It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that I inform you that the 2020 Eden Alternative International Conference scheduled for April 28-30, 2020 in Denver, Colorado has been cancelled due to governmental actions taken in response to the pandemic outbreak of the communicable disease known as COVID-19.
More specifically, we can no longer legally hold the Conference as planned after the March 16, 2020 order from the City of Denver, issuing a ban on all gatherings of 50 or more people effective until May 11, 2020[i]. We anticipated a gathering of well over 400 attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and others over the course of the 2020 Conference which was to be held at the Denver Sheraton.
We understand that this ban is essential in protecting the public, and most importantly, the Elders, nursing home residents and others who are our core constituents and who are most at risk.[ii]
Our Eden Alternative Home Office Team has a great deal of work to do in communicating the cancellation of our event to all of the parties impacted and unraveling the 2 years of planning that has gone into preparing for it.
Please allow us a period of time to complete the steps involved in making this change and responding to the cancellation. Concurrently, we are actively exploring potential alternatives to the education and opportunities that this conference would have provided registered attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. Expect a progress update no later than March 27. Please go ahead and cancel your individual hotel accommodations and flights at this time. Many airlines are presently allowing refunds or penalty-free exchanges.
As we all realize, these are simply unprecedented days. Our conference has always been so much more than keynotes, breakout sessions and educational events. It has been a time when we gather to renew our global commitment to our mission and eliminating loneliness, helplessness and boredom for the Elders we serve and their care partners.
Now, more than ever, the world needs The Eden Alternative. We appreciate your continued patience, as we work through our next steps.
Jill Vitale-Aussem, President & CEO
The Eden Alternative®
[i] The City’s ban on gatherings like ours follows a March 11, 2020 similar ban imposed by Colorado Governor Polis, and appears to have been issued in response to March 15, 2020 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), advising that:
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
[ii] Information published by the CDC on March 12 warned:
Older adults and persons with severe underlying health conditions are considered to be at increased risk of more serious illness after contracting COVID-19. Priority should be given to ensuring the safety of these groups of people, particularly for any mass gatherings that are expected to have a large number of older adults or persons with underlying conditions.