AAN 2000: A Sonoran Desert Funfest

Deadline to Register for AAN Rate at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel is April 30.

It’s that time of year again: Registration forms have been mailed for AAN’s 23rd Annual Convention, to be held May 31-June 3 in Phoenix at the luscious Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. Hosted by the folks at New Times Inc., this year’s confab promises to offer something for everyone.

For those interested in issue-oriented programming, New Times worked hard to line up a top-notch slate of speaking talent, including author and legendary songwriter-performer Kinky Friedman, Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt, Motion Picture Association President Jack Valenti, author/journalists Nicholas Lemann and Jonathan Kozol, Internet news hound Matt Drudge and anti-Clinton scandal activist Lucianne Goldberg.

For those more inclined to the nuts-and-bolts side of the alternative newspaper business, a wide array of seminars and roundtables have been planned, including the following highlights:

o “Writing for Story” guru Jon Franklin and his wife Lynn will lead an all-day seminar on “Creative Approaches to Nonfiction Writing” (Friday, June 2)

o Leading sponsorship experts IEG Consulting will present a full-day workshop on “Sponsorship and Event Marketing” (Thursday, June 1)

o World-renowned designer Erik van Blokland of LettError will present a seminar on “Typefaces That Do More” (Thursday, June 1)

But let’s not confuse business with pleasure. Attendees at the Phoenix convention can rest assured that New Times will take care of their every social and recreational need. Leisure-time activities include the annual Ruxton Group Croquet Tournament; a golf tournament; a reception at New Times’ flagship office building in downtown Phoenix; a party and cocktail buffet at the Valley’s premier alternative arts site; and a Cowboy Cookout at Crazy Ed’s Satisfied Frog.

And for those of you who have atrophied from spending too much time seated at a computer, New Times has planned several sporting events to get you back in the game, like desert hiking, biking and organized jogging. And in order to foster the always-cordial relationship between our friendly ad networks, the AWN vs. Ruxton Basketball Challenge will be held.

In addition to hosting the convention, New Times will host an extensive AAN 2000 website with hotel and registration information, as well as a regularly updated event schedule.

The deadline for the AAN rate ($151 for single or double occupancy) at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel is April 30, but rooms at the Biltmore are likely to be completely booked before that date. To make reservations at the Biltmore, call 800-950-0086.

For the budget conscious, New Times has arranged for a block of rooms at $79 per night at the Phoenix Inn (800-956-5221) and the Homewood Suites Hotel (800-225-5466). Both hotels will provide complimentary shuttle service to the Arizona Biltmore upon request.

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