Prior to the show, I figured the May 5th show would be my last show at the Four Points Sheraton. I had gone back and forth with hotel manager Stefanie Wilcott who would not agree to allow me to hold my June 2nd show as originally contracted back in November. I played phone tag with another manager who suggested in his messages that he had an alternative for my June 2nd show. I responded to him in a message that if I can't hold my show at the hotel on June 2nd as I had been promoting for months and months that there was no alternative that would satisfy me.
I started to get the word out that the May 5th show would be the last one. I was so fed up at that point that I did not want to look for a new location and was ready to let the show die. Folks were very supportive on Facebook and on various sports card message boards creating a dilemma -- I did not want to go on with the show if it was going to be stressful. I have enough stress at my day job and do cards for stress relief. But the outpouring of support was a motivator to start looking for a new location.
Leading up to the May 5th show, I was steaming mad. I had a lawsuit prepared and was just waiting for my damages to vest after June 2nd then I was going to file a lawsuit against the hotel in Lake County Illinois Circuit Court in Waukegan. I also prepared a press release to announce the end of the show due to the hotel's breach of contract. As a former newspaper reporter and currently an Illinois lawyer, you get a double whammy when you mess with me.
Once at the hotel on May 5th, load in and set up was easy. We were the only event in the hotel that morning, as usual. As the dealers arrived, I made sure they all knew this would be the last show. Most guys had seen my internet posts and were aware of the situation.
We had a nice crowd early and I was busy with customers when Stefanie asked me to meet with her in a neighboring conference room. Dave agreed to watch my tables while I met with Stefanie. Once in the conference room, there was another manager who I had met earlier that morning. This hotel has so many dang managers. It seems like every employee is some sort of manager.
Stefanie informed me that she removed the stack of press releases I had placed on a table in the show. I responded that I would use her illegal act to add another count in my lawsuit. My damages were increasing.
She then suggested we hold the June show in the hotel's restaurant -- which was my original suggestion to her when she first told me back in April that I can't hold the June show! She said she needed to confirm it with upper management and would get back to me by the end of the day. I went back into the show and announced that the show just may go on.
Back at my tables, I was busy. Sales were good. I also bought a stack of Bowman baseball cards from 1949 through 1955.
Later, Stefanie came back and asked that I return to the conference room. Again, the other manager was seated at the conference table and Stefanie put the regional manager on speaker phone. He started off by saying the hotel never cancelled my June show. I asked if he was willing to make that bullshit statement under oath. He offered the hotel's restaurant for the June show. I agreed. Some small talk ensued, he suggested we have lunch sometime. I thought maybe this nonsense was over.
Back in the show, I announced the show was back on. Seemed everyone was happy. An hour or so later, Stefanie brought me a new contract. Wow! The contract gives the hotel the right to cancel my show for any reason at any time. It also makes me responsible for anything that could possibly go wrong in the hotel or in the parking lot during my show.
I already have a contract, the one I signed in November. I was not going to agree to ANYTHING in this piece of trash Stefanie gave me. Based on this so-called new contract, I do not believe my troubles with the Four Points Sheraton are over. It is obvious that I need a new location to host the show next year. I have started the hunt. If anyone belongs to a local group, association or church that has space to host the show, please let me know.
In the meantime, I held the June 2nd show which will be the subject of a future blog. The rest of my 2018 shows will go on as planned on the first Saturday of every month. The hunt for a new location continues. Come see me June 24th in Orland Park!