Dates, locations set for 2003 BLE regional meetings

BLE and GIA members planning ahead for summer vacation in 2003 are encouraged to consider attending one of the BLE's four regional meetings.

Many BLE members sharpen their skills at one of the various educational opportunities offered at the regional meetings, while others attend to rekindle old friendships. Either way, the BLE's 2003 regional meetings offer something for everyone.

The following dates and locations are final. However, certain activities and events listed are subject to change due to unforseeable circumstances.

Jeffrey Valentine welcomes BLE and GIA members to Sparks, Nevada, for the 2003 International Western Convention. The 63rd annual IWC will be held at John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel & Casino in Sparks. For reservations, call (800) 648-1177 and ask for the IWC room rate, or identify yourself as a BLE member. A room rate of $89 per night has been secured from May 30 through June 7. Activities include a golf tournament at The Resort at Squaw Creek, a Robert Trent Jones designed course in the High Sierras, a bus trip to Virginia City, America's largest historical landmark, and a dinner/dance sunset cruise on Lake Tahoe. Those wishing to contact Chairman Valentine may do so by phone by calling (775) 857-2013, or by e-mail: <>.

Chairman W.M. "Bill" Overton and the members of BLE Division 239 (Knoxville, Tenn.) will host the 2003 SMA at the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (hotel website: Members can make early-bird reservations by calling: (800) 251-9752. Room rates are $69.77 per night (plus tax). Attractions include the Great Smokey Mountains national park, Dollywood, and the annual golf tournament. Registration is on June 15; the banquet is on June 19. For details, contact Brother Overton at: Fax (865) 945-3715, or by e-mail,

Arrangements Chairman Fred Cox and the members of BLE Division 52 will host the 2003 EUMA at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency in the inner harbor area of Baltimore. Early bird reservations can be made by calling (410) 528-1234. Arrangements Chairman Fred Cox reports that tentative activities include a tour of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad museum, a harbor dinner cruise, golf tournament, and a Baltimore Orioles baseball game. For more details, contact Brother Cox at (717) 244-4855 or e-mail:

General Chairman Rick Gibbons, BNSF (SLSF) and M&NA, is Chairman of the 68th annual SWCM, which will be held in Branson, Mo. Members and their families will stay at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake Resort Hotel and Convention Center. Reservations can be made at a rate of $114 per night by calling: (888) 333-5253.

A hugely popular tourist destination, Branson offers abundant and unique entertainment options for the whole family. Members planning to attend the SWCM are encouraged to vist Branson's website, <>, to learn more about its diverse entertainment opportunities.

More details and registration forms will follow.


© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers