Email to Attendees Sent July 9, 2017
Dear ASGA Members Traveling to Canada:
A week from today, about 60 of us will gather in Montreal for our "ASGA in Canada" Multi-Chapter Event (MCE). A couple of days after spending some time in Montreal, we will head about 90 miles northwest to Mont Tremblant where we will be joined by about a dozen other members. Here are a number of items I wanted to pass along to you - - some more important than others:
1. You MUST have a passport to enter Canada. You'll need to show it at your local airport and upon leaving Canada. If you are driving into Canada, you'll need to present your passport at the border as well.
2. Be sure to bring necessary items: phone recharger, your golf GPS, umbrella in your golf bag, extra balls, golf glove, light rain gear just in case, your game, etc. Also, bring a credit card that does not charge a 3% international transaction fee and notify that bank ahead of time that you plan to use that card in Canada and this might prevent you from having a card declined as the bank would assume someone else is using it.
3. You should join the "rewards clubs" for both the Marriott and the Fairmont. Doing so gives you certain benefits. Go to both sites and once you sign-up, be sure to give the hotel your rewards number when you check-in. You don't get rewards for your room under a group contract, however, you do get free wi-fi. Here are the sites to sign-up: www.marriottrewards.com and www.fairmont.com/fpc
4. The exchange rate in Canada favors the U. S. traveler. Five years ago, you got one-dollar Canadian for one-dollar American. Today, you'll see the exchange rate around 80 cents to purchase one Canadian dollars. So $100CAN is $80US. I have always found when traveling to foreign countries that the best way to get cash is at ATM machines. Never purchase from an airport kiosk as those kiosks are run by distant relatives of Jesse James. But, admittedly, it is convenient. Just head to an ATM machine before you get your luggage as I didn't see any ATM machines around the luggage area.
5. If flying, you'll land at Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Airport code YUL. Attendees come in from all over the USA at different times. Your package does not include transportation to the hotel so there are two (2) ways of getting to the hotel, which is about 25 minutes from the airport. First, you can take the "747" which is a city bus that goes specifically to a variety of stops. At the lower "street" level of the airport (baggage level), at the far exit door on the right, there is a kiosk machine where you can buy a bus ticket to the hotel for $10 with a credit card. I've heard you can also pay the driver $10CAN (not $10US) When I took this bus, it was not a bad ride and I met some nice people. I asked the driver to be sure to STOP AT THE COURTYARD MARRIOTT IN DOWNTOWN MONTREAL and he brought me to the front door. If you get in late, there is a button to ring the bell so the front desk will let you in.
The other option, and maybe more practical, is to take a taxi, especially if you're bringing golf clubs. I've heard the taxi ride to the Courtyard Montreal in downtown Montreal is $40CAN.
6. If you want to share a ride with someone else from the airport to the hotel, this can only be done if your flight arrives about the same time as someone else's. 95% of the folks attending this even arrive on Sunday, 7/16, so if you're coming in 1-3 days earlier, it's not likely you'll be able to share a ride. SO HOW DOES ONE FIND OUT if others arrive as the same time as you? You'll need to go to the event website and click on the GREEN TAB that says, "Event Forum." This is where attendees can "talk" to other attendees. Or, you can just go here and post your comment, request, need, offer, etc.: http://www.singlesgolf.com/event_forum.php?feid=39
There are already a few items posted.
7. Once you're at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Montreal, just check into your room but plan on heading downstairs to the main lobby where we'll have our welcoming event and dinner at 7:30pm. Cash bar which you can post to your room. Be sure that if you post anything to your room and you have a roommate that you settle your respective account together to determine who's paying for what prior to departure. Or, just pay as you go and don't post anything to your room.
If you get in real early and want to walk the streets of Old Montreal, go out the back door of the Courtyard and head a 3-4 blocks in that direction. The front desk or concierge will point you in the right direction. Dinner our second night will be at the Vieux Port Steakhouse in Old Montreal. Details in the program to follow.
8. Hopefully, within 24-36 hours from when this email was sent, you'll receive a copy of the Program and Pairings Guide which will show you who you'll play with and a detailed day-to-day itinerary. This will be a PDF but you'll receive a "hard copy" at the event.
9. We have many people who have pre-paid for the motor coach to get them from Montreal to Mont Tremblant and back. So, Tuesday morning, around 9:30am, the motor coach will depart to the golf course on the way to Tremblant. When we head back to Montreal on the morning of July 21, the coach will drop-off some at the Montreal airport and an additional stop back to the Courtyard Marriott. We're checking if and where you can store your luggage while you shoot some time in Old Montreal awaiting your late afternoon/evening airplane departure. Difficult to make this "perfect" for everyone due to the variety of departure times. More on this early this week with a follow-up email.
Here is a list of those 36 attendees who have signed-up and paid for round-trip motor coach to Mont Tremblant and back to Montreal. If your name is not on this list and you want that transportation, deadline to sign-up for motor coach is hump day, Wednesday, July 12th, 1:30pm. Our office manager, Irene, leaves at 2pm this day.
Mullins, Anita Jo
If you did not sign-up and pay the $60 round-trip fee for the Montreal to Tremblant motor coach, then we're assuming you're either renting a car, driving your own car or hitch-hiking.
10. Once you're in Mont Tremblant, out the front door of the Fairmont is what's known as the Pedestrian Village. No need for transportation once you're here EXCEPT to and from the two Tremblant golf courses, which are about a mile down the road. We cannot arrange group transportation for such a short distance and Tremblant does not have a shuttle.
From our website, it states: "Local transportation to restaurants and courses while at Tremblant is not included, however, we'll have a "Need a Ride / Give a Ride" form once we're at Tremblant. Many restaurants we can walk to in the evening. Some people may have their own cars or may rent a car. On the registration form, it will ask you if you will be renting a car and if you would allow others to ride with you. If you utilize another person's car, we ask that you contribute a proportionate share to offset that car rental for the time period you are there. Everything is just a short distance away. Worst case scenario: share a taxi ride to the courses with a friend. It's a lot less expensive than having a rental car sitting around each day. Parking at the Tremblant parking garage is about $18 per day."
Well, we didn't ask you on the registration form if you'll be renting a car per se, but we WILL have a NEED A RIDE / GIVE A RIDE form at the welcoming events. If you're riding with someone who paid to rent a car, they would be happy if you could help-out with the ride to the courses. Worse-case-scenario: you share the cost of a taxi with fellow players. Arrange through the Fairmont concierge well ahead of time. For both rounds at Tremblant, we tee off at 1pm.
10. Make certain you have your name on all of your luggage AND golf bags. When you get to hotel(s), you'll leave your bag at the bell stand and they will store your bag in a room at the lobby level . . . or you may take your bag to your hotel room. ASGA is not responsible for lost clubs or luggage.
11. I'm starting to work on pairings this afternoon and will accommodate previous requests. Once you're received the tentative pairings, please do not make a new request. It's just difficult to un-do things and there is a domino effect every time I make a change.
12. By the way, I did make a visit to Montreal and Tremblant a few weeks ago and I've had to make a course change. Val de Lacs was in rough shape. I canceled that location for two primary reasons: the area of the road right prior to getting to the course has a one-lane bridge that's questionable, i.e. it has metal plates over it that I was scared to cross with my rental car over and fear a fifty-foot motor coach could present some issues and second, the cart paths were so bad I had to ride in the grass beside the paths. Instead, I visited a nice course called Val Morin. We'll shotgun that course at 1pm and have dinner there that night (prepared by a French chef), then head 29 miles further to Tremblant. Our other two courses are at Tremblant and they looked to be in very good condition, however, one our first course we play there does not have a driving range. In fact, courses in Canada don't see much group action such as ours and most driving ranges only have 10-12 spots, so please try to accommodate others waiting to hit practice shots.
13. Both hotels have hair dryers in the rooms but if you have other questions, please contact the hotel, courses directly. If you need rental clubs, contact the courses directly, we cannot arrange that for you. If the course does not have your requested type of clubs, ask if they can borrow a set from a nearby golf course. PLAN TO DO THIS RIGHT AWAY because the selection and availability varies from course to course. Google the venues to get their phone number or email addresses.
More details once the Program and Pairings Guide comes out in a day or two.
Th-th-th-that's all for now folks . . . feel free to ask questions by return email to Tom@SinglesGolf.com or, if a quick question, I prefer you to text me at 704-577-9481. You'll typically get a quicker answer when texting.
See you soon -
American Singles Golf Association
P. S. This email will also be posted to the website, www.SinglesGolf.com/Canada under "Emails" for future reference.
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