2011 Annual Gathering of American Mensa

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Program book cover

The 2011 Annual Gathering of American Mensa, "AGreat Journey West", was held in Portland, Oregon at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, from June 30 to July 4. Michael Meagher and John Recht were the chairmen. Its attendance was 1972. Over 2,100 registrations were reported at the event before deductions for no-shows.

The 2011 AG was in a downtown location similar to AGs in New Orleans, St. Paul, Las Vegas, Birmingham, Denver and Pittsburgh. Unlike Denver and Birmingham, Portland has no "convention center hotel." An AG is such a large event, our members were spread between four different hotel properties. This in a town that thrives on conventions and tourism.

June 30 to July 4 was Thursday through Monday instead of the more common Wednesday through Sunday due to Monday being the July 4th holiday.

The main event hotel was the Hilton Portland with the Hilton Executive Tower hotel across the street serving as a hybrid main hotel and overflow. The other overflow hotels included The Lloyd Center Doubletree which served as economy (20% less) and "The Nines" a super-luxury property which was available at the primary hotel's rates - about 1/3 their normal rate - and just 2 very short Portland-sized blocks away. The Doubletree is located at the Northeast tip of Portland's "Free Rail Zone" so members who stayed there were only a 15 minutes free light rail ride away from the main event.

Portland's extensive public transit system facilitated exploration of the town for members who so desired. A public light rail line runs between the airport to within 2 blocks of the event hotel with a stop immediately in front of the Doubletree, all for a fare of less than $2.50 each way, airport-to-city.

Hospitality was located in a parking garage that can be converted to convention space (with carpets and curtains added) one level beneath all the other activities, but served by the main hotel elevators. The committee served meal-quality foods at mealtimes (other than those which had a formal meal on the meal plan) with a few light snack foods at other times. There was an extensive selection of fine local beer and local wines.

This AG continued the international exchange program begun the previous year, where some speakers from other countries, and some American speakers, gave presentations both at this gathering and at the 2011 European Mensas Annual Gathering in Paris to facilitate the development of Mensa leadership.

The new AMC, elected in a controversial election in which the initially-announced results were withdrawn and replaced with new results due to a tabulation error, took office during this AG. The election was one of the topics of discussion at the Annual Business Meeting, which had no official proposals on the agenda.

Expelled member Barry Levine could be seen outside the hotel near the smokers (as in many states now, smoking was banned from indoor public areas), wearing a bright orange shirt proclaiming his expulsion and handing out flyers detailing his struggle. He was also seen inside the hotel on Monday July 4th, after the official end of the AG, sitting immediately inside and facing the main door.

Registration and hotel fees

Registration for the 2011 AG was $65 by 7/31/2010, $80 by 12/31/2010, $90 by 3/31/2011, $100 by 6/15/2011, and $110 after. The per-day rate was $40. Young Mensans were free up to age 3, $40 for ages 4 to 12, $55 for ages 13 to 20, or $20 per day. There was a 3-meal dining plan for $125. The hotel room rate was $118 at the main hotel, which sold out.

External links

Official reports

(require American Mensa member login)

Meeting reports

(require American Mensa member login)

Preceded by:
2010: Detroit
Annual Gathering of American Mensa
Succeeded by:
2012: Reno