USCF TO MOVE TO PALM BEACH GARDENS
The USCF Executive Board voted in a conference call last night to relocate the federation's business office from New Windsor, New York to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Palm Beach Gardens bid, presented by a group of local sponsors and former USCF President Don Schultz, was selected over an offer to have the office move to the site of the World Chess Hall of Fame in Miami.
At the 2002 USCF Delegates Meeting in Cherry Hill, NJ, when the delegates authorized the moving of the office, it was expected that Miami would be the new location. An initial motion to approve the move even specified Miami and the Hall of Fame site, but this was modified after it was pointed out that the Board should have the flexibility to accept a better offer. The Board supported Palm Beach Gardens after Executive Director Frank Niro visited the area and was excited by the bid's possibilities.
Following is part of the Palm Beach Gardens proposal, as posted on chessdon.com, Don Schultz's website.
The cornerstone of the proposal supplied by our team is the word community. We wish to embrace the US Chess Federation as a community, and work for your long-term success here through our supportive environment. In this respect our committee is made up of different community partners. In mobilizing the City of Palm Beach Gardens, the Northern Palm Beaches Chamber of Commerce, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Business Development Board, and Joel Channing, who himself represents the PGA Corridor Association, have shown the importance we place on working together to create a vision. In addition, during Frank Niro’s visit, 20 representatives of the County came to dinner, more than 40 watched the human chess game, and more than 30 organizations and individuals pledged their support to USCF in writing in our original proposal document. Our pledge to commit to the White Knights program is further proof not only of our willingness as a community to work for you, but also our desire to make a considerable positive contribution to your bottom line.
(1) Relocation Expenses
There are cost reductions that can be offered by different agencies within Palm Beach County.
a. Accommodation rates
Reduced cost accommodation rates at area hotels for staff in the area on an ongoing basis between now and completion of move-in
b. In-Kind Assistance
Both the Northern Palm Beaches Chamber of Commerce and the Business Development Board offer relocation assistance with community orientation, assistance in finding schools and housing, and assistance with locating business groups and other support organizations. These services are free of charge.
c. Office use during construction
Semi-permanent office cubicles with PC, internet, phone, fax, copying and all basic office supplies free of charge for up to 3 people at any one time (dependent on availability) is available on an on-going basis for US Chess personnel from now until move-in is completed at the Palm Beach County Sports Commission offices.
(2) Community Olympic Development Program
Palm Beach County Sports Commission on October 18th last year officially signed a contract with the US Olympic Committee to become the fifth Community Olympic Development Program in the United States. The program is a holistic infrastructure to take children that participate in recreational sports as recognized by the US Olympic Committee, and channel expertise and resources to assist those young people in becoming future Olympians. This program could be available to US Chess Federation to take advantage of in building youth programs in Palm Beach County upon cementing relations with the USOC.
(3) Event Management Assistance
The City of Palm Beach Gardens and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission both have large staffs with considerable event management experience from world-level competitions to pro-tour events. This assistance has been pledged as a value-in-kind offering, with no charge to US Chess. A Category G Grant Program operated through the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, which makes up to $250,000 available each year to assist sports event owners with their event costs. A similar possibility to secure further funds from the State of Florida for similar assistance.
(4) Education establishments
Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Community College have offered classroom space as requested by US Chess without charge. In addition, both have pledged to start or upgrade their chess scholarship programs.
(5) Office location
The site available for development in the City of Palm Beach Gardens sits directly adjacent to the I-95 highway, which currently carries 90,000 vehicles daily. The USCF building would be clearly visible to traffic, with no vegetation, building, or other obstacle to obstruct clear vision of the entire building, as shown in the photographs in the original proposal document.
(6) The White Knights
The Local Organizing Committee has a plan to start a benefactors association, the White Knights, to rally support for US Chess upon their decision to relocate to Palm Beach Gardens. Several prestigious organizations and individuals within the community have already given a verbal commitment to join. The White Knights understand the potential benefits of having US Chess as permanent residents. We aim to secure at least 20 White Knights. Each will commit to provide $2,500 a year for 5 years to support the activities of the US Chess Federation.
We understand that there may be considerable synergy between US Chess and Malcolm Pein, a book and equipment distributor operating in Palm Beach County; and also with the proposed Kasparov School of Chess referred to by Owen Williams during Mr. Niro’s site visit.
Joel Channing Don Schultz
Pam Gerig, Executive Director, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Sheryl Stewart, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Palm Beach Gardens
Casey Steinbacher, President/CEO, Northern Palm Beaches Chamber of Commerce
Gary Hines, Senior Vice President of Development, Business Development Board
Organizing Committee to bring the US Chess Federation to the City of Palm Beach Gardens