Hi! Welcome to the Home Page for the Motss.Con.99 in Memphis, Tennessee. I'm Tim; I'll be your host; fly me! Seriously, though, feel free to contact me at defunct mail address if you have any questions or problems.

The con will be in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, USA, from Friday, 1 October 1999 until Sunday, 3 October 1999. The primary locale for meeting and greeting at the con will be the lobby of the downtown Memphis Benchmark Hotel (formerly the Days Inn). Bluestock (not The Blues Ball) is going on downtown this same weekend. Likely, there'll be a goodly number of musician types, monied types, and hangers on to both types in the neighborhood. One should make hotel, maybe restaurant, reservations early.

Memphis is located at 35 degrees N latitude and 90 degrees W longitude. It is in the US Central time zone; in early October, the time will be Central Daylight Time (GMT-0500). The sun will rise a little before 7:00 a.m. and set around 6:45 p.m. For the 1-3 October time frame, the mean temperature is 68 degrees F, and the mean precipitation is 0.1 inch per day; average highs are around 80 degrees F, and average lows around 55 degrees F. It's typically one of the nicest times of the year in these parts, with dry weather, warm days, and pleasant nights. It's too early for most fall foliage.

Memphis proper has more than 500,000 residents; the metropolitan Memphis area, about 1,000,000. Here are a few maps of Memphis at differing scales (from Map Quest). I apologize that all of them suck in the sense that they hardly refer to specific event sites. I don't know how to drive map software worth a darn. If anyone can do better or has suggestions for a better way of displaying what ought to be displayed, please contact me at defunct mail address.

There is a Motss.Con.99 Mailing List. To sign up, send a message to defunct mail address asking to be signed up (or removed). Messages to the list should be sent to defunct mail address

If you're planning on attending the .con, please pre-register so I can get a better idea of how many people will be attending the con and each individual activity. Thanks!


Friday evening:

Welcoming Reception at our hotel. Hors d'ouvres, munchies, and sandwiches; soft drinks and cash bar. Donations accepted.

Later: Downtown and Midtown LBGO* bars. Or stroll our new Riverwalk. Or take The Trolley to the Pinch and listen to alternative bands at The North End or Barristers.

Saturday morning:

10:30 a.m.: Sightseeing cruise on the mighty Mississippi aboard the Memphis Queen II. The originally-hoped-for three-hour "Sandbar Cruise" (box lunch, trip to a sandbar in the river, silly group games) has been scaled back to a one-and-a-half hour sightseeing cruise. $10.50.

Saturday afternoon:

2:00 p.m.: Take the Main Street Trolley south (or walk) to the South Main district to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. $6.

Saturday evening:

Swine dining: Charlie Vergos's Roundezvous (Memphis-style BBQ: pork ribs, dry seasoning, $20, Fodor's review). No reservations, just wait your turn. Fine dining: Chez Phillipe (in The Peabody, $50+, Fodor's review), the Pier ($50), the Butcher Shop ($30), Buckley's ($30), Elvis Presley's Memphis (fried-banana sandwiches). Or dining period at typical pub-grub places: The Flying Saucer ($15), Huey's ($15), TGI Friday's ($15), The Hard Rock ($15), etc.

Opera: Opera Memphis opens their 99-00 season this weekend at The Orpheum with The Barber of Seville. As best I can figure from Opera Memphis's online price list tickets run from $10-$52.

Later (or, alternatively): Beale Street. Live music until all hours of the morning. Well, the Beale Street bars are open until 5:00 a.m., anyway. (Covers tend to be in the $5 range. There's some kind of multi-club cover you can pay. Don't forget to see the goats at Silky O'Sullivan's.)


Noon: Farewell Bruncheon at The River Terrance on Mud Island $20/person.

Afterwards, wandering around on Mud Island.


"Official" lodging resources:

Memphis Benchmark Hotel (formerly called The Days Inn)
164 Union Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: 901 527-4100
Fax: 901 525-1747
Group name: MOTSS

Other lodging resources:

The Peabody Hotel
149 Union Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: 901 529-4100
Fax: 901 529-4184
Reservations: 1 800 PEABODY
185 Union Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: 901 528-1800
Fax: 901 526-3226
Reservations: 1 800 333-3333

Holiday Inn Select
160 Union Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: 901 525-5491
Fax: 901 526-1561
Reservations: 1 800 HOLIDAY
Talbot Heirs Guesthouse
99 South Second Street
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: 901 527-9772
Fax: 901 527-3700



Official airline

Memphis International Airport is a hub for Northwest Airlines. The following is said for contractural reasons: Northwest/KLM is the preferred airline of Motss.Con.99 in Memphis. The discount-fare system is called "WorldFile". The WorldFile for Motss.Con.99 is NMN43. To make reservations, call the Northwest/KLM Meeting Services Reservation Desk at (US) 1-800-328-1111 M-F 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central Time.

It's my understanding that the discounts -- 10% off published fares if purchased 60 or more days in advance, 5% off for 0-59 days in advance -- are only for travel within the US and Canada. (Actually, the sales agent said US, Canada, and Mexico.) Consult the person you talk to on the phone, please, to make sure this covers your flight.

Disclaimer: If 40 or more tickets are bought and used under this agreement, your host gets a free round-trip flight to a destination within the lower US-48 or Canada. Even if you can't get the discount, your ticket can still count towards this "productivity" award, as they call it, if you have them record the WorldFile NMN43 when you purchase the ticket.

Other airlines

Other major airlines that fly into Memphis are American, Delta, United, and USAirways. Regional carriers include American Eagle (American), ComAir (Delta), Continental Express (Continental), Northwest Airlink (Northwest), Trans World Express (TWA), and AirTran (the airline formerly known as Value Jet).

Southwest Airlines, unfortunately, does not fly into Memphis. It does, however, fly into Little Rock, Arkansas, and there is a thrice-daily service called The Bette Bus (1 800 752-8745) from Little Rock airport to Memphis for Southwest people. Southwest also flies into Nashville should someone want to check out Music City USA as part of their travel plans.

Should anyone be flying in by private plane (hi, Squirrel!), the General deWitt Spain general aviation airport is located just a few miles from downtown Memphis. 901 353-9151.


For those who prefer rail, Memphis is a stop on Amtrak's daily City of New Orleans run from Chicago to New Orleans.


Memphis has daily bus service by Greyhound from a large number of US cities.


Memphis is at the junction of Interstates 40 and 55 US routes 78 and 64. US cities within a day's drive include (but aren't limited to -- it depends on the drivers' stamina! And these are one man's opinion) Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines, Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinatti, Charlotte, Atlanta, Savannah, Jacksonville (FL), Orlando, Tampa, Mobile, New Orleans, and Birmingham, and, of course, Little Rock, Jackson (MS), and Bristol (TN/VA), Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Jackson, Tennessee.

Car Rental

The usual suspects: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty, etc. A car is unnecessary for the stay in downtown Memphis, but it would be nice to have if one were planning a longer visit involving sightseeing in the greater Mid South.


I don't think it's advisable to FedEx yourself here in a box.


For those who care to arrive earlier and/or stay later, there's plenty to do and see both near and outside of downtown Memphis. These range from sites reachable by foot or by taxi or public transportation, to those reachable by bus or car, and include:


Beyond the links mentioned inline, here are some more pointers to info about Memphis.


It's my hope that con participants should be able to fly in, take a cab from the airport, get themselves situated in a downtown hotel, then spend the next couple of days hanging out with old and new friends at various downtown locales. Those who choose to rent a car will find ample places to go outside of downtown, but those who choose not to will find plenty to see and do within walking distance or within a reasonable cab ride to Midtown.

Downtown Memphis is not a shopping mall. No Gap, no A&F, no Levi's Store. The multiplex, however potentially profitable, is still a dream in some developer's mind.

There is, however, plenty of activity. Besides retail merchants who have survived, even thrived, for years by serving the needs of the downtown residents, there are new establishments oriented more to the downtown business types. Cafes and bookstores and the like. And there is development. The Memphis Redbirds, the local AAA baseball team (PCL), is building a new stadium. Gibson Guitar is building a factory behind Beale Street. There is new yup-scale housing in refurbished buildings, including the Gayoso House in the Belz's Peabody Place development. There is a new downtown grocery. They've just broken ground for a downtown elementary school. Still, the place took a hit from the white flight of the late 60s and early 70s, and it is only now hitting the kind of redevelopment stride other US cities hit several years ago.

And I won't pretend that Memphis is some kind of oasis from homophobia, but I also won't let that stop us from having a good time. It's very easy to reach, it has a cool downtown with good food and good music. Please join us here in October.


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