A flurry of events takes us to both sides of the country

July 8, 2011 By    

Skyscrapers and the welcome sight of green spring foliage in Atlanta for the NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo. Snow-capped mountains painting a picturesque backdrop in Reno for the Western Propane Trade Show and Convention. Sun-splashed golf courses outside Orlando for the Propane Golfers outing. Massive and impressive architectural structures in Washington, D.C., for Propane Days.

Each of the stops in a busy travel schedule over the last two-and-a-half months has held its own unique features. And it kicked off in April with the industry’s biggest event, the Southeastern convention, which draws attendees from all corners of the country.

More than 1,300 people attended the 2011 show and visited 216 exhibitors at the Georgia World Congress Center – both in line with 2010 numbers. The 2012 event is scheduled for April 14-16, when we plan to launch our first annual Propane Industry Hall of Fame. Stay tuned for details.

May brought my first trip west to the Western Propane Gas Association’s (WPGA) long-running event in “The Biggest Little City in the World.” The Reno Events Center hosted the popular, intimate show, which this year drew about 1,100 attendees visiting more than 200 exhibitors. It was a pleasing turnout for WPGA President and CEO Lesley Garland.

If you were unable to attend the show and want a glimpse of the show-floor, visit www.lpgasmagazine.com/www.lpgasmagazine.com to view some of the propane products that exhibitors had on display. Click on “LPGasTV” along the left toolbar.

In June, we rolled the 27th annual Propane Golfers outing to a new venue, the Reunion Resort and Club outside Orlando, the first time since 2003 that the event was held outside our home course of Innisbrook Resort in the Tampa area. This year’s attendees enjoyed the sparkling amenities of the resort and the rolling layouts of its Watson, Palmer and Nicklaus courses.

John Geiger of Trinity Containers and Dale Gardner of Gardner-Marsh Equipment captained teams over three days in a modified points scoring system, with Geiger’s group finishing with a nine-point victory. Chris Coates of Energy USA Propane in the under-55 division and Gardner in the senior division prevailed in the long-drive contests sponsored by Corken.

If you haven’t attended our low-key event started by former LP Gas Editor Zane Chastain, please consider the 2012 outing. It’s a great way to spend time with colleagues from all segments of the propane industry. We would love to provide you with more information. Visit www.propanegolfers.com, where we also have photos from this year’s first stop at Reunion. Check out event photos in this issue as well.

Also in June, more than 300 industry members traveled to the nation’s capital for the 7th annual Propane Days. Attendees learned of the Propane Gas Act of 2011, recently introduced legislation in the House and Senate that would extend for five years federal tax credits supporting propane autogas. Instead of long-running attempts to become part of natural gas legislation, the propane industry eventually chose to pursue its own bill – and there appears to be support for it in Washington.

A special thanks to the Propane Gas Association of New England, which allowed me to follow its members to five Senate offices. LP Gas Editor-in-Chief Pat Hyland reported productive visits to Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi offices with Blossman Gas President Stuart Weidie.

More on Propane Days, including photos from the event, can be found in Vital Signs.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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