Checkernooga Convention Almost Here (May 22-25)
Our 2019 convention is right around the corner. Don’t miss it! The convention is a bit early this year because Chattanooga is FULL of softball tournaments in June. We were fortunate to find a hotel and banquet venue a few weeks earlier, May 22-25 to be exact. We hope the threat of snow and salt will have passed in your area by that time. The weather in Tennessee should be absolutely perfect.
Our host hotel is The District 3 Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection member, part of the Choice Hotels group. This boutique hotel is conveniently located just a short drive from all major Chattanooga destinations and near Interstate 24. Guest rooms are very comfortable and have all the amenities you have come to expect. You may choose a room with one king bed and a sofa bed with a mountain view or a room with two queen beds and a balcony overlooking the pool. Included in the $94.00 (+tax) price are free WiFi, hot breakfast, exercise room and business center. We have secured a large meeting room for the entire time we’re there. The hotel includes a spacious parking lot with good lighting and security.
We heard your suggestions from last year and scaled back our schedule a bit. Looking at the schedule, you will see a number of events underlined. Those events are things we will try to do as a group. The other events and attractions are suggestions only. We have listed prices for your planning purposes. We have tried to organize the schedule of these items around the group scheduleand the published schedules of the particular attractions. We are all adults and are free to do as we like. If our schedule is still too busy for you or we have suggested places you don’t care to visit, feel free to visit anything you like or go back to the hotel for a swim or a nap. If you are going someplace others might like please let us know and you might have a few other Checker owners joining you.
Wednesday is the day when most of us will arrive, check in, and get settled. Since many of us will be travelling a long way, we thought you might want or need something from the nearby O’Reilly Auto Parts store. We are working to arrange and promote a relaxed “Cruise-In” of sorts where we can unwind after our drive and show our cars to some of the locals. Dinner is on your own but we suggest picking up some food and drink for “tailgating” on the way back to the hotel. If the past is any indication, many of us will hang out in the hotel parking lot comparing cars and sharing stories.
Thursday starts with a short drive across the river to Coolidge Park where we will get our very own tour and rides on a large carousel that is more than 125 years old. After our tour, we will venture through the countryside about fifteen miles to Horsin’ Around Carving School to see how the carousel animals are created. After lunch at Delia’s Mexican Food next door, you are free to take in some of the many local attractions. This might be a good time to see the aquarium and an IMAX movie downtown or venture out to Lookout Mountain to ride the Incline Railway. Near the upper station of the railway are some interesting Civil War sites or you can just take in the beautiful view of the city below.
Thursday Night we suggest a ride on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Take a tour on the Tennessee River to the base of Lookout Mountain followed by a leisurely tour back to downtown Chattanooga. The dining cruise is approximately two hours aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat and features live entertainment, a full meal, and free pilot house tours with the captain! The menu includes buffet-style dinner featuring flat iron steak with grilled onions and smoked ketchup, lemon basil chicken, baby red potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, rolls, dessert, sweet tea, and coffee.
Friday Morning is a good time to sleep in before taking a short ride on the Tennessee Valley Railroad. If you are not into trains, this would be an excellent time to venture downtown, ride the free shuttle, and do some shopping at the Moonpie General Store, Honest Charley Speed Shop, and other local retail establishments. There are also plenty of interesting lunch options downtown.
Friday Afternoon we will take in the free tour of Volkswagen Group of America’s Chattanooga plant. This 1,400 acre facility is where the Passat and Atlas are made and the tour is one of the finest you will ever see. After visiting the Volkswagen plant, you have the rest of the afternoon free to “See Rock City” or take in other local attractions.
Friday Night is when those who choose to do so can take in a Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game. The Lookouts will be playing the Birmingham (Alabama) Barons. Every Friday home game is a Fireworks Friday at AT&T Field. After games on Fridays fans can stay to watch a fireworks extravaganza set to themed music.
Saturday begins bright and early with our board meeting from 8:00-10:00am. If you need a little adrenaline after the meeting, this would be a good time to take in the Ruby Falls ZIP Adventure, featuring over 700 feet of rushing ziplines with breathtaking views of the Tennessee Valley and a 40-foot climbing tower with multiple routes of varying difficulty. While you’re there, be sure to visit Ruby Falls, a 175-foot waterfall 1,120 feet beneath the surface, the nation’s tallest and deepest waterfall open to the public.
Saturday Evening will begin in the parking lot of the International Towing and Recovery Museum. As we display our cars from 4:00-6:00pm, we will be free to tour the museum, hall of fame, and gift shop. The banquet room will also be open for you to get your early bids in for the silent auction. At 6:00, we will have a banquet of Southern cuisine from Mike’s Smokehouse. There will be some excellent barbecue on the buffet and we will probably have some more Moon Pies and RC Cola available, a true Southern tradition. After the banquet will be the auction, door prizes, awards, and raffle.
Sunday is the day when many of us will be headed home or spreading out to see the attractions we missed earlier. We realize that our club has a good number of military veterans so we will keep abreast of any early Memorial Day events that might be happening at Chattanooga National Cemetery or Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park and have those schedules available at the registration table.
We hope to see you in Chattanooga in May. Your convention team has listened to your input and put together a great agenda. The only thing missing is YOU! Come on down and take advantage of all that Chattanooga has to offer.
District 3 Hotel is holding our rooms until May 8thbut we only have a certain number of rooms guaranteed at the negotiated rate. To lock in your rate and reserve your room, call the hotel at (423) 265-3151 and mention “Checker Car Club of America” or Group Code “NR03X4” when making your reservation. If you prefer to make your reservations online, use the following URL:
District 3 Hotel, 100 W. 21st Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408
Parts Swap Meet / Auction Items
If you have any Checker parts or Checker/Taxi memorabilia that you are no longer using, bring them to the convention. Someone else might need or want them. We will have a “parts swap meet” one afternoon and/or evening in the hotel meeting room. Bring the parts and put them on the table with a price clearly marked. We will have tarps and blankets to cover the tables but please respect the hotel property by NOT bringing parts that are too grimy or items that could leak fluids. Bring Checker-related artwork, clothing, literature, and collectibles as well. If it doesn’t sell, consider donating it to the club for silent auction or door prizes.
You must be responsible for your items. Someone will be available to help load larger items but we will not be responsible for selling or securing your items.