As everyone is aware, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact around the world. It has caused the death of tens of thousands of people and that is not something to be trivialized.
The NMRA National convention, Gateway 2020, is scheduled to start on July 12, 2020, in St. Louis, Missouri. That being said, the local host group has determined that they can no longer continue with the preparations and operation of the convention. Among the reasons for this decision is the fact that one key member is ill with COVID-19. The host group requests your prayers for him.
Additionally, some members of the local model railroad community have withdrawn their model railroads from the tours, based on their understandable and valid concerns about allowing persons in their homes who may have the COVID-19 virus. Even if the virus is well under control, that does not mean that everyone who attends the convention would be virus-free.
Robert Amsler, Manager of the Meetings and Trade Show Department has advised the Officers and the Board of Directors of this decision and the Officers and Directors fully support cancelling the convention. Neither the Gateway 2020 crew nor the NMRA made this decision in haste or without careful consideration of all involved. The cancellation is in the best interest of the NMRA members, their family members, and the NMRA. It is noteworthy that the NMRA has never cancelled a convention before Gateway 2020 and that includes during World War II.
For those who have registered for the convention, the refund policy will be published as soon as possible at Gateway2020.org. We, the Gateway 2020 Committee, will need some time to make the necessary changes to the website to process the refunds.
Again, all involved regret this decision but we trust that you will understand the necessity and reasoning behind the decision.