2017 GRAYBACK REUNION
Ahoy Shipmates, Family and Friends, We’re having a reunion!
Mike and Arlene Ballinger have done the homework and groundwork and a contract has been signed for the Grand Plaza Hotel and Conference Center Branson, Missouri to serve as our host property Tuesday to Thursday, 2-4 May 2017.
Our schedule of events will be similar to past reunions including a group photo, cribbage tournament, 50/50 drawing. The Grand Plaza’s Ridgeview Room will serve as our hospitality “headquarters” from 3:00 pm Monday, 1 May to 11:30 am, Friday 4 May. There will be an All Hands Breakfast Meeting Wednesday, 3 May and a Dinner Buffet Thursday, 4 May in the hotel’s Sunset Room. Arrange your travel and hotel reservation with these dates in mind.
ABOUT THE GRAND PLAZA HOTEL
The Grand Plaza Hotel and Conference Center (245 N Wildwood Dr. Branson, MO 65616) is a full service conference center hotel that offers 200 upscale rooms located in the heart of Branson just off the world famous Highway 76 Country Music Boulevard. The hotel is centrally located to some of Branson's biggest shows and attractions. Tanger Outlet Mall is also within walking distance, and if you stop by the Front Desk during your stay they will give you a voucher to redeem for a free coupon book at the mall. Feast on a hot complimentary breakfast buffet from 6:30-9:30 am to start your day. Enjoy a wealth of amenities which include an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, game room, guest laundry, complimentary wifi and a 24 hour business center. The hotel’s ticket/concierge service can help you with your show reservations, attraction tickets or local transportation needs. The Plaza View Restaurant on the top floor of the hotel offers a variety of fine cuisine and a spectacular view of the Ozark Mountains to the North or the famous 76 Strip to the South. Specialties include succulent, slow-cooked prime rib and delicious hand breaded, cooked fresh to order catfish. If you would like to enjoy a cocktail or your favorite spirit, there is the Pub on the Plaza which is known for a relaxed atmosphere. The Pub also offers a full menu for your dining pleasure that is served until 8pm. After 8pm you can snack on tasty appetizers or homemade pizza right from the kitchen.
To make a room reservation at the Grand Plaza call 1-800-850-6646 and ask for Extension 175 to be connected to Group Sales. Group Sales is available 7am-5pm CST Monday-Friday and 8am-3pm CST Saturday. Mention ‘Grayback Reunion’ to receive the discounted room rate as follows: Standard Room $79 King Mini Suite $99 King Jacuzzi $119 Family Suite $139 Honeymoon Suite $139
Above rates do not include 11.6% tax and are valid 28 April to 8 May. Rates are based on double occupancy. Add $5 for each additional person over two adults per room. There is a 24-hour cancellation period without any penalties and no credit card charges are activated until “check-out”. Check-in time is 3 PM; check-out time 11 AM. A number of rooms have been blocked for us. Make your reservation ASAP. Reservations requested after 1 April will be on a space available basis.
AIRPORTS SERVING BRANSON
There are a limited number of airlines serving the Branson area regional airports. Springfield-Branson National (SGF) has the largest number of carriers and flights. These are the closest listed on Google Flights
Branson BKG - 7 miles from Branson
Allegiant Air is a discount carrier that serves Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) from a limited number of cities. Specifically: St. Pete-Clearwater, FL (PIE), Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix-Mesa (AZA) and Sanford/Daytona Beach/Orlando (SFB). Flights on Allegiant Air are not shown on many of the web travel sites (i.e., Expedia) and must be booked directly through Allegiant’s web site
The Registration Form is provided in the link following this paragraph. The cost is $60/person. This is less than recent reunions due to lower overall costs of hotel services in Branson and because we plan to avail ourselves of the Grand Plaza’s complimentary buffet for our breakfast meeting on 3 May. A reunion t-shirt may also be pre-ordered on the Registration Form for $15/each. Indicate the size and number desired on the form and include the cost in the total payment. A limited number of t-shirts will be available for purchase at the reunion. The deadline for receipt of registration forms is 1 April 2017.
The registration fee will defray the cost of beverages and snacks in the hospitality suite, the dinner buffets, meeting room, audio/visual equipment, name tags and miscellaneous expenses. The registration form will also be used to verify and update information on our Sailing List. In the event you are unable to attend the reunion, we would appreciate completing the first four lines of the form and mailing it to Mike Dimmick to verify information contained on the Sailing List. I will send an All Hands e-mail periodically with a list of those who have registered to attend.
BRANSON TOURIST AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Average temperatures in May are daytime high in the low 70’s and an overnight low of 50. The Branson area has a variety of shows, attractions and activities available. Here are some web sites to explore to assist you in building your visit itinerary:
Branson Tourism Center Click on green button in upper right hand corner to view video tutorials for using the site
Please join your Grayback shipmates and family members in Branson country. Make your room reservation now to secure your spot at a week full of activities, seeing old shipmates, making new acquaintances and new and improved sea stories.
Don’t hesitate to provide me with any suggestions or recommendations to make this reunion our best ever. Pass the word to as many shipmates as you know.
If you have questions or need more information, feel free to phone or e-mail me at (360) 830-9046, Mike Dimmick (702) 810-8056 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mike Ballinger at (660) 438-6236 email@example.com.
Looking forward to seeing you in Branson,