelines.
– Omni Charlotte Hotel
The bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory will severely impact the rights of LGBT citizens and visitors to North Carolina by legalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That is antithetical to Starwood’s core values of diversity and inclusiveness, and already has had significant adverse effects on Starwood’s business in the State of North Carolina.
– Westin Charlotte